Northern Voice 2009: Stewart Butterfield Keynote

The first keynote of the conference was from Stewart Butterfield, one of the co-founders of Flickr. I really liked his session, mostly because as he said “I don’t need to have a point right?” He started out by sharing his history on the Internet – starting with his schooling at UVic, usenet groups, etc. His first three handles were “ui503”, “sbutterf”, and “dsb26”. Stewart is only ten years older than I am, but that’s enough for many of his first experiences on the net to be unknown to me. Very interesting stuff.

Stewart Butterfield Keynote

Stewart repeated this phrase throughout his presentation: “This is who I am.” He said he didn’t want to talk about identity too much, but he started with that and made his way toward talking about community. Stewart says that community changes the phrase to: “This is who we are.”

Next, he moved on to Flickr and photography. Stewart identified three trends:

  1. Ubiquity of capture devices
  2. Spread of the network
  3. Change in perceptions and attitudes – participation is no longer weird

He said that the desire to participate is becoming widespread. I think I agree with him that one of the most interesting aspects of “Web 2.0” is the drive toward participation.

Stewart’s last point was that we’re in an era of “relationship-based computing”. I think that’s a good way to describe it.

He finished by saying he loves the Internet. Me too!

I think this was a great way to start the conference – entertaining, and not too much thinking required.

Northern Voice 2009 Speaker Submission: Examining Twitter’s Impact on News Media

artwork by basco5I’ll be making my way to Vancouver once again this February for Northern Voice – Canada’s blogging and social media conference. I’ve attended every year since the event started in 2005, with varying levels of participation. In that first year, I was on a media panel. In 2006 and 2007, I did some recording and podcasting of the sessions. And last year, I was just a regular attendee. This year, I’d like to throw my hat in the ring to be a speaker. What would I like to talk about? Why, Twitter of course!

The deadline for speaker submissions is Friday. My intent with this post is to get some feedback – do you think what I’m pitching here would be an interesting and worthwhile session? Here’s what I’m thinking:

Examining Twitter’s Impact on News Media

Whether you “get it” or not, Twitter has changed news media forever. The microblogging service continues its push into the mainstream, and is wreaking all kinds of havoc along the way!

In this session we’re going to see how Twitter is impacting news media around the world. We’ll take a look at some notable examples from 2008, with particular focus placed on the American and Canadian political events. We’ll see why Twitter is the best place for breaking news, and how large news media organizations are starting to take advantage of the service – both for broadcasting and listening.

Local news is also being greatly affected by Twitter. We’ll examine one Canadian city in particular, Edmonton, to see how Twitter is used throughout the month of January 2009. Using data retrieved primarily from Twitter Search, we’ll examine the statistics (such as number of tweets posted, what time of day is most active, etc.) to identify trends and to help us correlate tweets with the local events and news of the month.

Finally, we’ll quickly examine how Twitter’s impact on news media translates to other industries – no one is safe!

I’d love to hear any comments or feedback you might have, as well as any suggestions on how to improve the session. Leave a comment below, or email me if that’s more your thing. I’d also encourage you to keep an eye on the Northern Voice site for updates! Thank you in advance!

Off to Vancouver for Northern Voice

nv2008 It’s that time of year again! Later this afternoon Megan and I are flying to Vancouver for the fourth edition of Northern Voice, Canada’s blogging and social media conference. And as usual, I’ve left far too many things until the last minute. Ah well.

Lots of people have asked me this, so I figured I should blog about it: I am not doing any recording this year (I did some recording in 2005 and again last year). I’m just going to enjoy the conference as an attendee. That said, I am bringing some recording devices. And a webcam…maybe we’ll have some live streaming!

There are lots of ways to follow along this weekend. Keep an eye on the nv08 and northernvoice tags at Flickr, and also on the NorthernVoiceBloggers channel on Jaiku. And of course, I’ll be twittering and blogging here.

Have a great weekend and I’ll see all you Northern Voicers shortly.

Northern Voice Conference Day

Post ImageWe just finished recording the keynote session with Anil Dash at Northern Voice 2007, and I am now in the “Blogging 101” session. The recording is going fairly well, and the audio recorders have picked up the presenters better than I expected given all the background noise you get when everyone has a laptop in front of them! We recorded the keynote in video, and it looks very good. Dickson is uploading it now I believe, so it should be up soon.

Yesterday was a little chaotic for us, as expected. Moosecamp is a very ad hoc kind of event, so we weren’t sure about what to record. For that reason we ended up recording more than we planned, though some of it sounds kind of random. Fortunately the schedule today is well defined and static, so Sharon took the initiative and helped us decide who is recording what. Audio episodes will be up very shortly after the session, video will take slightly longer.

Hopefully I’ll get to blog more today than in the last couple days, but at the very least I wanted to get this quick update posted. Also, if you want to check out the quick interview I did yesterday after Moosecamp with Darren Barefoot, you can watch it here.

The welcome message is up!

Let the podcasting begin! We just uploaded a very quick (under 3 minutes) welcome message to the Northern Voice podcast to introduce ourselves and our plan for recording the conference. Here are the most important links:

I should also point out that you can find specific episodes by browsing our categories and our tags. And you can find feeds for all the formats we convert to here.


Read: Welcome Message

BBQ, Curious George, and more!

After the wrap up at Moosecamp today I went on the photo walk to Stanley Park with Dickson, Megan and a bunch of other Northern Voicers. The weather was fairly nice so we got to take some good pictures while enjoying the walk. The BBQ was Boris Mann’s idea, and it went very well!

Eventually we decided to head off, stopping for Starbucks on the way. We went to the one at Davies and Denman, and I have to say it is probably one of the largest Starbucks I have ever been in! So roomy.

We just got back from the theatre – we went to see Curious George. It was a great movie, and definitely a “kids” movie. Not like Shrek or something where there is innuendo for the adults, but a true kids movie. Don’t get me wrong though, it was very entertaining!

Lots of walking today, lots of paying attention, and now I am getting sleepy. We’re up early tomorrow morning for the actual conference day, and looking forward to it!

Northern Voice 2006

Post ImageJust saw on Darren’s blog that Northern Voice is happening again in 2006. Here are all the details so far (from Darren’s post):

  • It’s a two-day conference now, with Friday being a self-organizing thingy in the tradition of Foo Camp and Bar Camp. Saturday will be similar to last year’s conference. You can register for either or both days.
  • It’s going to be Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11.
  • It’s slightly more expensive than last year, but still absurdly cheap at CAN $30 for either day or $50 for both.
  • It’s back at UBC Robson Square.
  • We’re seriously considering holding a potluck dinner on the Friday night.

I really enjoyed Northern Voice 2005, so I am definitely looking forward to the second one. I really like the idea of Moose Camp too, that’s a good idea. Here’s the new website (I think the old green is nicer than the blue).

Read: Nothern Voice 2006

See you at Gnomedex!

Earlier this week Dickson and I registered for Gnomedex 5.0, taking place in Seattle from June 23rd to 25th. We’re really excited about the conference, and we’re looking forward to meeting a bunch of new people! If the conference is anything like Northern Voice, it should be a great time. We’re still working out the travel arrangements, but there’s lots of time left for that.

Julie Leung is listed as one of the many speakers, and I am really looking forward to her session. I missed her talk at Northern Voice, but it seemed to be one of the favorites. This year’s Gnomedex definitely has the podcasting vibe, with Adam Curry and Dave Winer keynoting, and a bunch of podcasters attending. I can’t wait to see what people are doing with podcasting in two months, it should be amazing.

If you’re going to be at Gnomedex (or in Seattle at the same time) and want to get together, let me know!