I had a chance to attend Northern Voice today at the UBC Forestry building. Northern Voice is a non-profit conference on blogging and social media. The attendance was 300 strong with some excellent content. I had the opportunity to hear and meet the keynote speaker, Anil Dash, Chief Evangelist of Six Apart, architects of popular blogging software Typepad, Type, Vox, and Live Journal. Anil was one of the first wave of bloggers and offered up great insight on the nature of blogging and the direction social networking and media is moving towards. He commented on how blogging has returned the Internet to what it was first mean’t to do, which was interactive communication between persons and groups who may otherwise never have met. He also commented on the increasing ability of online users to control the content and messaging they want to receive with tools like RSS feeds, as well as all the noise that still exists in the form of irrelevant or unsolicited emails. He made an interesting point about carbon copying people in emails, and how that is really bad etiquette. His feeling is that it’s like saying “you’re unimportant to talk to directly, so I’m cc’ing you on a conversation I’m having just to cover my ass on your time.” One thing is for sure, the increased usage of online communication has started to bring focus on what constitutes good manners. I think we’re all still a little fuzzy on the topic because it’s continually evolving.
I also really enjoyed Dave Olson’s session on podcasting. His whimsical, and sometimes hysterical presentation was void of PowerPoint and instead, supported by single word cue cards ala Bob Dylan. Podcasting is something I’m becoming more fascinated with and how it can be integrated into brand marketing and communication activities.