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Northern Voice notes

February 22nd, 2005 · 10 Comments

The combination of participating as a speaker and attending as a family made the experience of Northern Voice a different blogging conference for me. I took few notes and skipped a couple sessions. Usually I create detailed transcripts in blogposts and immerse myself in the talks, but this time I had other considerations.

It was fun to share it all with my family and make new friendships. While bringing the kids changed the dynamics and schedule possibilities, it also helped us connect to others too: what a place to find new playmates! The girls were able to see Mommy speak at a conference. Having Ted there with me was infinitely better than trying to describe it over the phone to him.

I was able to listen to Tim Bray and Robert Scoble’s keynote talks. I appreciated Tim’s emphasis on humility and correcting oneself, while at the same time he encouraged bloggers to flame judiciously and express themselves with color and authentic tone. His soup analogy(and picture) caught our daughters’ attention, and so did his humming method of voting. I could relate to can’t not write as a reason to blog…

Robert in his talk revealed how he is noticing and aggregating trends as he reads blogs. I think the proverb that comes to mind is ear to the ground. Listening. Although he does use PubSub for search feeds, for example to read about the phuket tsunami, he said that such feeds were purified sugar, not nutritious or sustaining. I like that he wants to read blog feeds in order to build relationships: he’s into people not just information.

My own talk was an intense and rich experience. Thanks to the Northern Voice organizers, I felt I had freedom to be creative with my time. In a previous post I described how I crafted the talk, immersing myself, and it felt as if I were throwing a pot on the wheel. Stories from my life combined with pictures from my blog and quotes from other bloggers. I also felt relaxed and comfortable as if I were speaking to friends (I was!). Getting the talk started took a little effort and nerves, but soon I felt more myself than I had when I practiced for Ted Thursday night. Perhaps this sense of casual conversation made my talk less polished and blurry than ideal. Also, like a new pair of jeans, I suspect that a presentation fits better the more times it is “worn”. This opportunity at Northern Voice was a new pair of jeans, a new outfit for me, figuratively, a gift, and I’m grateful I was chosen to be a speaker.

After I finished my slides, we began a discussion. Many hands went up in the room to participate. I enjoyed hearing stories, observations and insights: I wish we had had more time to share with each other. Again, if anyone would like to continue the conversation please link or email me.

At this point, I don’t think I will post notes from my talk. Since my presentation involved both slides and speech, it would be difficult to share it unless I made a webcast or film. There is the possibility I may give this talk again, so I would prefer to preserve some intrigue.

Most of all though, I don’t have to post notes because others have already done excellent work: thanks!. Please see posts from:

  • Derek Miller
  • ryan schultz
  • Live group notes taken on the Northern Voice site

    Here’s a list of some reviews of my talk:

  • Tim Bray
  • Marc Canter
  • Lisa Canter
  • Roland Tanglao
  • joann
  • Kirstin (1, 2 posts)
  • Richard Eriksson also mentioned my talk but I’m having a hard time getting a link to his post (help?!) updated

    Susan Mernit wasn’t present but had kind words to say also.

    And last night Ted posted his perspective.

    I enjoyed giving my presentation. I’m glad others enjoyed it too. Some said it brought tears to their eyes. I didn’t mean to make people cry! However I realized that although I didn’t start sobbing myself, I did internalize the emotions and intensity. I put much of myself into the talk. Saturday night after we got back to our hotel from the party, I fell asleep hours before my regular bedtime, exhausted (we all fell asleep!). I invested energy into my talk but it was worth every ounce.

    Our panelist session on personal blogging at the end of the day was low-key as our moderator Lauren Wood had desired. I enjoyed sitting on the stage with Arjun Singh and Susannah Gardner interacting with everyone else in the theater. Questions on deleting posts and personality development in blogs are ones I am still debating in my mind.

    From the Lightning Tool Talks, I’ll especially remember Nancy White. What she shared about feeling stupid (and what developers need to consider for the second wave adopters) resonated with me. Her perspective and presentation were powerful.

    I’ll also remember Northern Voice for the people I met for the first time. I enjoy discovering the blogger behind the blog and having a chance to chat face to face. Here are a few examples. I was glad to see joann and Kirstin after finding them through Technorati months ago. After passing by each other at a BloggerCon or two, I was happy to meet Eric Rice and Phil Wolff. Marc and Lisa Canter came as a family too, bringing their daughters to dim sum; it was good to hang out together. Suw Charman, I’m sure, gets the award for longest distance traveled. I’d met Roland at BloggerCon III, but it was great to meet the rest of the Northern Voice team. Thanks to Jay McCarthy, I met another member of the makeoutcity.com fan club: Richard Eriksson. Tim Bray and Lauren Wood were also wonderful, as were Darren Barefoot and his wife Julie, Boris Mann, and Brian Lamb to mention a few names.

    Thanks again to Northern Voice, to the organizers and attendees, and to the conference sponsors.

    I agree with Ted:

    The thing that I appreciated about this blogging conference was the opportunity to get together withe people from diverse backgrounds (i.e. not all technology people), and spend some time mixing it up. The organizers did a great job — there wasn’t chaos, but things weren’t over produced, either. By keeping the conference affordable, they made it possible for a different type of person to show up and find out what all the fuss was about. Northern Voice also reinforced my conviction that the smallest conferences are the best. I know that I’d show up for another one.

    That makes two of us…um…five of us…ready to sign up for another Northern Voice!

  • northernvoice

    10 responses so far ↓

    • 1 Dr. Ernie // Feb 22, 2005 at 8:13 am

      Congrats, Julie. Sounds like a powerful time — who’d have thought Tim Bray would (or could!) have tears in his eyes? I wonder if that’s part of the power of blogging, vs. traditional journalism — it honors and incorporates “emotion” and “intention”, rather than trying to be the ‘purified sugar’ of “reason.”

    • 2 Robert Scoble // Feb 22, 2005 at 1:34 pm

      I was crying in your talk.

      It was powerful.

      Have you ever thought of putting your talk out there as a PhotoStory? Here, look at this: http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=26910#26910

      I think a lot of people around the world would love to see that.

    • 3 ilona // Feb 22, 2005 at 1:35 pm

      well kudos to you- is it too outre to say “you go, girl!”….? If I ever get the chance I would love to hear that lecture 🙂 You have a consistantly good blog that I always enjoy,

    • 4 joann // Feb 22, 2005 at 10:10 pm

      It was a very good talk, Julie. Very thoughtful and from the heart.

      Thank you for sharing from your heart and your lives.

    • 5 Kevin O'Keefe // Feb 22, 2005 at 11:35 pm

      I was not there Julie but sounds like you did a wonderful job. I come from a different world in trying to empower good lawyers to blog as opposed to yourself who is able to share of themselves personally.

      Guess I feel need to be on guard in business to only blog as way to help lawyers market themselves. At the end of the day, I hope to make the world a little better by having lawyers share info with people.

      Was glad to see Nancy White was also up there. She was one of first people I sought out when I moved to Seattle almost 6 years. At the time was building virtual law community and loved the work she did with full circle, I believe it is.

      Keep up the great work Julie – you are moving people! One of these I’ll buy you a latte or tea at Pegasus.

      – Kevin

    • 6 Derek // Feb 23, 2005 at 1:03 am

      Maybe, given how we proselytize about weblogs, blogging is religious, or at least spiritual. One of the people in Julie’s audience identified a number of ways it can be thought of so: in the fulfillment some of us get from it, in how we indoctrinate our friends and acquaintances and even children into it, in how those that don’t blog are somehow unblessed.

      Then again, you could probably say the same about NASCAR fans, so let’s not get too heavy. Off to bed now.

    • 7 Neil K // Feb 23, 2005 at 3:48 am

      Julie, I was at NV but I missed your talk. I blame myself. I don’t think of myself as sexist, but I probably dismissed the subject as too touchy-feely — too “female”.

      And yet, when I review my notes, what bugged me about NV was the testosterone factor. I got sick of all the people liveblogging instead of listening, and the assumption that every blogger wanted to climb to the top of PageRank.

      I am dying to find out what I missed. I hope you find a way to put it online.

    • 8 /pd // Feb 23, 2005 at 6:59 am

      is there a podcast version ?? or video floatin around ??

    • 9 Neil K // Feb 25, 2005 at 11:17 pm

      Thank you for your reply on my blog. Sorry, I posted an obfuscated email address before — here it is plain.

      Re: testosterone, perhaps that was the wrong metaphor. I don’t want to ghettoize it as a male-female thing.

      In my experience blogging there’s a big disconnect between people who want quality relationships, and those who want quantities of eyeballs. I don’t know anyone who comes down in the middle there.

      If you could graph motivations, I don’t think you’d see a continuous “Long Tail”. It feels a yawning chasm.

    • 10 Neil K // Feb 25, 2005 at 11:21 pm

      Oh and, I’m glad you enjoyed Vancouver! There’s a reason people call it Lotusland. It can be a hard place to leave.

      Come by anytime!