Northern Voice 2009: February 20-21 in Vancouver

Northern Voice 2009

Set the date and mark your calendars. Northern Voice is returning for 2009.

In 2005, the organizers of Canada’s first weblogging conference put on an event that was inexpensive, informal, and accessible to techies and newbies alike. From those humble beginnings Northern Voice has been transformed into… well, actually it’s still cheap, friendly and open to all.

Without question, the event has grown due to the overwhelming community response. It’s added a second self-organizing day known as Moose Camp. We expect a few more attendees this year, in part because our space is larger. But the core values remain the same — we have held the line on costs, we try to make the event family-friendly by offering space for parents to establish cooperative child-minding, and we do the main event on Saturday so non-professionals can attend.

And although it is a weblog conference, the range of topics may involve anything that webloggers are interested in… that is, just about anything. Previous years have had plenty of geekery mixed with panels on how blogging interacts with family life, education, travel, photography, community building and establishing professional profiles. Speakers range from the big names at the top of the Technorati rankings to first-time presenters with a passion to share.

I’m not sure if I will try my hand at presenting this year as last year’s session on Podcasting 101 could have been done much better. Life hasn’t slowed down enough to refine that presentation, but there are things I would certainly do differently if I did find the time to get something worthwhile put together.

Truthfully, it’s hard to teach podcasting in a thirty or sixty minute session, but I wouldn’t mind giving it another shot if the opportunity presented itself. Probably should get another episode of RadioZoom out as well, but The Crazy Canucks are certainly going strong.

I’m looking forward to another year of social media fun. It’ll be interesting to see what everyone is excited about, but Twitter was so two years ago.

Podcasting 101: the blog post

After giving my MooseCamp session at Norther Voice 2008 on Podcasting 101, I learned a lot more about how things should have gone versus how it went.

Northern Voice 2008 by John Biehler
Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

There were a variety of factors that caused me to really struggle how you give someone an introduction on podcasting within 30 minutes that doesn’t leave them feeling like a bus just drove by them and smacked them in the face because they were standing so close and didn’t see that rear view mirror sticking out as much as they just saw the bus. I only use that analogy because it almost happened to me a few weeks ago.

Rather than go through the would, should, or could haves, I’m going to make a blog post that hits the same topics, laid out in a method that will allow folks to explore tools of the medium rather than generate buzz words that you’ll forget to Google later. Plus, this will help me develop a better method of being able to do something like this again, if the virtual tomatoes haven’t already been thrown at me.
Continue reading “Podcasting 101: the blog post”

Northern Voice Day 2: Keynote with Matt Mullenweg

I’m not going to say a lot as I wait for this keynote to start, but it’s incredibly cool to have Matt Mullenweg here to start the day off at Northern Voice 2008. So much of what I do is WordPress, so it’s pretty freaking neat that the guy who founded the project is speaking today.

Boris and Matt
Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

Interesting notes during the keynote:

  • WP 2.5 to have one click upgrades to plugins. WP 2.6 to hopefully have one click upgrade to core software.
  • Ha! This Matt just mentioned the Matt I mentioned in my last post. They are in a battle for the highest Google ranking for their first name.
  • “Kill the Megabrands”
  • “When you have the taste of freedom, it’s tough to go back.” Basically, no matter what the open source project is, everyone has the ability to contribute to it, knowing how to code or not.
  • Why shouldn’t the government have more open source information? Otherwise, they are just stealing from us and keeping information to themselves.
  • You can listen to his keynote here.

MooseCamp session: Podcasting 101

I gave my first ever, public speaking session at MooseCamp this morning, and things went… ok.

The truth is that I’ve been so slammed with work lately that my mind hasn’t been able to wrap itself around the talk until this morning. Around 6AM, I went running through Stanley Park and took the time to plot out a course in my head as to what I wanted to talk about. Thing is, the neurons in my brain are consistently jumping around, so I’m not sure I said everything I wanted to say or said things that made sense.

Podcasting 101, Host John Bollwitt
Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

I wanted to make a quick post with bullet point links to the things I mentioned and name dropped. There might be additions later.

  • – My initial podcast
  • – The podcast by Canucks fans and for hockey fans in general
  • RSS (Wikipedia) – The one thing that makes your podcast work
  • Ubercaster – The audio production program that I use to produce all my podcasts
  • Castblaster – A PC based program that is great for producing podcasts as well

Getting excited for Northern Voice 2008

Northern Voice kicks off tomorrow night with the super spectacular dinner, followed by MooseCamp and then the main event on Saturday. This week has turned out to be a lot more hectic that I imagined it to be, and it’s going to be non-stop all the way through Sunday.

The Crazy Canucks will have a fairly major part in all of this madness. I’ll be leading a session for an introduction to podcasting on Friday, our session on sports blogging and podcasting is Saturday afternoon, and then Sunday has our podcast crew front and center at GM Place for the Canucks Open Practice. We’ll be on the concourse raising a ruckus and having lots of fun with fellow Canucks fans at the event, media passes and our own location on the concourse included. All brought to you by those super cool folks at the Ultimate Canucks Search.

I hope to have more time to make more detailed posts about each of these things. In case I don’t find the time, you can’t say that I didn’t mention it.

Speaking at MooseCamp, Northern Voice 2008

Canada's Blogging and Social Media Conference Northern Voice 2008 is quickly approaching, and it will be here before I know it. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing because that means I have less time to prepare for actually participating this year. In fact, I won’t be just helping out with the event as much as actually being a speaker on both Friday and Saturday.

MooseCamp is on the Friday, and this year will be slightly different than previous years, if I have understood correctly. The intent is to have this day be more of an introductory track in terms of teaching and sharing the ins and outs of various elements of new media and all the various fun things on the internet that folks like myself like to use. It’s also an unconference[wiki] where nearly anyone with an idea for a session can show up that day and toss their hat into the ring to present something. Generally there is a gathering at the start of the day where everyone nominates what they want to see, and the winners get a time slot.

I’ve been asked to lead a thirty minute session on an intro to podcasting. I’m simply calling it, “Podcasting 101: You do not need an iPod – A crash course on what podcasting is and how you can become a podcaster”. With a short amount of time, there is no way you can cover everything you need to, so this will be more of an introductory session to give you more of an idea of the nuts and bolts of podcasting as well as a guide for things to think about beyond putting out your first episode.

I know I’m not a pro in that I’m making tons of money with the podcasts I produce. Still, I know how to make a podcast, and this is what I intend to share to anyone who wants to learn how that happens. Being that I’ve been podcasting with RadioZoom since 2004, I’ve seen the methods change and morph through many phases. And let me tell you, it’s so much easier now than it was three and a half years ago.

Photo credit: jeffreykeefer on Flickr

Northern Voice 2008 kicks in full force on Saturday. There are already a variety of sessions on the schedule that I know that I am looking forward to, but I’ll also be on a panel that day as well, this time as a full representative from The Crazy Canucks. In fact, we will all be there for a panel discussion on “Sports Blogging and Podcasting“. It’s a topic that hasn’t seen a lot of coverage in blogging conferences like this, so it should be interesting discussion, if not to raise awareness with the struggles that bloggers, who are fans, have when it comes to sharing their passion in what they write or podcast about.

So with that being said, I really need to get cracking. It’s not so much that I couldn’t spend thirty minutes talking about podcasting. It’s limiting myself to 30 minutes to talk about podcasting that will be tough, not to mention time for people asking questions. Here’s hoping that all those speeches in college paid off.

Registration is open for Northern Voice 2008

MooseCamp session run down 6 Registration is now open for Northern Voice 2008!

This is the fourth, annual new media conference that I had the opportunity to attending last February for my first time. The deadline for speaker submissions has come and gone, so the next step is opening the event up for attendees. NV is in February again this year, and the dates have been set for the 22nd and 23rd. Single day registration is $40, and it is $60 for the entire conference, per person.

Also worth mentioning is the pre-conference party that will be happening on the Thursday night before the event at the Tiki Room. It was last year’s party that introduced me to a lot of people who are common friends and faces, so it’s certainly worth attending. Just don’t call it a “networking thing”. That’s so lame.

I’m really looking forward to this year’s conference. With my day job, getting back into the fray of blogging and podcasting can be a bit of a challenge. That’s doesn’t stop me with doing my best to pay attention to what’s going on with the rest of the world, or Vancouver for that matter.

NV07 - Blogging 101 #6

So much has changed in the world of new media, social media, online communities, and so on, just since last year. Last year, Twitter was all the rage. Now we have Facebook. What new things will people be talking about? What has stayed the same?

Still, the forces of blogging and podcasting are still driving hard. Always looking forward to what other people are doing to breathe new life into something “old”.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

In about a month, give or take one to five because the Canadian government is just that awesome with paperwork, I’ll have my green light to be fully employable. We haven’t had the bash to celebrate because this whole process has been a long story of hurry up and wait. It’s a multi-stage process where you’re happy to hear good news when you just start to abandon all hope. Then there is a wave of elation, followed by the reality of more paperwork that you have to send in to start the waiting process once again.

The biggest dilemma is the question that I’ve been fielding quite often lately, and Northern Voice was the worst places of all to have this come to be a moment of clarity. What do I want to do once I’m able to, legally, work?

That’s a lot harder for me to answer with a simple, concise, non-lengthy explanation. I have seven years experience in radio, a combination of on-air talent, production, producing, I.T. and engineering(not uncommon for people in radio these days to wear many hats). There’s the fact that I’m interested in all things new media, especially the world of podcasting and blogging.

I’ve been doing designing of websites since I was 16, wavering in and out of doing a lot of it. For a time, I worked for my parents where we had a side project doing this for local businesses in the town I grew up in, a different time and era for sure. Blogging has really brightened my understanding of PHP, SQL, and CSS a whole lot, and I’m in the middle of a couple of projects, unrelated to my current ones, that are using these skills in full force.

So when someone asks me this question of what do I want to do, it’s tough. Would I like to get into the radio market of Vancouver? Absolutely, and I’ve actually interviewed with a lot of the major players since first coming here in 2005, CKNW and Team1040 being a few prominent ones to mention. All those ventures came up short when they get to that part about having the necessary status that makes you legit for getting a paycheck.

I’m gearing up to start the hunt when the time comes, but there is no simple answer to the question. I’ve had the past year and a half to think about it, and during that time, I’ve watched a lot of opportunity pass me by, if not slip through my fingers. That’s bound to change, and Rebecca can’t wait until she can have me out of the apartment more often. Quite frankly, I can’t either.

Trust me, everything I have done in life has been an earnest effort of tackling it with persistence. More than a few people in Vancouver have mentioned that about me, and I hope that was a compliment.

Vista inspires people to switch to Apple

In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed something about the release of Windows Vista. Basically, there’s not a lot of excitement to it. People talked about it for years, saying that it was going to be this completely awesome OS that would rival everything Apple has been doing. This is exactly the type of thing that I.T. folks fear to hear, and with all the different flavors of the OS you can buy, it’s an unbelievable nightmare.

Truth be told, I have seen very little of what Vista can do. I have very little interest in doing so. Why? It’s the way Microsoft has been promoting it.

Global, a television network here in Canada, has segments where the announcer guy says, “This Gobal preview powered by the new Windows Vista.” Then they show previews for TV shows in various ways in that Vista must be so awesome. And… it’s not. I’m sure all of the computers across the entire network have it installed on every system and the whole ship is running smoothly as well.

Even more interesting are these posts by Chris Pirillo and Duane Storey. Quite simply, they’re both fed up and bought Macs. I guess Rebecca had a conversation with Duane about it at Northern Voice, and he joked about getting a MacBook soon. When we got home on Saturday, he already had that post up on his site, using his new MacBook, of course.

It’s an interesting trend. I’m sure there are a lot more people out there that can speak to this. My hope is to get Rebecca switched over to the Apple world soon, and all the “cute, little, white MacBooks” that she saw all over at Northern Voice has her chomping at the bit. Being a windows user all her life, she’s just as unimpressed with Vista as I am.

Regrouping from NV07, meet ups, and our first year

It’s been a hectic past few days, but I’m getting back into the groove of things. For the most part, I think I’m there. If anything, this post is going to be a bit of online notes to expand from for future posts. You know, once it’s out there, then I’ll have to do something with it. You know what I mean?

First off, thanks so much for your good wishes for our first anniversary. I think I’m still trying to recoup from the entire weekend, even if we did spend it doing a bunch of geeky things. When you do things like that, you start to splurge on other things, like having a beer with your lunch because it’s your anniversary. Sunday was just a string of such events, and it all hit me last night, making it really hard to get out of bed this morning.

By the way, Poncho’s on Deman, here in Vancouver, has some really good Mexican food. I’m not such a big fan of peas in their rice(normally there is much more of an onion taste, not to mention an orange tint versus brownish-white), but the chicken fajitas are almost worth dying for. Been there a few times, but first time with the fajitas, certainly won’t be my last time.

Quick break down of goings on, podcast meetup this past Sunday, the whole Northern Voice 2007 has left me with plenty of thoughts to expand on, and the NHL trade deadline was today. Canucks did some stuff last night in terms of getting some new blood, but the bigger news was Bertuzzi moving to Detroit and Ryan Smyth moving to the Islanders. Mad crazy excitement this morning, and I got completely sucked in.

The other change is in our apartment. I’ve got myself moved around a little bit, but the kitchen/dinning area has been freed from my grip. It might take a little getting used to, but at least we have a clear area to sit and have dinner now. Haven’t checked the change of acoustics for recording any podcasts yet, but it’s not like we have a superb setup, in terms of soundproofing, to begin with.

More to come soon. Need to get my head sitting straight and a handle on my new view. Proving to be difficult today.