The first annual Social Media Camp in Victoria was held on Sunday, October 3rd at the Victoria Conference Centre. Roger, Kendra, and Crystal attended from the Radar Hill team. Here is Kendra’s perspective…
It was good overall! I skipped the introductory speech since I arrived a little late and wanted to browse the kiosks out front. The morning lectures were best; Naomi Bishop and Mike Vardy had a great panel and were very detailed in their answers to audience questions. Joel Marans and Terry Rachwalski’s panel was much more B2B-oriented, but there were definitely useful things to be gotten out of that panel. Scott Stratten — well. Go read his blog and note that half my (handwritten!) notes were in caps (or were silly quotes). I think that speaks on its own.
Lunch was at the Sticky Wicket, mainly because it was right at the corner (and we were running out of time for going “Where do you want to eat? I duuno, where do you want to eat?”). Slightly on the pricey side, but very prompt service and some very good Asian-style chicken salad. (They didn’t say what kind of Asian. Thai? Vietnamese? Taiwanese? Either way, delicious.)
After lunch, Chris Parson and Kris Constable’s panel on privacy was a bit of an eye-opener* but unfortunately not very well presented. (* Evidently the Canadian government and other organizations aren’t allowed to directly monitor most of our online activities, but it is perfectly legal for them to go get that information from American companies like Google, to whom those laws do not apply. Worryingly large loophole, that.) I’m not sure how much of what they said really resonated with the audience, but they were particularly interesting to talk to on the floor after the lecture. (There are very few people with whom I can bring up 4chan and the Human Flesh Search in the same sentence and then move on to discuss the legalities of online pseudonym use in regards to said topic.)
The next panel (for non-profit organizations) wasn’t anything I hadn’t really heard before technology-wise, but it did offer an interesting insight into our local charities and what they’ve been doing and how much they’ve been struggling with fundraising.
Since we’d decided to try to spread ourselves out among as many panels as possible (so later we could share notes on the really good stuff), I decided to attend Raul Pachego-Vega’s panel on behaviour modelling for social media (using large environmental movements as an example). I don’t think I got as much out of that as I could have. That, and lunch was kicking in. After that was Jose Albis’ panel on self-publishing, which suffered an unfortunate combination of an extended projector failure and a lot of information that I already knew. (Things probably would have gone better if he’d just gone ahead and started speaking while the tech guys got the slideshow working, but instead everyone just kind of waited around for it to work.)
The last panel was the Future of Media (big media, news channels and newspapers in particular) with Scott Fee, Andrew Macleod, and Sean Holman. I say ‘with’ since it was really a big discussion panel, with lots of questions and challenges and opinions being thrown around. Still not convinced that paid journalists will disappear off the face of the earth with the continued growth of online networking, or that people will decide they don’t have the need for official, organized and regulated news sources and “government watchdogs”. I think there will almost definitely be a complete remodelling of the current news companies, but it isn’t going to happen all at once, and whether small local news companies will get a louder or smaller voice is still up in the air.
Lastly, there was the shortest closing address I have ever had to sit through, which was awesome. I had completely lost track of Crystal and Roger by then, so I have no idea if they went to the afterparty. I considered it, but eventually my need for sleep outweighed the need to party with very little pocket money.
I think that covers all of it!