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All About SoCon07

What worked; what didn’t

by j. brotherlove

Let’s talk about SoCon07, shall we? Considering I had my laptop with me I should’ve had this post up shortly after things wrapped up on Saturday. But thebrotherlove needed a nap (6:00am is not my friend)! Also, I am behind on two different deadlines (or maybe it’s three). I have to thank Karsh who pushed me to register right away (thus thwarting my keen ability to procrastinate until it’s too late).

What Worked

Clearly the location seemed to work for a lot of attendees. I’d prefer a more central location. Getting to the auditorium, lunch and breakout sessions was convenient. We even got to check out Kennesaw State’s infamous collapsed sculpture (see pic). There was an impressive number of folk gathered for this inaugural unconference (congrats to Sherry Heyl and Jeff Haynie).

I was please to see a reasonable mix of race, gender and age with a variety of ideas. I love being around people who are passionate. SoCon07 had plenty of this energy. Oh, and allowing us to follow along with Timothy Moenk on the projection screen was sweet!

What Didn’t

The topics of the breakout sessions weren’t announced beforehand so we had to decide once we arrived (leading to moments like this). While I like the spirit of an unconference, I think topics should be shared beforehand or at least have longer breakout sessions. By the time a format was established, it was time to move on.

You have to thank sponsors. But the kaneva presentation was way long, improperly targeted (“some people call this the blog-oh-sphere”) and stiff. Some of the Mac and open source evangelists were tiring. I’m way more interested in how people interact in virtual spaces; however they choose to get there.

Like Laina, my networking skills suck. But most people were friendly which is great. Interestingly, my best interaction was with non-blacks. Karsh and I had an interesting discussion about how black folks sometimes repel each other in “professional” spaces. A topic for another post.

Overall, I had an good time and would love to attend again. If you checked my homepage during the event, I updated my status via Twitter, But Amber has some liveblogged tidbits. Next up, PodCamp Atlanta!

pub: 02/12/2007 | previous entry | next entry | feedback x 7 | subscribe

Brother Love,
Thank you for your comments and thank you for sharing the event on your blog which helped us rope in Jeneane Sessum and Toby at the last minute. Much of the ‘not knowing until the last minute’ was because we were blessed with a much larger diverse audience and than we anticipated. I was shooting for the diversity upfront though.

I am glad to have met you and look forward to following your blog.

Great wrap-up! It was nice meeting you, and I’m looking forward to seeing you again at PodCamp.

j. brotherlove - thanks for the link love and putting the list together. my notes were more scribbles than i like to admit and couldn’t make out a few of the sites i really wanted to check out.

Thanks for the comments, ladies. It was great meeting you, as well (even if only briefly). I found some more notes and added the links to the list.

Hey J;

I hope you are coming to SXSW! Maybe we could comiserate over our networking skills….

Hey, J! Glad to hear SoCon07 was mostly good. By SoCon08, my baby should be big enough that I can go to things like that. :)

BTW, would you drop me a note if you DO go to SXSW?

Just to clarify, I will not be attending SXSW this year. I’m counting on a buttload of liveblogging and podcasts to keep me in the loop.

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