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Northern Voice Day 1 – A Recap

Last week I attended the Northern Voice Conference – Canada’s blogging conference.  While attending, James Sherrett and I took some detailed notes to share with the One Degree Community.
These shorthand notes represent what was presented at the conference.  For ease-of-use, I have formatted them with the Session Name, Presenter, its Big idea and a ha moments, as well as links mentioned in the presentation.

Day 1

All sessions were recorded and the recordings can be found through the Northern Voice page on Podcastspot.

Day 1: Northern Voice Moosecamp, where almost all sessions are available as podcasts and with notes in a wiki format.

Social Media and the Dispora

Roland Tanglao

* with greater diversity of experience available how can people connect with their communities?

* an investigation of how personal identity is fostered by social media technology

** in particular, how Philipino cultures all over the world have embraced blogging

* discussion on how our personal relationships are becoming more mediated through social technologies and how that can change them

** people have relationships with people that are deep and rich yet they’ve never met in person

* knowing someone becomes independent from meeting someone

* observation: we all have such diverse backgrounds that there are fewer standard, shared stories

* discussion of the conflict, negotiation and confluence of personal identities between the stories we collect and tell about ourselves and our inheritances — race, language, location all become changeable

* Roland brings up the notion of co-option — how people can play at being something they don’t believe that they are — he lived in Germany and could answer the phone in German so well that anyone on the other end believed he was German — so was he German? He never felt German.

* the person who first tells the story / who names the names is the first mover and they’re the first to tell the story so they have a responsibility to tell it correctly

*Overall* great session, reinforcing my belief that the best training for understand and dealing with online communities is a broad liberal arts background mixed with a technical / tool capacity

Audio for the session.

New Rules for New Communities

Lee Lefever

Nancy White

* we did an exercise where we stood up for how many communities we belong to with the number increasing and people sitting down as they no longer belonged to that many communities

** many people ended up belonging to more than 10 communities

** it’s incredible how many ‘communities’ we belong to

* communities can be built around a moment, a shared experience that people have that then gets aggregated

** a Flickr group, for instance

* Q: when does your affiliation with a group become part of your personal identity?

* many things on the web are temporary and fade away over time

** how to weight these things, for yourself and for others?

* many of us are dependent on communities to get our work done

** they show how interdependence affects our lives

** in communities of practice the connections make the effectiveness of community hyperefficient

** individuals within the community end up being specialists and members of the community come to rely on them for that specialty

* rules and practices are greatly context dependent

** the same action in different communities can have completely different outcomes, perceptions

** flirting, for instance

* great discussion about how our tools can affect our human practices — the blunt instruments of voting and allocating value through forms on web pages devalues the richness of our human social tools

* Nancy makes the point that methods are far more relevant and powerful than tools to get people working together

* social processes and the tools used to reflect / manage / coordinate them online have a huge gap

** tool makers are not necessarily tool users

** are not necessarily in touch with tool users

* At this moment someone from the back of the room, "I just wanted to say, I have some low-cost Cialis and Viagra if anyone’s interested." Ha! Turns out it was Ivan of — Genius! He spammed the discussion.

* community can be as simple as entertainment and fun or as engaging and infecting as a professional community

* communities can be used for whateven means a group collectively decides on

* communities describe a human behaviour and not an end state or a phenomena

** it manifests itself online in a very visible way

* at the end of the session we did a great job of going around the room and everyone just called out the word that most resonated with them

** it provide a great collective snapshot of what we’d talked about

* on the blackboard Nancy wrote all the words and connected them to create a physical tag cloud (in chalk, so not too much of an exaggeration)

** photo of blackboard though there must be better ones out there

Audio for the session.

Stay tuned for the Day 2 recap – to be posted next week.


  1. Wendigomuskoka
    Wendigomuskoka March 2, 2007

    “Overall great session, reinforcing my belief that the best training for understand and dealing with online communities is a broad liberal arts background mixed with a technical / tool capacity”
    I found this comment to be verging on elitist. Broad liberal arts background? Cut me a break! A desire to participate, A desire to advance thoughts and ideas or maybe just to feel part of something…come on…the university of the street =living life being involved blogging does NOT require a university background and this comment is a great way to cause insecurity and rejection and cause people without a liberal arts background to think oh well I guess I cannot measure up so i won’t bother. Sorry but this kind of thing drives me crazy!.people from all walks of life and with many different backgrounds blog and foprm communities. Many in the north-who have not had the elitist privileges associated with your remark due to economic pressures and liabilities have a greater sense of community than your remarks would suggest. Then there are the people who have technical backgrounds =maybe they are auto mechanics, financial planners, shift workers anyway you get my point. I remember when just being on the net made you part of a community regardless of your background.
    Course my rant would not be complete if I did not suggest that maybe the people who are expending all this energy to justify the existence of this ‘exclusivity in blogging communities should turn off their computers and venture out into the real world of their communities and try and make a life changing difference in them instead of pontificating online. enuff.

  2. James
    James March 2, 2007

    Hi Wendigo, thanks for the comment.
    To clarify, in no way am I saying that a ‘broad liberal arts background’ means a university degree or job at a think tank. I guess sometimes my notes can be a little stuffy!
    What I meant to say was that the best grounding for understanding and being part of online communities is a broad curiousity about people and our behaviours. In universities we’ve formalized this into areas of study — psychology, sociology, anthropology. But universities don’t own those ideas.
    Anyone can be a student of human behaviour. And study or understanding doesn’t live anywhere specific. It’s everywhere: in the garage, the classroom and the beer parlour. It’s people and culture and communication and the ability to articulate the things that make humans tick.
    And sometimes annoy them.

  3. Michal Wielgus
    Michal Wielgus March 3, 2007

    Thank you very much for these notes! It’s greatly appreciated.

  4. Wendigomuskoka
    Wendigomuskoka March 5, 2007

    Hi James,
    Thanks for the clarification. 🙂

  5. Bob Bartlett
    Bob Bartlett October 24, 2007

    does anyone know how to get Nancy White’s email address

  6. Nancy White
    Nancy White October 24, 2007

    You can reach me at nancyw at fullcirc dot com

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