Social Capital Conference 2013: Wrap-Up and Conference Notes

Social Capital Conference
Were you able to make it to Social Capital Conference last weekend? If so, how did you find it? I was pleasantly surprised by the calibre of the presentations in this year's lineup. I have to (sheepishly) admit that based on the sessions I attended at last year's conference, I wrote off the conference as a great networking opportunity wrapped in a bunch of 101 content (i.e. for beginners). I had a wish list of 5 things I wanted to see at SoCap but my expectations were such that I figured if I came away having met a few people and learned a couple of things, the day would be a win.

Networking Win

The networking part defintely met my expectations: I connected with a significant number of people that I've been chatting with on The Twitters for some time, some of whom I felt I've known forever. Like @suzemuse, who I've known online for about 4 years but we've never been in the same room at the same time before. (Hugs were exchanged) And there were a ton more, from @DannyBrown to @ChronicBadass to @MkgDiva and @CocktailDeeva and so on. Yes, the networking was fantastic.

Surprise: Learned too

But about the sessions.... it turns out I was totally wrong.
They were way better than I expected.

For example, the opening keynote was more like an actual learning session than a keynote. I mean, let's face it, opening talks usually provide some context for the day and say some interesting things, but how often do you leave a conference keynote presentation with two pages of notes. And real, tangible take-aways you can action the next day? Personally, not very often. So colour me happy from the get-go.

And it just kept going. Now, let's be honest, I missed a few sessions midday to host the Dude's most epic Minecraft LAN gaming birthday party. But what I did see, I enjoyed.

Only one session (Microdata) felt like it was more on the 101 end of the spectrum, but considering I've been studying HTML data for work this year, I had a sense going in that I wasn't going to make any significant discoveries. I was hoping the discussion would get into how other people were using it, but the audience seemed to be entirely new to the technology and was actually more focused on how to do it than advanced ways to leverage it. To be expected with this kind of technical session. Regardless, it was a good refresher.

The session that taught me the most was the one on Intellectual Property. It was a very useful exploration of laws that apply to bloggers and content creators. This session actually gave me lots to consider about the terms I want to put on my site. Don't be surprised if a Creative Commons license pops up on the entire site at some point, encouraging use and re-use (with attribution of course).

My Notes

I could go on but you know what? You can see for yourself just how much value I got out of the conference: I've made my notes publicly available (in Google Drive) in case you'd like to check them out. Here are the sessions I covered:

  • Opening Keynote by Gini Dietrich
  • Blogging and Intellectual Property
  • Microdata 
  • Roundtable Discussion: Writing for Video 
  • Closing Keynote by Danny Brown

Take a look. Who knows, maybe you'll find a little something that speaks to you. As I learned, you never know when you might be surprised by a learning opportunity. I definitely won't be writing SoCap off for next year.

Maybe I'll see you there!

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