Sunday, May 15, 2011

words or pictures; what i did at northern voice 2011

for kokeshi
there's granola in there somewhere :) but nothing to do with nv11

Today I hid from the dense clouds, drizzle and greyness by staying at home, baking carrot cake, cupcakes and granola (a good use of time methinks).

Yesterday and Friday I was more adventurous (very adventurous on Saturday = transit) and trekked over to UBC for Northern Voice 2011. For the uninitiated, it's a social media and personal blogging conference (last year was my first) stuffed full of useful tips to maximise your online life. Last year I took in one day; this year I signed up for the whole deal (minus the after-hours party stuff, which is difficult to fit in with parenting and living out in the 'burbs). Conclusion = definitely worth it.

Friday, my tinnitus was ringing and my mood wasn't that great thus meh, though I did glean some great links on science blogging. However ... casual presenting = no thanks for the hearing impaired - please use the microphones and for heavens sake stand up to 'project' when you address in a large lecture theatre. Likewise please no rustling chip packets and don't hold the door open if a presentation runs over just to make a timekeeping point (noise from the corridor successfully blanketed sound within the room). /rant

But it was most likely my mood/tinnitus (refreshments, organisation, facilities and so on = excellent as per last year).

Today's rain
rain rain rain

Saturday was a whole different kettle of fish. The keynote was fascinating and I learned something new in each of the other sessions I attended. Choosing between the parenting session and the hyperlocal blogging session after lunch was tricky but (sorry Amber) the other Strocel won. Two sessions absolutely made my day though. First was the wikipedia editing war walk-through by Tim Bray, who presented with flair, passion and authority. I'm almost persuaded to become a wikipedia editor or at least take a more active interest in it (I certainly seem to link to it enough). I thoroughly enjoyed his style of delivery - he was easy to follow and I didn't have to strain to hear.

It's close, but my absolute fave of the day must go to Anthony Marco's session on podcasting, complete with some awesome music clips to illustrate his point. He was really enthusiastic about his subject, and the session just flowed so well. A true delight to attend. As with Tod Maffin's podcasting lecture last year, I was totally inspired to explore this as a way of blogging. I really loathe my speaking voice so this might be a bit of an obstacle. On the other hand, it might be difficult to shut me up :)

Following on from the "back to the olden days" theme a couple of weeks ago, I spent a morning playing around with recording software and my mini disc player. Using a very easy editing program, Audacity, to record and convert the mini disc input, and then following a straightforward slideshare tutorial I created my first podcast and hosted it on to embed the widget in this post.

My next soundscape was a little more straightforward, using the microphone on my netbook to capture the Wee Guy's piano practice and comments. With Audacity it was easy to record the piano and the voice as two seperate tracks then combine them, fading the music in and out through the Wee Guy's words. Very basic but it's a start. Note - I could have added echo, a beat track, and a waaa waaa effect too so count yourselves lucky ...

Stay tuned :) friday forte as a chipmunk?

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