This has been the 4th year I have attended this conference and there is a difference on how I feel about this one as compared to the others. This time a number of the faces were familiar so in some ways you took the time to “catch up” with what has been happening in so many of these peoples lives. The names are too numerous to mention but you always recognize the faces. Flickr has over 3,000 photographs of the event! If you aren’t in that photostream it is because you weren’t there.
The conference is always remembered by the people who attend it. They really make what it has become. Everyone is pretty comfortable discussing all aspects of the digital world we live in. The conversations can become pretty intense. Maybe that’s why when its over everyone’s brain is very tired. It is that intenseness and passion for the subject that is so rewarding. You give as much as you can and you end up getting back more.
I keep my notes of the conference in my Moleskine. This year I have 19 pages of words, ideas, URLs, and miscellany. Those notes will be key in today’s reflection of what is happening on the Internet. There will be a few more blogs subscribed to from the people you have met, a few that you will read more often and probably a few more readers of your own blog. The social fabric continues to get woven.
We all tend to want to measure things in terms of success (it was a successful event). I have never thought NV as a success. It is more a happening, an idea exchange, a period of incubation of thoughts and words. By attending you are propelled into a different realm that everyone who participates understands by experiencing it. It isn’t something you can necessarily write about or listen to. You have to experience what took place. And experiences are made with people. We are social animals. We like to be with others to share, understand and have a venue to express what we think and believe. And that is what Northern Voice does.
Our national anthem has a phrase “the truth north strong and free”. I sense that in a fashion at NV. The strength is from who we are, the free is our ability to express it. Thanks to everyone who was there.