2011 was my 6th year attending the Northern Voice personal media conference. I took the opportunity this time to play around more with my DSLR camera. I got to talking with photographer John Biehler about shooting using a fisheye lens, and he was kind enough to lend me his for the second day of the conference.
Fisheye is such a different perspective, it took me some time to get a feel for what it works well on. Here are a few of my favorite fisheye shots from the day (click to enlarge):
While the the opening of the Burj Dubai hogs the world's headlines, the Ryugyong Hotel, a 105-storey empty building in the heart of Pyongyang, North Korea, is in its 23rd year of construction and would cost 10% of North Korea's GDP to make inhabitable. Whether you are for or against the North Korean nuclear missile programme, you have to admit it it has been more successful than this. Honestly, I still wonder how Kim Jong Il's party was able to win all of the seats in the last North Korean elections after this building fiasco.
I led a session during the unconference day titled TransitCamp and Open Source Government. It was my first time presenting such a thing, and definitely a learning experience: - good idea to ask audience how much they know about the topic at the start - plan for at least 10 minutes of questions (probably more at unconferences) - work on being a calm and collected speaker
CBC is experimenting with crowd-sourcing Citizen Journalism, at least in Vancouver. I am planning to send them some story pitches, and you can too. This could be an awesome opportunity to open up our media. Hopefully I'll write more about this in the future.
Building a Better Conference Badge is a good read for all organizers. The NV nametags definitely need a redesign. Space for user-tagging is a good idea, but you need to tell people to do it when you give them out.
Vancouver is a high-tech city; tons of people here are bloggers. Here's a clearing house of Vancouver based blogs that have ended up in my RSS reader. I don't actually end up reading them all now, but there's good stuff within.
These Are A Few Of My Favorite Tools was one of the last sessions from day 1 of Northern Voice. It introduced a number of helpful tools for blogging or just being more productive on your computer. They're all listed on that page, so check them out (if you use a Mac). I'm going to be trying out a few when I have some more time, since a number of them looked awesome.
Everybody was free to go up and demo some of their fav tools, in true unconference style. It turned out that only Mac users did though. Throughout the session there were a few "Does this run on Windows?" questions asked. The answer was always "uh no... it's mac only... but there might be a windows equivalent" (except for the FireFox extensions, which are cross-platform). As a Macintosh Cult member, it made me smile to see the tables turned, in terms of software choice.
It's great to see the wealth of tools available on Mac OS X now. Full credit goes to Apple for giving out free dev tools, and winning massive mindshare amongst the creatives and hackers who are building the future of software.
It's lunchtime at Moose Camp after some good sessions. I'm quite intrigued by the idea of a Vancouver Transit Camp. That link is just a temporary home on the northernvoice wiki as the idea gathers steam.
Apparently Toronto recently held a Transit Camp that was an open discussion organized by local transit enthusiasts. They were focused on bringing forth solutions (as opposed to whining about problems). They got participation from the city and the TTC and came out of it on a positive road.
Some people here are talking about putting together a GVRD Transit Camp and I hope it happens. Check the Vancouver link above if you want to get involved.
The next few days I'm going to be attending Vancouver's blogging conference Northern Voice.
Last year I was too late to get a ticket to both days, but I went to moose camp. I met some interesting people and had a fun time. So I'm going back for the full deal this year. There's a welcome dinner happening tonight to kick it off. Rumor is there will be a chocolate fountain there...