One great thing about being in BC is the easy access to events that would really bypass sleepy Kent back in the UK. Today was my introduction to Northern Voice, a 2 day blogging/social media event, held out at UBC. If I’m honest, the journey took as long as it would have taken to get in to central London, but hey, the mountain views are better here.
Something that may be unfamiliar to some is the concept of the unconference. Put simply, participants create the sessions at the event. So, rather than hit the pre-announced sessions I decided to check out the ad-hoc sessions. There’s nothing like diving in, and my first session was the political use of blogging, which actually turned out to be a fairly civil event.
The presenters, Kathleen Milberry and Marc Lee outlined their use of blogging in the world of activism. Nothing earth shattering from either presenters or delegates which in some ways I find encouraging. Even though I’m late to the game, my hands-off, watching how blogging has developed over the last few years, has stood me in good stead and I’m comfortable with the hows whats and whys.
The next session was loosely based on citizen journalism, led by Lisa Johnson of the CBC. It seems that the Your Story pages of the CBC website haven’t existed for that long, which I found surprising as Sky and the BBC have been providing this kind of space for ‘Joe Public’ for what seems like an age, especially the ‘your photos’ areas. Many people I speak to have the perception that Europe/UK is ahead of Canada in a lot of respects – environment, mobile phones and banking to name a few. It would seem that I need to add Citizen Journalism to the list.
A fair start and there’s lots more to come over the next day and a half.