Digital Nashville Education Organizer Responds

May 8, 2009

carrot_and_the_stickThe organizer of Digital Nashville’s “Education Sessions responded to my last entry that basically pointed out they had scheduled their event the same day as the centre{source} Mixer.  I felt like it was only fair that I repost that response in the main feed.

There are a number of issues I have with Digital Nashville and I only really discussed their disregard for scheduling (and/or rescheduling). Jacques (the organizer) said they planned their meetings out in late 2008 and that may very well be the case, but if the “Digital Nashville” community was intertwined with the actual digitally-minded Nashville community, I feel like they would have had no problem rescheduling. But that doesn’t mean they should have, only that it was a possibility.

The core reason why I am not a big fan of “Digital Nashville” mainly has to do with motivation. When I go to the Mixer or the Geek Social, I do so to meet others who could carry on a decent conversation about why (or why not) Google’s Chrome browser will (or will not) eventually become the most used based on android growth. If that sentence makes no sense at all, then not to worry, I’m sure someone would gladly bring you up to speed over a beer and slice of pizza. And you know what? You’ve  just been educated. Take that line of logic and apply it to several other conversations and subjects and you’ve really started to understand bits and pieces about technology. Combine it with self motivation to teach yourself how to do something (like, writing php or understanding how to alter Cascading Style Sheets) and you’ve really got a decent education.

Digital Nashville’s motivation is inherently different because they want to bring people together to make them more marketable by educating them about subjects that employers need and/or small business owners need to know. At the core, this motivation is about money, and not too far down the road from that, survival. There is nothing wrong with wanting to learn new skills to make more money. But what I’ve tended to see with this group is that it gets billed as the community. It is not the community, its a club or organization.

Organizations can dictate commentary, delete comments on their message boards and justify how they would like others to perceive them. They seek out other members and offer tangible, exclusive advantages. So I don’t doubt that there is real value in the educational series provided by Digital Nashville. At the same time, I think there’s far more value in getting to know the community of digitally minded individuals in Nashville.

If the distinction that Digital Nashville is more of a organization than a community were more apparent, then I’d probably not be writing this response. (That and seriously, your Facebook should be a group, not a personal account.)

Digital Nashville Organizer’s response:

Very insightful piece here and as being the organizer of the Digital Nashville’s education series I really appreciate all feedback, especially given that we are such a new organization and even more new to providing, what we feel, are quality education sessions. I say that last part with confidence as the majority of attendees have said so.

Once more, we really appreciate your, the community’s, feedback on all we do. In fact, so much so that we are soon to announce a town hall style meeting in June for gathering and opening a more proactive dialog between the leadership team, all being volunteers from the community, and the community itself.

Yes, we are aiming to not have an overlap of events for this session, as we do all our session, and hope you come and bring all your great feedback with you.

Lastly, let me address your claim that the scheduling conflict was intentional on our part. As being the organizer of these events I can insure you that this is not true. We started planning these events in November and chose the last two Thursdays in the month as the target dates for our events. In fact, our next event will be presented by Nick Holland from CentreSource as our relationship is very strong.

I hope I have helped clear up the two concerns in your posting and you are able to make it out to our town hall meeting in June. Any other feedback, feel free to provide to me directly at

– Jacques