20 Jul 2000 lordsutch   » (Journeyer)

dmerrill: I agree with aigeek that meeting in real life is a much different experience than meeting any other way; for example, I've met a bunch of the Debian gang over the past year, and my impressions of many were different before the face-to-face than they were after. For about 4 years, I was involved in a particular MUD and had a similar reaction. People for some reason seem to need physical interaction to nail people down; I can't explain why. Perhaps it's because our social cognition is tied to the whole experience of meeting someone in the flesh. Meeting people in the flesh isn't a perfect way to assess people (a lot of stereotypes come in there, but they come in any way...), but we manage best that way for some odd reason.

Oh, BTW, "in the flesh meeting" certainly isn't an anachronism; my uncle, who works for FedEx (probably one of the most wired companies in the world) as a sales exec to a major computer manufacturer, spends a lot of his time commuting between Silicon Valley, Sacramento, and Memphis. Granted, sales is a touchy-feely profession, but that doesn't explain the need to have a physical meeting in Memphis every 6-8 weeks.

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