Sunday, March 8, 2009

Notes on the Summit

I attended the Nevada Interactive Media Summit held at the Reynolds School of Journalism on Saturday. Is it possible to suffer information overload, and still not have heard enough? The conference was designed in three groups of workshops per hour, over five hours, so I didn’t get to hear everything I wanted. Still, by day’s end, I had to go home and give my poor little brain a rest.

There were a few themes that nearly everyone was talking about. One of these was strategy. Most of the presenters were marketing people, as were a majority of the audience, but what is the goal of blogging? Every so often I come across a blogger asking: ”Why do I do this?” It’s a bit like asking a weekend artist why he paints landscapes. There are a thousand reasons, and no reason in particular. The more I do this though, the more obvious it becomes that there are abundant opportunities for the taking. The field is wide open, and setting some long-term goals would probably be a good idea.

Another constant throughout the day was the importance of mobility; that means gadgetry. Most of the talk was about programs and applications, but sitting here at my desktop is already considered somewhat quaint and old-fashioned. I put a lot of effort into keeping my life simple. This blog naturally reflects that. I’m not a gadget guy. Still, the place could use a little variety. I now have a much better idea of how to accomplish that without getting tied up in USB cables. I can liven it up a little while maintaining a minimalist approach.

One thing everyone could agree on was the need to filter out all the chatter and concentrate on only the things that apply to them. No doubt, there is somebody filtering out this blog post right now. There are some time saving techniques on how to do that, and there will likely be better ones coming along in the near future.

As hokey as it sounds, the best thing about these types of conferences are the people. The knowledge, ideas, and experiences, the friendliness, the focus, it’s a great way to spend a day. It’s always good to be reminded that behind every post, tweet, and camera shot is a human being trying to communicate. The fears of virtual isolation are much overdone, as the virtual has merged with the physical. Many of the presenters said they would post summaries on-line, so I’ll have an update with links up soon. Also, as I complete some new projects, I’ll be posting about how it went. For those that missed it, you’ll see it was worth the price of admission.


Mike McDowell said...

It was great to see you at the Summit yesterday. Good summary - poignant thoughts. Especially recognizing that behind all of this technology is a person trying to communicate.

Ann Onn said...

Thanks for this report. Either I'm looking in the wrong places or you're the first one who's posted anything on how the conference went.

Local So-and-so said...

Hi Mike, it was great to talk to you again too. Great presentation. Very professional. 5 minutes with someone who knows about this stuff goes a long way. I'm starting an RSS feed project first.

Ann, there didn't seem to be a lot of bloggers there (?): Marketers, business people, journalists and students. It could be the classes I took, but I don't think there were many bloggers.

Marion said...

How did you find out about this conference? how much did it cost?
If you don't mind my asking :-)
Marion said...

VERY good and quite interesting post. I suppose it is up to each blog editor how much they want to "junk up" their sites with all sorts of extranneous and distracting "gadgets". I personally detest the things and feel they detract rather than add.

As far as "why" we do this nutty thing, all I can say is it scratches an itch we all have. It's a helluva lot easier than carrying signs in protest on a sidewalk! heh heh heh... said...

Not trying to be a nuisance but this seemed pertinent to your discussion here.

Local So-and-so said...

Marion, so sorry. I thought I emailed you about it. It was $25. I don't remember where I first heard about it. There was some controversy over the use of the word "Summit", as opposed to conference or workshop etc. Originally they called it the New Media Summit, but nobody could define new media, and some people call it social media, so they settled on interactive media. Nobody knows what to call this stuff. I'll be sure to let you know about things like this as I run across them in the future.

Hey Tex, thanks for the link. I never would have found Hufpo otherwise.(Haha)

I'll be making a few changes here, and posting about how to do it. You might find it useful.

Ryan Jerz said...


I wasn't able to be there, but I did follow a lot of discussion on Twitter throughout the day. This link:

Will take you to the search page for the official hashtag of the conference, so all of the stuff on there should be about it.

From what I heard, it went really well. Several of the people there were people I would love to get a chance to sit and chat with more often, for sure. I wish I could have made it.

Keep your eyes peeled for other things that are much smaller in scale, but cover the same topics more frequently. We could be on the verge of building a really amazing community here that regularly gets together to talk some of this stuff over.

Local So-and-so said...

Ryan, great link.