Having one of the 9 am sessions meant we had a good turnout for the talk. I would say the room was two-thirds to three-quarters full. The back channel discussion was positive, though ongoing problems with my roachkiller of a laptop meant Twitter access was pretty poor for the day. (If that thing was a horse, I would shoot it and put it and me out of our collective misery. It is beyond time to join the pad and/or smartphone universe.)
We had some good questions from the crowd and over 15 people put their cards in the draw for a free one-on-one video consultation with Bob at the end of the talk. Julie Phillips from the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business and Steve Sarkas from the University of Waterloo were the winners — congratulations to them and I hope the sessions were useful.
Overall, the conference turnout was strong. Melissa Cheater has done a great job of organizing the event, getting the word out and attracting interesting speakers. Many of the presentations are available online; those posted on Slideshare are grouped together under the PSEWEB 2011 group heading.
I was sorry to miss Mark Greenfield, Tim Nekritz, Ken Steele and my York University colleague Laura D’Amelio on Day 1 since I enjoyed their discussions last year. The backchannel discussion for Tracey Playle’s talk on Content Curation in University & Marketing Communications was lively; I was intrigued by her use of Prezi for her presentation format, which I hadn’t run across before.
Presentations that posed and answered questions particularly relevant to me included Robin Small on Authentic Social Media, which included Firefly references and a great checklist to run by senior management types who are thinking about joining social media platforms; Ryan McNutt on Emergency Communications in the Social Media Age, which balanced practical advice with entertaining stories from the field; and Alan Etkin on Website Redesigns Using Google Analytics, which implicitly made a strong case for the kind of structure and supports needed to do a successful website build incorporating Analytics data.
The sad thing about concurrent sessions is that you can’t see everything; I was sorry to miss Nick Valentino on Going Mobile with WordPress and Drupal, Mike Klein and Andy Sargent on the University of Saskatchewan’s recent web build, and Nichole McGill on setting social media policy.
I had heard from @thezenmonkey that Scott Stratten’s keynote would be worth seeing and it did not disappoint. If you’re interested in his thoughts on Engagement & Education 2.0, he makes similar points in this talk but with fewer higher education examples. You can also join his 90,000+ Twitter following at @unmarketing.
The best part of PSEWEB is the informal conversations you have with peers from other places and fields. I enjoyed catching up with @nicollewahl and @brookscappadoci, meeting @jjloa in person, touching base with fellow Yorkies @wunderbug and @mentalkavity, and finding new Twitter folks to follow.
The Worldviews International Conference kicks off Thursday; the schedule is available here. I’ve had the pleasure of corresponding with some of my fellow panelists and I think they’re going to make it an interesting discussion.
Topic: Social Media from the University and College Perspective. The implications of social media (and new communications technology) for public perceptions of universities and colleges and the democratization of coverage.
- Alfred Hermida, UBC
- James Compton, University of Western Ontario
- Elizabeth Monier Williams, York University
- Patric Lane, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Mary Churchill, Northeastern University
Hope to see you there.