The coveted t-shirt from the Northern Voice 2006 conference.
It’s been one day of favorable rest since the close of the Northern Voice 2006 conference here in Vancouver… and I still struggle to capture all thoughts and impressions.
Apologies to the EdTechTalk guys Dave and Doug– I pretty much slept through any chance of a Skyperview. Hopefully in the future.
Firstly, there is definitely more of a community spirit at this grass-roots organized conference, purposefully kept simple to keep the fees low. All the logisitcal stuff was very smooth at the UBC downtown Robson campus. If anything, being down below in the concrete made us unaware of the gorgeous clear weather hovering outside.
And as it was discussed by several in the Moosecamp session on Community Building, there is some true magic in meeting other bloggers face to face, as well as meeting some new people as well.
To me, there seemed to be a tad more presentation heavy sessions than discussion/conversation, and the 2 days felt pretty crammed full on the schedule. It made the Moosecamp not all the differentiated from the main conference- I had thought the former would be something mroe akin to one of those hack-athon things where you sit around trade code/ideas, and build stuff.
There’s also something else I’ve had truble putting my paw on… The blogosphere is (and was here) described as an “ecosystem”, and I am comfortable being just a small insect scurrying around on the floor. Down here, we don;t blog for ego, or advertising, or technorati points, or attention– we just do it to put our voice out and to connect with other. At NorthernVoice, there seemed to be a clique of “cool” bloggers, who all reference each other by first names, etc, who I guess are some of the larger creatures in the same ecosystem. Hey, I grew up outside the “cool people” so this was no new revelation.
While the “Blogging in the Bedroom” session was amusing (it was about relationships between people who blog), my main reaction was, “Who cares about the publicly displayed details of personal lives?” I support the notion of blogs as being a place for everything, but this sort of celebrity like fascnination with personalities is why I do not watch soap operas, read tabloids, or watch Entertainment Tonight. It was very silly stuff, when it could have been a better discussion about personal disclosure, online representation of self, it turned out to be more like the “Dating Game”.
So in sloppy summary, being here was great, hanging out and co-presenting and debriefing with my blog amigos was electrically energizing, I picked up some good photo and podcasting tips, made a good number of new connections, it all just did not seem as kinetic/electric as what I seemed to read about the first NV conference last year.
But really, I did also come here to get a sense of what a conference is like that is unlike the big EduTech extravaganzas, and those are some things I am going to let percolate a little longer.