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Northern Voice Post-Mortem

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on February 25, 2008 at 10:46:31 am
 

Boris Mann hosted an informal Northern Voice Post-Mortem Saturday afternoon to get feedback for next year’s

!

(Blame Tod for the typos. I can't type fast.)

 

 

The Wiki

  • Maybe we need a wiki host? -- someone responsible for the wiki, like how Rebecca live-blogs (unofficially and generously).
  • Is it the most efficient way to do registrations?
  • There should be a screen-cast on how to use the wiki
  • Why are there TWO SITES?! (wiki and main site)
  • Wiki can be intimidating to newcomers?
  • Should we have an email list to promote the next (un-)conference? Non-bloggers probably won't follow the blogs or subscribe to the Moosecamp RSS feed.
  • Maybe get people to put a photo of themselves next to their name and blog on the attendees list.
  • Email list is a good idea, not everyone will follow the rss.

 

Registration

  • People want a single sign-up (not just one for the dinner, one for each day, blah blah...)

 

Human Graphing

  • Could have been publicized better
  • Maybe shouldn't have been done first thing in the morning?

 

Day One: BootCamp 101

  • Some BootCamp presenters seemed to just be "winging it" -- more work on the presentations needed
  • Podcasting 101 could have had more practical how-to content (e.g., how to use the Libsyn interface, etc.)
    • A "walk-through" isn't necessary per se, but at least some discussion on practicalities
  • Presenters should use the wiki more/better
  • "What's Next" presentation didn't really talk about what was next, but the topic that emerged was okay with everyone
  • Should we develop a ratings-system for expertise level? Seemed to be very different levels in the audiences.
    • Beginners/"Newbies": Dunce Cap?
    • Intermediate/"Normies": Star?
    • Advanced: "Alpha Nerds": Propeller Hat?
    • A "jargon-meter"?
  • But, shouldn't apply to everything, especially those where breaking up the group into expertise levels might mean there'd only be a handful of each
  • Do we even NEED a BootCamp? Does it mean the conference is inaccessible and therefore needs a bootcamp?
    • Necessary to have - a lot of people are new and could be intimidated from Day Two.
    • I hope the people who could use the bootcamp track learned a lot; I personally loved the fact that the separate bootcamp track significantly raised and homogenized the geek level in the moosecamp sessions compared to previous years. I think "segregating" geeks and non-geeks meant less wasted time for both populations.
  • The PowerBlogging session was a scam. It was advertised as instructional, but was really a marketing survey for the Flock browser. There were at least ten "Raise your hand if...".
  • Agreed. The powerblogging session should have been more honestly labelled as mainly a market research survey session. Market research spam. Audience wanted actual content. Flock spammed us.

 

Schedule

  • Need to do a better job 'splaining the sessions (more descriptive abstracts)
    • I found myself tracking down the presenters to ask what exactly the sessions were about, some titles weren't obvious as to what they were covering
  • How are our day-to-day life culturally impacted by all this?
  • Titles and abstracts often sound too generic or acedemic.
  • with Moosecamp, we were actually pretty light on sessions this year, and we could work on the scheduling/slotting process. There were a few that would really have benefitted from longer sessions, some that flowed naturally from each other and some that either needed bigger or smaller rooms.
  • Maybe a few more minutes between sessions, there wasn't enough time to say a quick word to the leader/speaker and also get into the next session on time (mostly re: MooseCamp/Bootcamp)
  • Post a big paper version of the program with abstracts/comments, etc. Basically an offline version of the wiki page (not everybody were online during the conference).

 

Steering Committee

  • We don't have anyone representing the "newbie" delegates... committee is all alpha-nerds
  • it might be nice to have a bit of rotation of committee members to give some other folks a chance too

 

Non-Profit Tech Expo

  • Does anybody have thoughts on this, from an attendee's perspective?
  • Good idea to have them, maybe have more next year.

 

Ask an Expert Booth

  • Was this a good idea? How can we do it better next year? Of course, if you needed the booth, you may not have sufficient wiki-fu to be able to post your answer here.
  • Where was the booth hidden? Read about it but didn't see it.
  • The Booth was too hidden as the signage was reaaaaaaally small.  Also, the Voxant people didn't realize the booth went longer than 3pm, so, after that point, the booth was half dismantled and gone by 4.  Perhaps it needs to run shorter and in a centralized location where it won't be ignored.  Otherwise, I think it is a good idea since the conference does have a lot of new bloggers running around.
  • I think the booth is a good idea. But, in the afternoon, the Expert booth looked like a Voxant vendor booth.  I was surrounded by three yellow shirts, one of which sat at the table on her computer directly in front of where people should ask questions.  I asked if they were sponsors and they said "yes". If this is true - please do not have live sponsors for the booth -  (or any other permanent by-standers) - it limits interaction.  What are they sponsoring exactly?

 

Random Comments

  • "Sheriffs" a cool idea
    • I must've missed the announcement of this. I saw a few sheriff stars on Saturday but didn't know what they meant
    • maybe use some term more obvious for the helper than sherriffs, plus bigger more noticeable badges, especially if you're going to only mention what they do one time.
  • We should have a place where people can answer questions from newcomers in advance of the event (on the wiki?)
  • Food was AWESOME! Thanks for providing the yummy lunches, it gave all of us that much more time together to talk. EXCEPT that it ran out whilethere was still a long line up (saturday) and it took a long time for replenishmnet to arrive.
  • Coffee was poor. It must be possible to get a better supplier and delivery method
  • Plus have coffee and tea during the whole day, and water, maybe somewhere in the corner
  • Somewhere to hang coats and check bags is needed
  • Possible expanded role for sheriffs — as "translators," which some helpful people were doing already. (Example, I didn't know that "enterprise social" meant "using social media inside a company" until someone said that Bonnie's topic on the Ambulance Service was the same topic. A-ha! - LJ)
  • Human Graphing is a good ice breaker. Doing it early in the day before sessions start insures maximum participation. Next year a question can be:  "How many years have you been attending Northern Voice?" Handout sheets would remove some of the confusion among people [data points].
  • Maybe have a piece of paper next to each room used with the names of the sessions and the times.
  • Overall very informative, fun and useful conference. Kudos to the organizers.
  • Great Pork at the party. Would be nice to have a place closer to the conference and cheaper beer though next time.

 

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