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  Two days ago we tried seminar meeting via online chat. We had Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School come to Tokyo for his annual visit. He gave a special lecture to the class of 2008, had dinner with some of the faculty members, and gave a special seminar at the Porter Prize award ceremony. (He gave many interviews and other seminars as well.)  

  Though I did not attend his special lecture, I wanted to discuss with my seminar students how they liked his lecture and what they thought of the Porter Prize ceremony.
  Originally, the seminar meeting over dinner 10 days ago at my place was supposed to be the last one for this calendar year, but I wanted to discuss topics around Prof. Porter and Porter Prize soon after the event.  The idea of online chat came to me and found me very excited. (I want to experiment!) 

   I had an experience of online chat few years ago with Mochio Umeda whom I respect very much. That was the first experience of online chat for me, where hundreds of people attended. I made some comments, but it was so quick and required quick thinking and quick typing! (I was quite excited about it, as I loved the idea that people wherever they are can express their ideas, argue, share ideas.)   

   So there it was. We got ready at 9; 00 p.m. Sunday night, for the seminar via online chat. I had a bit of trouble figuring out how to do it, but we managed. Though it was the first time we tried and thus had some trouble here and there (such as sending the message before I finish typing, or missing the timing of the discussion etc.) it was fun. I learned several things—probably we need some basic ground rules for the online chat. It was much easier to do it in English than in Japanese, as we need not change letter into Kanji. One hour (our original plan) was just about right (or a bit too long) as it required concentration to follow the flow, think, and type.   It is always great to try something new. I am HOOKED and want to try some other means! (By the way, our discussion focused on the corporate social responsibility and strategy, particularly how we manage to continue CSR during the time of economic downturn.) 

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