A very different day than the first. Quieter and less energy maybe due to the difference in the attendees. There were more neophyte bloggers and a much larger crowd.
I thought Julie Leung’s opening keynote was good. It was powerful and full of imagery. There was a full exploration of the theme “storytelling” which is essential to any good blog. It brought much of the human element into the sometimes purely technical world of blogs.
Dave Sifry and Tim Bray were good. Dave will really churn out ideas and has a passion for blogging and his business. Tim always has a unique point to bring forward. They would be great as a podcast team.
I thought Nancy White’s – Snow White and the Seven Competencies of Online Interaction was the highlight presentation of the day. If you ever have a chance to see Nancy run, don’t walk to her presentation. It was excellent and touched on some wonderful ideas and issues. She has posted the presentation on Flickr.
The afternoon sessions were much easier to fathom. You have to remember your brain can only work at 100% for only so long. Blogging in Education was very academic, Geek Out has some great tips and technology presentations and last but not least Five Ways Your Blog can Change the World with only Rob Cottingham (the other 3 presenters weren’t there for various reasons) was pretty good considering. I felt sorry for Rob. Can you imagine being part of a group of 4 for an hour presentation and ending up doing the whole thing yourself. They did make a connection with a cell phone to one of the other presenters for some of the time.
Was it as good as last year? Yes but in a different fashion. Blogging has a bit more age and depth to it now. It is taking a different form that was not apparent before. And having moved into a maturer methodology/technology it becomes less vibrant for some. It hasn’t lost it’s excitement, it has just become more common. The venue is great even if it was crowded at times and it is close to some great eating spots for lunch. The people who put in on really do a fantastic job. Most of them get little time to attend the events making sure everything in the background is running smoothly. The big difference was seeing the people and meeting the individuals. For over a year now I have read numerous blogs and really started to understand various peoples points of view and events in their lives. You get to “know” people in a way that is really very different. (someone is going to have to come up with a word to describe that kind of relationship) And so when you finally get to meet them it is pretty special. Northern Voice really sets the stage to encounter the person behind the blog. I don’t know how it does it but it works for me. And that is why I’ll be there again next year.
PS Only one suggestion – have a quick closing with everyone gathered. It puts a proper closure to the event.