I wanted to capture a few thoughts here after attending the last day of Moso Conf 2011, a mobile & social media conference that was held here on Thursday and Friday last week. I didn't get to attend the first day and so my review (of sorts) is only of the second day. But by all accounts, the first day was better than the second.
I won't go into great detail on the speakers and/or sessions other than to say that they were better than I expected. With this being the first time MosoConf was held and being a locally organized conference, I didn't have my hopes too high. Not that I didn't think the people involved wouldn't put on a great conference - it's just hard to get quality people out your first go around. But they certainly did. Check out the list of speakers on the MosoConf site. Interesting people abounded who were there to speak and hold un-panels: people up on stage talking about a topic with an open mic to the audience to join in.
Perhaps it's because I've been staring at a computer monitor in a room by myself on a daily basis for the last few months, but even more than the speakers I really enjoyed the teeny-tinny bit of chatting and interacting (the business term would be networking but that makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little) I got to do with other people in my profession.
A few highlights for me:
Seeing some dude wearing aSalt & Fat t-shirt and finding out said dude is Craig Saila, director of digital magic at The Globe & Mail. And now I have his business card in my fancy rolodex. Side note: I would've known who he was if I'd been there the first day of the conference since he spoke in a session.
Listening to Michael Scissons tell his journey from local kid at a lemonade stand to a multi-million dollar social media management company for the enterprise. One thing he said that really stuck in my head is how he raised, mainly from his father, $100k in funding to pursue his idea when he was first starting. There's a large part of me that wants to say "See! He got there because people believe in him and were willing to back him before he even had something to sell!" to feel better about myself, but I know I've never actually asked anyone except in my head - and they always say no in your own head. Unless your drunk. Maybe I need to drink more? I digress.
Hearing about all the applications and development by local people doing really cool stuff right here in Saskatoon.
Learning a bit about how well the City of Regina is doing at engaging their city on social media.
Starting off the morning with a bunch of great info from Sidneyeve Matrix, a media professor at Queen's University, on real world usage of apps and social media sites by college students. As a medium to hardcore nerd, it's always a good idea to remember that the normal people aren't as digitized as the media would have us believe.
That's a quick snapshot of the conference from my perspective. Congratulations to all involved in MosoConf 2011 and thanks for all the hard work you put in to make it happen. I'm already looking forward to next year.