NICOLAS CARR might call it an "information plantation" but my experience with the quiet channels of communication at OpenCoffee meetings leads me to consider those channels well worth the criticism some people make that they can easily become piles of contacts saved inside information silos. Those who travel the OpenCoffee circles (Jan Blanchard and Paul Sweeney shown in photo) know that some of the traction following from the open sessions happen in the time-tested quiet way of direct contact via e-mail, phone calls and closed wikis. Limerick's OpenCoffee continues to draw an energetic pocket of people due to pokes on Facebook, LinkedIn direct contacts and Twitter textbacks. Some of these channels are buried from easy viewing by others.
In today's Guardian, Carr writes about his searches for information often take him from Google.com and into Wikipedia. Joe Weisenthal doesn't agree. On Techdirt, Weisenthal argues that there's plenty of diversity for information.
A corollary to Carr's argument is that everything you need to know about OpenCoffee might found at the top-rated site OpenCoffeeClub.org but anyone with an interest in local venues would simply scroll down the search results and find information more suited to their needs.
If that's you--if you're interested in these OpenCoffee meet-ups--you would do best to click into some of the deeper results because the real channels of communication are happening on plantations where some clever developers are roasting the code for several clever interesting web services soon to be unveiled during the summer.