On Saturday, I attended BarCamp Tdot (aka BarCamp Toronto). Big shout-out and thanks to the organizers David "burbon is not my friend" Crow, Deborah Hartman and Jay Goldman from Radiant Core. Also thanks to Mike Glenn from Radiant Core. And Patrick Dinnen, Jason Roks and Gabe Sawhney from Wireless Toronto did a great job wiring the space!
We semi-officially launched BlogHer North at BarCamp Toronto. Thanks to the folks who participated in our session and offered their ideas and their encouragement. I was particularly struck by both the earnestness of a number of men who may not fully understand *why* BlogHer needs to happen, but who support it as well as the larger issue of diversity that needs to be represented across this Web 2.0 community of ours. Jen Nolan posted our session notes, Miriam Verberg blogged about BarCamp Toronto, Drupal Camp and BlogHerNorth, and Sandy Kemsley blogged about it as well.
Our session was really quite diverse. I really appreciated all the folks from Vancouver who showed up. Quinn, we'll definitely be after you to participate - thanks for your thoughts! Lucia .. interesting observations on writing styles between men and women. Albert -- great storytelling insights! And so many others (whose blogs/urls I didn't get but who contributed: Roland, Ryan, Drew, Matthew, Lynda, Jen, Richard, Eli, and Luciana.)
Peter from The Blog Studio led a session on Blogging for Business. Geared more towards the small business/entrepreneur, some good insights into using a blog for your business.
- Using a blog is a strong tactic when your knowledge about something is your strongest business asset and *why* people would choose you.
- Blogs can reduce the sales cycle
- Traffic Generator: Blog Carnivals. Also, leaving comments, joining specialty communities, buying keywords, tagging. Leverage existing marketing channels (retail storefront, business cards)
One thing I was really impressed with about Peter's talk was that he identified a couple of "time sink" topics and asked if people were interested in discussing them. Great facilitation technique and way of setting session expectations.
Ryan McKegney and Derek Szeto from Clear Sky Media (creator of Red Flag Deals) led a great session on Making Money Online in Canada. We discussed affiliate programs and online advertising as well as other models like subscription and "fremium".
Finally, Albert Lai from Bubbleshare led a session (that spun out of our BlogHerNorth session) on designing interfaces for novices. Some great discussions! Albert talked about how knowing his audience drove Bubbleshare's development priorities (e.g. audio captioning took precedence over tagging). Key notes for me:
- examine emergent behaviours in the use of software; good cue for further development.
- we will likely have to wait for technology (and the developers) to catch up with our large variety of learning styles and our metapors
BarCamp Toronto was a good time .. I had to head out early, but had some great conversations. Thanks to all of you who took the time to say hi and how you liked my blog (yes, I really do use a Moleskin notebook!)
Update: Links and thanks added per Patrick's, Quinn's and Roland's comments!