Northern Voice is back for a third time! Registration is open now for this fun Canadian blogging conference, scheduled for February 23 and 24 at UBC in Vancouver. This Friday December 1 (tomorrow!) is the final day for speaker submissions.
Of course I’m a big fan of Northern Voice. Ted and I have attended the first two, and I was honored to speak at both. Sharing my ideas with others, and the discussions, stories and feedback that followed, has been exciting and rewarding. I can still remember giving each presentation. It’s been fun watching the conference grow, watching relationships grow, and watching other bloggers and myself grow and change during the past two years. More than once I’ve seen a theme debut at Northern Voice session and then be featured at another conference later that year. I’m grateful I was selected as a speaker twice: I encourage anyone who is interested to submit a proposal and do it soon!
My whole family loves Northern Voice. As Boris Mann wrote, this IS your mother’s conference, and I’ll say it is your kid’s conference too. Hey, it’s your whole family’s conference. Bring ‘em all! Back in ’05 I was impressed by the parents, mothers and fathers of bloggers, who accompanied their (grown) children. Last year the kids room was a thoughtful addition, an idea that was put to good use during the day as parents took turns attending sessions.
Why do I love Northern Voice? I think it comes down to three factors.
Passion (and Creativity)
The people behind Northern Voice believe in blogging. And the people who come are crazy about blogging too. It’s a volunteer effort, a labor of love, everyone bringing excitement and giving of themselves to the group, pouring out their creativity and strengths to share. Photo Camp and Video Camp - already being planned for Friday’s Moose Camp – illustrate this vividly (Ted and I both enjoyed last year’s Photo Camp). And what else does a purple logo of a moose with an iPod represent if not passion and creativity?
Between the Moose Camp unconference on Friday and the Saturday sessions, there are plenty of opportunities for plenty of perspectives, many Northern Voices, one might say. The low cost, the presence of family units, and the surveys reveal this value. The organizers are open to new ideas and doing things differently. They want to include a diversity in everything from gender to generations, from Second Lifers to knitters. Hey, they even include Americans and unexperienced speakers!
Passion + Inclusion = Community
When I think about going to Northern Voice, I think about the community. I think about sharing secrets over sushi lunches and hanging out in the hallways. I think about discussions, dialogues that happen during the sessions, and quieter one-on-one conversations in corners. I think about some of my favorite bloggers, some of the people who inspired me most, who all happen to be together in one room in Vancouver on a Saturday in February.
I hope to be there at Northern Voice 2007 and I hope to see you there too!