Northern Voice 2009 is upon us, and I’m going

Originally, I had planned to participate in the organizing committee for Northern Voice 2009, and asked if the committee might need some help, but I was told that they didn’t need more people so I refrained from attempting to participate in the committee any further. Then I proposed an individual session and a collective panel (my session on ‘going from online to offline relationships’ and my panel on etiquette in an era of Web 2.0) and both were rejected. I understand the committee had hard choices to make, but my proposals were solid and I strongly believe they were both very different from other talks and very necessary right now.

The above facts would probably be more than enough to demoralize someone who (like me) doesn’t do blogging or social media as part of his/her professional activities (although this is actually going to change, but I won’t disclose anything more until I have formalized this). After all, I’m an academic. Northern Voice is NOT my audience nor it is my demographic. I’m a scholar of environmental issues and public policy, I’m not a tech person. There are other events, like the Western Political Science Association meeting happening in Vancouver in March that would be more up my alley.

However, after feeling demoralized, dejected (AND rejected), I pondered further about whether or not it made sense for me to participate in NV’09. Here are the reasons why I decided to go, despite my VERY tight budget and my initial feelings of rejection.

1. Northern Voice (the conference) is a great event, particularly for bloggers and social media people of all different walks of life. There is a great program with awesome talks and panels, and the organizers made a really conscious effort to try and accomodate as many talks as humanly possible. Just check the awesome 2009 program for Friday and Saturday.

2. It’s my first Northern Voice as the organizer of Vancouver Bloggers Meetup. The mere fact that I’m the local organizer of an event that attempts to create bridges amongst different bloggers makes Northern Voice a relevant conference. It is THE Canadian event for tech/blogging, and I *should* be a part of it.

3. My social media profile and online presence is entirely different from last year’s. Last year, I wasn’t on Twitter. I was blogging on Blogger (Blogspot). I had absolutely no photos on Flickr. This year? I’m definitely *out there*. I am self-hosted, on WordPress.org, I’ve learned to manipulate some of my own CSS. I’m MUCH more technologically savvy. Northern Voice is a common gathering place for us social media folks, and thus, I should go.

4. Many of my friends are presenting at Northern Voice 2009. There is ONE particular panel I absolutely can’t miss, come hell or high water. The participants know which one it is. The rest? There are a LOT of very interesting talks happening. I will try to make it to as many as possible. The problem is, yeah – they are simultaneous. So I will probably miss a lot of talks of close and dear friends of mine. And yeah, why not. I am also pitching a session on how to use social media to increase environmental awareness. So, if some people decide to attend my MooseCamp session, then it’s all good. I’ll be prepared!

5. Many of my friends are part of the organizing committee, or have been in the past. Just because of that, and because I know how much work there’s involved in organizing an event (I did have a small role in BarCamp 2008, you know?) and out of respect for these friends of mine, I want to go.

So there you have it. Those are the reasons why I am going to Northern Voice 2009, the conference. While there, make sure to introduce yourself if we haven’t met. In the tradition of other participations I’ve had in local events and camps, I will NOT bring business cards. I will make sure that you know where to find me.

Related posts:

  1. Liveblogging Northern Voice 2009 – I’m EXHAUSTED!
  2. Northern Voice 2009 – Social Media Mores for the Blogging Couple
  3. Northern Voice 2009 – Nora Young on Buried Hatchets and Better Tomorrows (Liveblog)
  4. Mike Klassen at Northern Voice 2009
  5. Northern Voice 2009 – The call for papers is out!

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