One of the highlights of my current trip to Singapore has been meeting up with some of the students here. I did a talk at the Singapore Management University yesterday and some guys I met there from Singapore University (Justin Lee, BL, Bjorn Lee and Anubhav) treated me to an excellent Vietnamese meal tonight. The ease of conversation, the shared experience of blogging and wikis and good food was a winning combination.
Over coffee after my presentation at the main IT conference today Maish Nichani came up and introduced himself. Apparently he had heard me speak here in Singapore before but not managed to say hello. We immediately struck up an interesting conversation and quickly established a rapport. This was before we both took our Mac laptops out of their cases and before he had sent me his details and I realised that I have been subscribed to his blog's RSS feed for the best part of a year!
The contrast between the energy of these two sets of conversations and the staid, sterile business interactions that dominated the IT conference I was speaking at today was marked - and IMHO not inevitable. I still find it hard to believe that people exclude this sort of energy and connection between people from their organisations as being as being inefficient and un-businesslike.