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Timely reminder of the gap between instinct and emotion...the instinct to be open and engaged and an emotional tie to a set of reflexive professional behaviours that will be very hard to shake off

Interesting, and you're quite right. I was interested to see, when I got back to the office, just how much comment and reach the event seemed to have had beyond the people in the room - though I'm not sure how many of those in the room are aware of that.

From my perspective, it was good to speak to people I didn't know already from Twitter (there are too many events I go to where I'm amongst old friends). Ultimately - and perhaps cynically - I think there's a stronger chance of effecting change in public services with the audience in that room than with the inspiring and enthusiastic debate I have with people through social media.

Why *not* try a barcamp-style format with that crowd? OK, maybe it needs a few pre-planned sessions. But the idea of bring-something-to-share, smaller groups, less structure feels like something that would move the discussion on more quickly, and harness that enthusiasm. We almost got there with All Together Now (http://altogethernow.ning.com) a few weeks ago, mixing policy officials, innovators and broadcasters to inspire and provoke discussion.

Follow up that kind of event with Teacamp style meetups monthly afterwards to keep up the momentum and provide social support for the group?

I think you are absolutely right that the audience in the room was an important one (which also means that the proper customer-focused question is what works for them) and that there is a risk that the power of the social media conversation risks distorting perceptions of who is not part of it - which not entirely coincidentally is the subject of a post I will be finishing later today.

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