Northern Voice 2010 "THIS WAY"It was really hard to wake up this morning, but I dragged myself up and out to UBC in time for the 9:30am Keynote speech by Chriss Messina. Unfortunately someone mentioned that there would be a WordPress Genius Bar set up, and I was so distracted the whole time thinking about all my WP questions. After the keynote, I hurried over to the WP booth to ask a couple quick questions.

My friend Marina found me and we chatted about the sessions we wanted to check out. We both wanted to see a lot of the same sessions, so we headed off to “Blogs Are Dead / Not Dead Yet” with Alan Levine, Chris Lott and Brian Lamb. It was a collaboration, a discussion, and venting about some of the major frustrations over blogging and social media. Nothing was ‘decided’ per-say but one of the best analogies was a Bilbo Baggins quote and how he feels like butter spread over too much bread. There is a poll up: Are Blogs Dead? I have a lot to say on this topic so I’ll save it for another day.

Probably my top (work related) session was next: Coping with Social Media. I found that Alexandra Samuel had some great points about organizing yourself and how to manage social media. But I would have called it “Managing Social Media” because it was mostly organizational tips for using all these devices. However, Alexandra did have some good advice on saying no and being able to say “Sorry, I didn’t have a chance to read your blog post” and never assuming that anyone ever sees your tweets.

The next panel was Fibre Arts Online with crochet author Kim Werker, Felicia of Sweet Georgia Yarns, and writer/author Mandy Moore. I was there as a fan of Fibre Arts and didn’t ‘learn’ much but it was great to hear the fibre arts world discussed and hear some questions from non-crafters. One of the funniest questions was (for Mandy regarding yarnbombing): “So are you like an arsonist, where you stand back and watch how people interact with your stuff?”

Fibre Arts panel at Northern Voice

Straight into the next session was for Art and Social Media — a great panel including Rebecca Coleman, Rachel Chatoor, Sara Genn, and Deb Pickman moderated by Darren Barefoot. They talked about using social media to promote art in its traditional forms. One of the major discussions was about documenting/sharing/blogging the creative process or the pre-process. With plays and movies a number of suggestions included interviews, set tours, and sharing such things that traditional media used to hold monopoly over airing. One of the closing statements was: “Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds, newsletters… wherever your audience is, go to them”.

By the end of the day, I decided to just enjoy the coffee break, check out the Non-Profit Expo in the atrium (which was okay but not particularly stimulating) and then call it a weekend. I think I’ll watch the videolog of a couple sessions I didn’t see, but all-in-all I’m pretty satisfied with my session choices. I can’t wait to see how the conference changes and adapts for next year.