Saturday, July 4, 2015

It's Not Their Conference

It's your conference. I'm writing this post is response to the "clique" comments swirling around ISTE again. I'm just so tired of it. 

Now, many might claim my opinion is not very valid because I'm in a clique. I don't know what to say to that other than sorry I have friends I want to connect with after not seeing them in person for a year or more. My first ISTE was 6 years ago and Steven Anderson, Mary Beth Hertz, Amanda Dykes, Tim Gwynn, Michelle Baldwin, Kelly Tenkely, and many more opened their arms up and welcomed me. They didn't have to, but they did. I've met many great people over the years at ISTE  and have formed wonderful friendships with them. I did this because I wanted to and they were welcoming. If they were not, I would have found others. BTW, there are people who were not welcoming, so I don't hang out with them. 

Any conference is a busy time. There are not enough hours in the day. For others to complain that certain people were not more accessible or actively inviting to newbies is annoying. Who are others to other people how to interact at a conference? Why do people have to go out of their way to interact with others? We don't know what is going on with them. Maybe they are not up for it. Shouldn't that be allowed? As long as people are not openly rude/mean, shouldn't we let them be and have the conference experience they want?

I'm all for connecting and I did meet new people, but I did it because I wanted to do it. Kyle Pace got over 100 hugs because I joked about hugging him on a post. He welcomed it and strangers hugged him. That was the conference they wanted. 

Shaming people into engaging others is not the way to go. Let people have the conference they want as long as they are not hurtful to others. People will engage when they are ready. Just don't demand it from everyone all the time. 


  1. Well said! It is always dangerous and wrong to impose judgements on others. I have absolutely no idea what conference or issue you are talking about. . . I only know the pain of misplaced judgement and over analysis. It gets old fast. --Rebecca Linstrom SHPS.

  2. Amen and amen! I was one of the people who hugged Kyle Pace but had never met him. I was also one of the people thrilled to hang out with friends I only see yearly at ISTE. We love connecting with each other and meeting new people too, but sometimes we just want to hang out -- just us-- and that's okay. If I wanted to meet new people, I went up and introduced myself. Sometimes they engaged, sometimes they didn't! ISTE is what you make of it and it is super busy. Bottom line: haters gonna hate.


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