Last Wednesday we had the opportunity to go to the Portland Trail Blazers vs. Indiana Pacers game to do a some research for an upcoming project. We wanted to get a feel for what it’s like to sit in the stands, eat Rose Garden food and drink Rose Garden beer, and cheer with the locals for the local favorites. The Trail Blazers started the game out strong, but couldn’t hold on for the duration and ended up losing. Ahh, basketball.
With all the talk about social networks (Facebook, MySpace, etc.), there’s this idea that people will come together “virtually” to share common interests (like groups on Facebook). And digital media is a great way to meet people. But there’s a second component to social networks: the social part (like basketball games). Socializing requires conversations… our task is to think about how a digital (virtual) conversation can be extended to tangible (in-person) conversations. There’s also the opposite… how in-person relationships can be extended digitally.
Sporting events create a sense of camaraderie… people come together to support their team, it’s us against them. And there’s plenty of talk of sports online… but that’s mainly people giving their opinion on a blog or message board without the intent of stimulating conversation. It’s not “social.” We’ll see what we can do about that.
After the game, we continued our social discussion at the Gotham Tavern.
They have these cool, hive-like booth structures that got us talking about the Substance conference hive, when it comes to that. Todd was checking out the construction so he could start planning it.
A chocolate martini, then home to bed, with dreams of how digital media can connect people to build more than virtual relationships, but create a shared sense of community.
(Here’s the full Flickr gallery of our trip to the game, if you’re interested.)