Friday, February 20, 2009

Northern Voice 2009

My head is swimming with ideas after attending my first Northern Voice Conference today. A friendlier, more talented bunch of people you couldn't hope to meet. These folks know their stuff. After a most interesting keynote from Stewart Butterfield, one of flickr's founders, there was a fast-paced round of moose wrangling. This involved people pitching their previously unscheduled, unconference sessions to the audience while the moose wranglers filled in times and room locations on the master timetable - the only paper in evidence other than a single sheet of the day's offerings.

I love conferences that are well organized and yet have a homey, organic down-to-earth feel.

Perhaps the most useful session for me was a discussion about how to bring social media to large organizations. Presenter Dan advised knowing policy and drafting guidelines for use with input from all sectors of the organization. So instead of saying, "Why can't we have access to blogging tools?" we might say, "Here is what we would like to do and here are the guidelines for doing this based on company policy." If those in charge of decision making can a clear plan reflecting company policy they are far more likely to try new things such as social media tools.

Other highlights:
Meeting my first Twitter friend in person. Hi @HHG
Conversing with other bloggers outside the field of education.
The beautiful Forestry Sciences Centre at UBC.

My words tonight can't do it justice. Tiredness is blurring my vision, but I am looking forward to the 2nd day of this fabulous event.

Photo credit: John Biehler

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