I tend to approach the social media tidal wave with a discerning eye and a surfboard! As someone who also has experience in “old school” forms of communication like print advertising, direct mail, television and radio, the closer I look at social media platforms the more I have come to believe this new wave is really more of the same… it’s still about communication!

So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the presenters and participants in this year’s Northern Voice conference felt much the same. And when a keynote address opens with a statement about “marketing douchebags,” and a presentation on measuring data ends with a quotation from T.S. Eliot… I am ALL IN!

The sessions I attended ranged from “Taking the Institution Online: Digitizin’ with the MOV & the Vancouver Archives” and “Why We Live the Quantified Life” to “Twitter as a Note Taking Tool” and all stressed not the technology itself, but rather the application of technology to communications. There was a strong focus on creativity, content, and establishing an authentic voice, as well as the ongoing discussion of issues surrounding social media including privacy. Northern Voice 2013 was so much more than I expected… it was a pleasure to be in the company of so many thoughtful, intelligent, talented people!

Took my ponytail to Northern Voice 2013












Northern Voice was Canada’s first weblogging social media conference in 2005 and every year since the organizers’ goal has been to create an event that is inexpensive, informal, and accessible to techies and newbies alike. Northern Voice offers a friendly environment open to all who love technology, with an emphasis on the personal nature of the conference by encouraging people to find their voice and share their experiences online.

At Northern Voice, you may be exposed to a wide variety of subjects… because that’s how the Internet rolls. Topics typically include whatever is hot on the web. In previous years, they’ve had technology topics mixed in with discussions about Pinterest and feminism, about how you can have REAL friends who you only meet online and communal attempts to “save humanity” from fantastical threats through blogs and social media. Speakers range from the big names to first-time presenters, all with a passion to share.