It seems like recently I’ve been writing a lot of ‘quick thoughts’ posts. I expect it’s because I’ve been extra busy, and only have time for semi-random bulleted lists of observations. Apologies, and I’ll try to improve.
Today was Moose Camp, our somewhat experimental self-organizing conference added on to Northern Voice. Here are a few early observations:
- I need to improve the face-to-name mappings in my name. I worked the registration desk, and I probably had to ask five people their names when I should have already known them. It was horrifying.
- Registration went smoother this year, partially because we’d learned lessons from last year, and partially because it’s distributed over two days.
- There was a good community vibe throughout the day. The section of UBC Robson Square that we used was ideal for this sort of open model of conference.
- I hardly attended any sessions, but I solicited lots of feedback throughout the day. My early impressions are that the sessions varied from lousy to excellent. I suppose this is what you’d expect from self-selected speakers.
- Another recurring observation that I heard was that people would have liked more interactive sessions. We never mandated the format of the sessions–we didn’t want to be that prescriptive with Moose Camp–but we might consider doing so next year.
- I wonder if the diversity of attendees hurts the self-organizing conference. Depending upon who was speaking and what audience participation was like, I think the level of discourse varied. Jeffrey Simpson doesn’t exactly say why it got his goat, but I think I get the basic idea when he says “devolved into arguments about technical details between the speakers and members of the audience, but it was the more abstract philosophical ones that sort of got my goat.”
- Best joke of the day was during the wrap-up, where each speaker offered a 30-second summary of their session. Somebody (I missed who) was talking about being from the mainstream media, and how they were starting to get blogging. Then somebody else yelled from the crowd ‘let’s get him!’ and somebody else yelled ‘burn him!’. Hee hee.
- More reaction from around the blogosphere, and zillions of photos are appearing on Flickr. This is probably my favourite: cutest volunteers ever.
As a footnote, here’s a simple but insidious example of tag spam. This asshat just looked at the most popular Flickr tags of the day and week, and associated them with his totally unrelated photo. This is why tags are a lousy kludge.