Northern Voice 2012: A scientist and an academic steal the show

Social Media For Change, Social Change & Politics
Presentations about crowdsourcing and authenticity were highlights at this year’s Northern Voice.

David Ng’s presentation about crowdsourcing was informative, entertaining and super creative. I almost didn’t attend this presentation (I wanted to go to Photocamp… and I was hesitant to hear from a scientist), but David told interesting — and oftentimes funny — stories to flesh out his points. His slick and very visual presentation slides helped illustrate his points.

David’s tips about crowdsourcing included the following:

  • Try it.  Seriously, just do it!
  • Have fun. It’s ok not to take things too seriously.
  • Target a specific community. Be very clear about having a target audience. In other words, don’t target everyone and hope for the best.
  • Make the work easy — because if it’s not easy, people probably won’t participate.
  • Incorporate twee. Humour is always a hit on the interwebz.
  • Build relationships with influencers and get them to help you spread the word.
  • Do good. People are more likely to participate in worthy causes.

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Northern Voice Recap: What I Learned About Blogging

This is the last blog post I have planned for this year’s Northern Voice. Blogging is something that I’m still learning about, and so many of the sessions I attended were about this very topic.

Hyperlocal blogging panelists - Northern Voice 2011
Most of what I’m covering in this post are from the following NV11 sessions:

Just start blogging.

Oftentimes I hear people complain that they can’t really blog because they don’t know what to write about. That, or that they have no “niche”.

What I’ve learned from the panelists is that you really should just start blogging asap because you don’t know where it will lead you.

Put crazy ideas out there. You never know who will reply. Scial media is open that way! @ #nv11
Vanessa Chu

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Northern Voice Recap: 10 Tips for Aspiring Community Managers

Crystal Henrickson (Yelp Canada) at Northern Voice 2011

One of my favourite sessions from Northern Voice‘s 2nd day was by Crystal Henrickson, Yelp Canada’s Community Manager. Tales, Trials and Teachings of the Community Management World, as the title suggests, gave a glimpse on what it’s like to be a community manager.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard from Crystal — I had the privilege of hearing from her at Social Media Unplugged last January and at a Net Tuesday meetup shortly after. As usual, she brought spunk and personality to give life to her presentation.

Crystal’s presentation was actually packed with lots of good info, but some resonated more with me. Here are the top 10 things I learned from Crystal’s presentation:

  1. Strive to be organized. You’ll get lots of emails — learn how to deal with it.
  2. Manage your time well. You’ll have lots of events to attend. That’s in addition to projects. Crystal recommended Skitch, Evernote, gCal, and Task Manager to be on top of everything. She also has a super cute Yelp watch that she uses to stick to her schedule.
    +1 RT @: Oh man, I want a @ watch! #nv11
    Kelvin KC Claveria
  3. Play nice with everyone. You’ll need to when dealing with trolls and with naysayers.
  4. Give people the benefit of the doubt. It’s integral when things don’t work out (and sometimes, they won’t).
  5. Read. A lot. It will make you smart and stuff. Some of Crystal’s suggestions: Getting Things Done (David Allen) and Non-violent communication (Marshall B. Rosenberg).
  6. Learn how to deal with trolls. Specifically, Crystal advices that you don’t take things personally when dealing these creatures.
  7. Find your passion! It will be hard for you to manage a community if it’s for something you don’t have an interest to begin with. Faking it will not get you there.
  8. Have a coping strategy. With a busy schedule, you’re bound to have bad days. For Crystal, walking away from the computer and calling friends work. What works for you?
  9. Un-learn how to multi-task. This might seem counter-intuitive, but Crystal recommended that you do NOT multi-task. She doesn’t think it works. She suggested that you focus on one task at a time. (I agree with this, by the way.)
    “I don’t believe in multitasking. I don’t think it works.” - @ #nv11
    Kelvin KC Claveria
  10. Leave time for play. If you’re not having fun, you’ll likely hate your job.

The need for Community Managers is popping up everywhere these days, so it’s a privilege to hear first-hand how it’s like to be in this position.  I really enjoyed Crystal’s presentation, especially because she made sure to leave plenty of time for questions. Community management surely isn’t an easy job, but it sounds like it could be also fun.

Photo: Raul P.

Northern Voice Recap: When It Comes to Twitter & News, We All Have a Responsibility

One of the sessions I attended at this year’s Northern Voice explored the evolving role of Twitter in news organizations. Twitter and News: What is Next? featured some prominent Vancouver-based journalists including News1130’s Erin Loxam, Freelancer Bob Mackin, CBC’s Theresa Lalonde, and Vancouver Sun’s Andrea Woo. Yuliya Talmazan moderated the panel.

Northern Voice 2011

The discussion revolved around the news business specifically, but as I was listening, I thought that some of the best practices that the panelists mentioned apply to all Twitter users as well.

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Northern Voice Recap: April Smith on Social Media, Storytelling, and Giving Voice to the Minority

Northern Voice 2011  8

“Communication is a human right.”
– April Smith, May 13, 2011

Northern Voice is an annual conference about personal blogging and social media. Now on its seventh year, Northern Voice 2011 (hashtag: #nv11) happened on May 13 and 14 at UBC Life Sciences Centre.

As I’ve previously written, this year is my first time at Northern Voice. Friday’s conference was opened by a keynote speech from April Smith, a citizen journalist and founder of AHA Media.

April’s speech focused on the use of social media for social good. She uses films as a way to tell her story as well as the story of many citizens in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side (DTES). She told of many very human stories of how social media has inspired people in the DTES to overcome huge obstacles. April teared up a bit when she told of a story of a man who decided not to take his own life after April asked him to pose for a photo.

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