“If you’ve ever sat in a room with telepresence,” I said in front of an audience of entrepreneurs and new media executives at the 2009 Twiistup Digital Conference, “we’re together virtually without being physically together. It looks and feels like we’re in the same room face-to-face, so you’re there without having to go there.” Brian Solis, Digital Analyst, Sociologist, and Futurist, who now tracks the effects of emerging media on the convergence of marketing, communications, and publishing who was on the panel with me, wasn’t quite as wowed by this cutting edge technology.
“Telepresence is still missing the critical component that connects the heart and mind,” he said. “There’s a saying that the physical distance between the heart and mind is nine inches – meaning the two are linked and very close together. Videoconferencing, video on the web, social media engagement in general are not catalysts for the kind of critical heart-mind energy that humans share when we’re in the same room. And it’s that immediate energy that tells us whether or not to form an interpersonal connection.”
“We agree that telepresence is a grand efficiency.” I responded. “But my point is wherever the state-of-the-art-technology takes us, it will always be powered by the state-of-the-heart-technology of telling to win through purposeful stories.”