Saturday, June 28, 2008

this is one fire water won't put out

So on Friday I went to my first Unconference and had a blast. Thanks very much to the fine folks at York U. who put it on, and super extra doubleplus thanks to the people who attended my Evergreen session -- it was wonderful to talk with you! I'd put up my slides, but I didn't have any, and my notes are nigh unreadable.

Random impressions:

* The two-track format was good to fit more speakers in, but dammit, I would have *really* liked to have gone to George Duimovich's copyright session which was, uh, at the same time as mine.

* This may run counter to the very nature of an Unconference, but I really felt badly for the folks who might have put some prep into their sessions only not to be voted the coolest kid^H^H^H^H^H picked to speak. Through pure chance I managed to talk a bit with Dan Sich about his unpicked session on IM reference, and I really wish I could have seen him speak at length about it because I've been working over how to do queued, multi-librarian IM reference to AOL/MSN/Yahoo for, geez, two years now? Not solidly, mind you, but once every few months I'll think "Man, I wish I knew how to do queued, multi-librarian IM reference to AOL/MSN/Yahoo. Wouldn't that be awesome?" and perhaps libraryh3lp is the answer. Or will be the answer, when they get around to going cross-platform.

* I did however get to see Dan Scott lead a wonderful discussion on mobile devices in which I probably complained more than I should have about the less-than-sufficiently-free nature of mobile phone providers. I did get a mention of Splashtop in though, which I've seen pop up in bookmarks here and there.

* Amanda and David Fiander also talked about Drupal implementations, which was awesome. I've done minor Drupal installs myself over the years, but nothing big scale so it was great to hear about issues with running Drupal in a production environment.

* McGill U had some recent graduates show up, which was decidedly badass. Wish I had thought to try to go to conferences when I was in grad school.

So all in all the unconference was a smash. Hit all my buttons -- local, free, and just informal enough to be useful. Thanks, York!


Anonymous said...

I thought you did a great job, John. It was a pleasure being part of your audience.

amanda said...

I second @coffeecode's comment - you did a terrific job. You are a super-entertaining presenter, John :)

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