IPA Social – A Few Weeks On

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IPA Social kicked off quite nicely two weeks ago with a big old event / ‘unconference’ at the IPA.

There were about 80 people in attendance and there’s since been a few debates about the event and about the 10 principles.

A few things struck me on the evening of the event and I’ve been mulling over them since.

1) The 90 / 9 / 1 principle is alive and well on the internet as well as in real life

We work in a industry of extremely opinionated, knowledged, curious and interested people. Recently, there’s been a lot of interest in all things social – otherwise the IPA Social launch event would not have completely sold out. The event attendees had a lot to talk about, as seen from the amount of chatter during the ‘unconference’ section of the event and the pub chat afterwards.

What was most interesting and surprising for me was the unwillingness of the attendees to ask questions during the event or to host one of the ‘unconferences’. When James was going around the audience trying to get questions and hosts, it really was like pulling teeth. I was shocked at the shyness of people who (for the most part) are more that happy to share what they think or their ideas in other circumstances. Was it stage fright? Fear of speaking out in a large group of people?

The next day, Graeme launched the IPA Social Facebook page in order to harness some of the questions, comments and thinking that came out of the IPA Social launch event. James gamely put a few questions out on the discussion board to which only a few people responded, despite there being over 100 members of the group.

This led me to think that…

2) Some people just want the answers handed to them and want to be told what to do

It’s funny how hard it is sometimes to get people to just think for themselves – behaviour that books like Nudge and Herd go into extensively. Some of the feedback from the event was that it was “too fluffy” and “there should’ve been more presentations and less talking”.

Is this one of the reasons why there’s been very little debate on the Facebook group? Have the right questions not been asked? Do people care? I’m happy to be proven wrong, but I have the sense that with this topic, some are just waiting to be given the answers.

What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “IPA Social – A Few Weeks On

  1. I wasn’t there, so all I have to offer is conjecture. And here it is: There are three sorts of people who attended the event 1) those who get it and see their career continuing (you were all on the stage, right) 2) those who got it and realised they need to urgently find some other way to pay the high rents demanded in Clapham and Battersea before they’re out of a job and 3) those who didn’t get it, won’t get it and just want some nice powerpoint slides they can use when they’re next asked by X client for half a pound of social media. In ratio – yeah, probably something like 1:9:90

    I’m sorry I missed it. I’ll join the FB group, if I can figure it out.

    PS: Great blog.

  2. I think that sounds about right. It takes time, energy and skill to invest in original, creative, coherent thinking. Even if that is ostensibly people’s day jobs, it doesn’t mean everyone has the time, energy and skill to do this. Reacting to the consensus is far quicker and – if you can be speedy in your replication – more efficient.

    NB I joined the FB group as a show of support, but I don’t actively use FB often and – without alerts prompting me – I’m unlikely to spontaneously decide to visit and contribute šŸ™‚

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