NECC07: All over but the flight

As I sit here in the airport waiting for my flight to leave, I’m reflecting on “what just happened?”

I’ve been thinking about my experience at this year’s conference compared to last years. In my eyes I don’t even think you can compare the two. Maybe it was my outlook on the conference…but I think it has to do more with the way this conference was set up.

EdubloggerCon was a great kickoff to the conference…it started conversations that carried through the Blogger Café and into Will Richardson’s Spotlight session Wednesday Morning. This lounge area was created as a place to charge up and post blogs. We did blog, but face-to-face instead of on our web sites. David Warlick had a twit this morning that said “Trying to blog, but have given up and blogging f2f.” I think we all felt the same. If you wanted to write a blog entry you literally had to get up and leave the area…the conversation was so intense…so engaging that it sucked you in. For me, it just drove home the fact that blogging is about conversations. It’s not about writing, it’s not about journaling, it’s about connecting, sharing, conversing, and being part of a professional learning network.

It was face to face blogging. It became such a conversation that today I showed up at the Café at 8:30 and couldn’t find a seat! Tables were moved, people created circles and just like blogging people came and went like wondering through an aggregator. I commend NECC for creating these lounge areas and I have a feeling you’ll be seeing more next year. Some of our conversations at the Café were around how to improve the space for next year. I hope that NECC gives some of us a chance to help design and create this area to include more voices and allow for even more conversations to take place.

One thing I still can’t believe is the people I was able to meet and the people who wanted to meet me. That shocked me more than anything…and I must say I feel honored to be on anyone’s “who I want to meet list.” I know when you publish things to the web they are read by people all around the world, but it’s not until those people approach you just to say “hi”, to say “I read your blog” or take a picture with you does it really hit just how connected we all are.

It was an NECC about conversations, about connections, you had to create them yourself, but at least we had the opportunity to create them, to come together in a Web 2.0 fashion and just learn.

There was a lot of experiments. We experimented with Twitter, with Skype Notes (read below) and with other Web 2.0 tools. We all shared our knowledge; worked together to figure out problems and even taught each other new things. I’m looking forward to reading Brian Crosby’s post on how his new RSS reader has changed his reading habits.

Overall, NECC allowed these conversations that we talk about in the blogosphere to happen, allowed them to organically take place and that was the most powerful part of the Blogger Café.
Thank you to everyone who pushed my thinking, experimented with me, and just got down and geeky! I would say goodbye…but I know that we are all connected and that the conversations will continue!

See you in San Antonio!

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