Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Random Thoughts from Day 1 at Mesh Conference

I've been "singing for my supper", volunteering at Mesh Conference 2007. It has been very worthwhile: I dig in enthusiastically when needed, and can act as a delegate attending sessions when not. It is a gig high in demand, especially among the students who did not manage to get in under the discounted student rate, so I am privileged to get in under this guise. Tuesday afternoon/evening I helped stuff the conference bags. Then we had a volunteer meeting that same evening to brief us and give us our "staff" shirts. We were given our schedules and assigned to our posts when we arrived today. I have done things such as prepare rooms for speakers, trouble-shoot problems setting up laptops for the sessions (mostly by finding someone who knows more unfortunately), answer lots of directional questions from delegates, distribute a press release, move signs around, and even take some informal semi-official photographs with a rather nice camera.

Since there are only a few specific sessions I wanted to target, I have enjoyed some of my tasks, going from room to room and hearing parts of the conversation. I'm amazed how many people are attending who I recognize (and recognize me) from last year. The beginnings of a real community feel like they are starting to form.

mesh conference

Some quick snippets of things I have learned (most from talking to others):
  • Women 2.0 - based on the U.S. group of the same name, a very new group of women are coming together to encourage young women to get into technology, and to support entrepreneurial women. They are the only booth at the conference, with clever marketing: a professional massage therapist giving out massages, and little promo cards of important women in geek history: Velma (from Scooby Doo), Foxy Brown, and Ms Pacman. At last count, Foxy Brown was proving only slightly more popular than Velma. If you are interested in supporting the group or getting involved, email them at
  • Amazing new collaborative company based out of Sudbury with many clients: ConceptShare.
  • Melcrum has just started something called Communicator's Network. It has just been launched and is not at full features yet, but you can have a sneak peak. I haven't tried it out yet, but it sounds like it may be a competitor to some currently social networking sites.
  • Minding mapping ideas is a good way to start developing podcast episode ideas. During Leesa Barnes' Podcasting 101 workshop, I was fortunate to have my idea act as fodder, and I am a step closer to realizing one of my podcast ideas.
  • Leesa Barnes has a podcast called Cubicle Divas.
  • To help pick out a podcast title (or name title for other purposes): Pop: Stand Out in Any Crowd by Sam Horn. See also her website, blog and free first chapter of the book (PDF).
  • from my surfing, I also found this tool which mindmaps subjects on Wikipedia:
Well, there is lots more but I need to take a break for the evening and start back at it tomorrow.


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