NV07: Overheard

I’m just kinda thinking to myself as Rebecca and I chill out for the night. Folks, we would have really loved to come party with you all tonight, but tomorrow marks one year of us being married. This means we have plans, and that includes even more partying for us. What that is, I’m not exactly sure, but we laugh in the face of adventure. Not that we’re brave, we just find it funny.

Speaking of funny, I have to list off some things I overheard at Northern Voice 2007 before I forget.

  • Sitting at a table at lunch with Anil Dash, trying to be patient for our waitress who apparently got lost when getting our bills taken care of: “We should start a fire. Need to get someone’s attention? We should start a fire.”
  • Dave Olsen during his session on podcasting: “I’m bi-platform, and I’m man enough to admit it.”
  • Tod Maffin on the Skype back channel (I’m only adding this because this new term makes me laugh and feel slightly uncomfortable, all at the same time): “Biobreak”
  • Rebecca on our way to lunch: “No drinking your lunch!”
  • David Drucker on the bus ride to downtown: “Sausage-fest? I just don’t think I could be one to get away with saying that.”
  • Derek Miller on the Skype back channel: “Sure, you laugh, but I’m safe here in my bunker with my pyramid hat on.”

This is all I can recall right now, and I’ll add more later if I can think of it. Feel free to add your own to the comments below. Right now, it’s time for wine and dinner.

NV07: Digital Photography on the Web

We’ve done a good amount of sharing the laptop, and it’s been nice to sit back and feed my brain a little bit this afternoon. Thing is, I feel like I’m already forgetting something. Just sat through Susie‘s session on why every website should run on blogging or CMS software. I’m a big proponent of that, so it was good stuff.

20070224(026) Kris Krug is running this current session on photography though. His stuff is really, really good. There’s no short way to explain that, and it’s talent that only comes after lots of time and thousands upon thousands of photos. Makes my cellphone pics from today pretty lacking.

Neat thing about this session, KK does a lot, if not nearly all, of his editing in iPhoto. As someone on the lower level like myself, this is fairly fascinating because I’ve found a lot of great tricks to make my photos look better than what my PowerShot takes. The enhance button is one thing, but I never like it. Glad to know that Krug doesn’t either, but there are little adjustments you can make as well.

Eyeball it. Plain and simple. Do something to change the photo, and if it looks good to you, then great. You might just develop a style, which I’m starting to wonder about mine, whatever the hell that is. The fact that I’ve had too much coffee and not enough water to compensate means blurry photos. I just can’t keep my hands that steady right now.

I’m learning a few things that I never have before, even about this three year old pocket cam. I think the reason I love my little digicam is the fact that I can do more with the LCD display that I probably could with an SLR. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t like one, but I can do fun things with a very small camera that fits in my back pocket. Sleuthy, if you will.

Day’s coming to an end. It’s been a great Northern Voice. Will have to think about it more later, but I’m more so looking into relax for the next 48 hours, though I’m sure I’ll dink around on that laptop.

NV07: The Three P’s of Podcasting

Dave. Podcasting. This means good stuff. I’ve written a lot on this subject, so I’m going to sit back on this one. I’m sure this will fuel posts for the future and cause me to spout off on something about podcasting.


Alright, some thoughts as Dave goes along. Thank you, Dave, for telling people to break the rules. Yes, there is something about doing it well, but don’t think that you HAVE to make something that is confoundly professional. Do what you love, and love what you do. That should be the number one thing out of everything that you produce. I’m watching some critics in the room shake their head at some of these thoughts, but if you don’t like it, then don’t listen.

Update: Lunch at Mahoney and Son’s was a good place, but we totally picked the wrong table. Great company, slow to the service. The three other tables of Northern Voicers, two of which got there after us, were fed, billed and gone way before us. Guinness was tasty. Missing the just after lunch session, but oh well.

NV07: Blogging 101

Richard Erickkson leads this session, and it is a bit of a refresher course for some of the folks in here. There is no problem with maintaining a fresh frame of mind of everything that is out there, but it’s also fascinating to hear what is being told to those who are looking to discover or progress in their understanding of what blogging, and everything else that stems from it, is and can be.

20070224(005) I actually “met” Richard last night on the bus for my journey home, but I decided to try to grab another bus at the last minute and ran away from him before the doors trapped me on the 99 B-Line. Turns out, that other bus I wanted wasn’t the 44, and apparently those stop running at some point. Oh well, but I told Richard no hard feelings. I was sure to apologize about that this morning.

He’s been doing this since 2000. Makes my venture into blogging, starting in 2004, seem petty, but holy crap, it’s 2007. Three years doesn’t seem like a lot, but from where I started to where I’ve gone makes it that way for myself.

Good things already today. Splitting my laptop with Rebecca today, so posting will be much lighter(totally need to get her one soon). Check out the flickr though.

NV07: Good morning

20070224(002) Anyone else have a MooseCamp hangover? Sitting in the keynote right now, things are a bit exciting. Took us three buses to get out here, but we made it without much problem. Actually ran into Jim Pick and Jason Vanderhill on the 99 B-Line out to UBC. Sparked lots of discussion about yesterday and last night. They were jealous of Rebecca and I getting a tour of the CBC. Was good to see Tod Maffin looking as “refreshed” as we are this morning, but that was totally worth it to get my radio geek on.

Special note at the start of this morning: Get well, Derrek. In the meantime, I need to do just one thing at a time this morning, and that’s listen to Anil. More later.

NV07: MooseCamp post-game & CBC tour

I’m so beat right now, but there was so much to take away from today’s events. I met a lot of really great folks as well. I want to list all your names and link to your sites, but people, I’m too freaking lazy to do that right now. I swear that I’ll fix that soon because you are all awesome folks and totally deserve the love.

20070223(057) And the reason I’m beat? Tod Maffin came up to me after that last session and said that people were meeting for some food at Library Square, then heading for a tour of CBC Vancouver. At that point, I was looking at either hanging with Cosmo, DaveO, and crew, or just going home. But when Tod dangled that tour in front of me, I told him, “You’re teasing me!”

Rebecca cruised on down to meet us after an eventful journey back via transit, and I just happened to hop on the same bus as Tod. So there was plenty of web, radio, CBC discussion all the way there, and it kinda continued over dinner. Rebecca joined right into the fray, and many wondered why she wasn’t there today. Don’t worry folks, miss604.com will be there tomorrow. Seems many folks recognize her that way.

The tour of CBC Vancouver was great. I can’t describe it, but when I’m around studios like that, I get kinda lost. I really have to struggle to not wander off and have that “what’s this do?” moment. I keep my hands to myself though.

Good times, check out my flickr, and I’m ready for bed. Let’s do some more of this tomorrow.

NV07: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Last session for me today. This is a topic that anyone doing anything on the web can get obsessed with. I remember when I worked for my parents building website in the 90’s, trying to master everything there is to about this topic. Of course, this was before the days of Google, and meta tags were the hot thing. Thank god for Google.

20070223(034) Basics for those of you into basics out there, at least with blogging, link and be linked. That is the biggest thing. The more you spread the love, the more cross traffic you are going to get. Which reminds me, it’s high time I dig into my blogroll and do some spring cleaning. More so, add stuff that I’m reading. I like you, so I hope you like me too, at least when I add you to my blogroll, right? Yep. That’s geeky blogging speak.

Title tags(‹title›) are important, and so is the description in your meta field(‹meta name="description"›). Believe it or not, people still pay some attention to the meta information, more so when it comes to the overall description to your site. That title field is more impactual. It’s not about quantity as much as it is quality.

Interesting concept for a WordPress blog, SEO Title Tag. It’s a plugin that messes with your permalinks, adding whatever text you want into it, including the name of your blog or name. Think of it as extra branding for search engines that crawl yoursite, like Google. Just be careful. If you are established already, messing with permalinks can screw with everything else that links to you as it exists now.

That goes with any change that you do that makes is supposed to make it easier to find you. Links from blogs are pretty static, and the changes you make are more than like not to be changed by those authors that are linking to your content. Worry about maintaining that relationship before you think about getting a hundred others.

Too much good discussion to review, but it’s been a trip. Friday down, lots more tomorrow. We’ll see if I get the energy to post a review to today later. Time to think about getting out of here.

NV07: Mobile Photo and Video Blogging

I’ve been watching Roland Tanglao post various video blogs all over the place, so this is kinda why I thought it would be interesting to hear what he’d have to say on this subject.

There is talk about the lag that it takes to video blog, so I’m sitting here, creating a little experiment. I just shot about a minute of video with my Nokia6682. The quality might suck, but here’s what Roland is speaking to.

My phone ain’t the best, but you know that the technology is bound to get better with time. Regardless, the possiblities for the near future is going to be impressive. Doing this isn’t easy for everyone though. I’ve done this a handful of times that I’ve got the steps down pretty well. Content is just another piece of the story. (And my speakers are still not working on my PowerBook, so I have no idea how good the quality is there.)

And if you want more examples of this, look at all of my Northern Voice posts from today. Every single picture is from my cellphone. Why? I find it quick and easy. When time is the concern, this works a lot better than connection my digital camera via USB, download through iPhoto, upload to Flickr, and add it to a blog post. Like I said, I have this down to a pretty good science.

However, it’s still been about five to ten minutes since I’ve uploaded my 60 second movie to YouTube. There is some of the lag that has been discussed.

Update: Ok, fifteen to twenty minutes, still nothing from YouTube.

Update: Yeah, that took nearly 45 minutes. I get it. Lag.

NV07: Stats, The Forbidden Love

Oh the stats debate. As a blogger, you either love them, hate them, or don’t know about them. Once you know about them, you love them or hate them. Some people obsess over them. Personally, I’m half and half.

20070223(028) It’s nice to know, but knowing what you see is a whole other story. Then, what do you do with that information? It’s tough, but in the event that you want to make some money off your blog, sponsors want to know this information.

Interesting to note, if you use FeedBurner, they made some recent changes that caused a lot of people’s stats to go through the roof.

Honestly, Rebecca can speak to this matter way more than I can. She’s the one who has clued me into the power, and downside, of stats. You can find out how people are finding your site, but then you can also see what other people are saying about you, good and bad. Not the worst thing in the world because that opens up an avenue for discussion.

Recently, I had something I noticed off my stats, and it’s happening still today. So first off, let me say hello to all the people that are coming to my site for this post from this post on BuzzFeeds.com. My stats spiked the other day from their site because of something I wrote in December, but they linked to me as of a few days ago. Good or bad, that’s traffic. And more traffic is always nice.

There are a variety of tools that you can use for your site. Here’s the list, but you’ll have to Google them yourself: Sitemeter, Google Analytics, Hittail, Crazy Egg, Podstats, 103bees.com, MyBlogLog, AwStats, StatCounter, Reinvigorate.net, Clicky, Mint.

NV07: PhotoCamp

Let me preface this by saying that I haven’t had lunch yet. I got too wrapped up with being social and the time escaped me. So I’m sitting here in the PhotoCamp session, but my attention is all over the place.

20070223(020) One thing that I realize is that I’m already experimenting with the tips that the presenters are talking about. Now, by no means do I take the most amazing photos in the world. I view my photo-taking, because I hesitate to call it photography, to be not the worst thing in the world. I approach it from the same frame of mind as podcasting. You make do with what you got, and then you try to make the best of it.

Still, it’s hard to not have a lot of envy in this room, but I take comfort in the fact that I’m not alone. My little PowerShot isn’t the worst thing in the world, even though it’s nearly four years old. Its time is coming to an end, but I keep praying that it lasts me a little while longer.

I’m completely cellphoning it today. You can check out my flickr to see what I’m uploading as I go along, but there is no post-editing going up. Point and shoot, but there will probably be some of those classic “John shots” that I apparently take. Low-level, angled shots from weird perspectives or some junk like that. I don’t know why or how I do that. I just do.

This is all really great information though. In another life, I swear I was a cinematographer or something. If there was more time in life, I would love to do that for a living. Plus, taking neat photos is pretty freaking cool.