Toonblogging Northern Voice, day 1

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Friday at Northern Voice is the unconference day, a self-organizing but surprisingly unchaotic event.

The turnout is impressive, and I miss getting a seat for the first session... which is cool. There are plenty of corridor conversations to be had... so many, in fact, that I miss the second session.

So I'm hell-bent on making the third session, which turns out to be a well-run discussion on multilingual blogs and web sites.

(participant raising hand) By 'multilingual', I thought you mean PHP and Python.

Session leader Jim DeLaHunt walks us through a conversation that, sadly, lasts only half an hour. We've only scratched the surface, but it's enough to make me want to explore further. I'm especially intrigued by the mechanics sites use for determining what language to present to a particular user:

How multilingual web sites work: 1) Server asks browser what language it prefers. 2) Browser says 'French'. 3) Server says 'Sorry, I don't speak French.

The early afternoon is PhotoCamp. Funny thing how it seems Northern Voice has always had a huge photography component. I've never seen so many digital SLRs in one place. It nearly overwhelmed the presenters...

(presenter behind a mountain of photographic and computer equipment) ...And if you could actually see the presentation screen, you'd see a pretty picture.

Miranda Lievers warns us about how strong overhead sunlight can cause a subject's eye sockets to be in dark shadows, and describes the condition evocatively as "raccoon eyes."

(a raccoon speaks) Actually, yer gonna get that effect no matter how I'm lit.

More than one speaker has a Facebook status update notification pop up while they're presenting... including one by a friend whose status line indicates they're watching the presentation.

(presenter in front of screen; notification appears saying 'Your wife has left you')

The last session I hit is Megan Cole's Social Media Mecca - a long-overdue conversation about collaboration and community among social media consultants in the Vancouver area. Good on her for bringing it up; I only wish there'd been another two hours to keep the discussion going.

Social Signal on...

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