Social scientists had found that technology is not able to deliver a true substitute for real life meetings (and hence, we would probably have to continue polluting the air by travelling). In fact, trying to use emails, PM and video conferencing could even trick people into overlooking important social benefits of team work that comes with meetings in real life (IRL). I knew exactly what they were talking about. My trend curve is definitely going up when it comes to real life interaction around TYPO3 development. It is also interesting how I have allowed certain communication channels in our community to distract me so much during the years when they were used for the wrong purpose - something that is not easy to spot when you are deep inside.
The Social Success of TYPO3
Not considering air pollution and the great ideal of internet-based communication replacing travelling, working together IRL is in fact a hidden secret behind TYPO3's success. Probably the single most powerful ignition in our community is events, starting out with the snowboard tour and going all the way to Developer Days and the T3CON for professionals. Even us, nerds, the bit generation - used to navigating in a virtual universe and used to covering a surprisingly great amount of our social needs this way - at the end of the day we are still humans, inspired by the presence of our likes.
Bring the Fireplace Logs Together
I see a future where the TYPO3 association has a task more important than directing development support; a TYPO3 Association existing primarily to break down barriers to participation, giving people low and high an equal chance to get involved and shape the future of TYPO3. This also includes a focus on supporting and enabling meetings in real life. Basically, offering a fireplace and the means to get there - the fuel is brought along by the people themselves. In this light, aren't we blessed to live so concentrated in the same timezone, with a traveling distance of no more than four hours?