I must confess i hate conferences. Well, i’ve been hating them, since i’ve never been to so many of them in such a short period of time, and because i’m not making the most of attending to these things. Conferences are not only places of discussion and learning with some of the best minds in a specific field, but mostly a place to interact with them, network with like minded people, make new friends, get into someone else’s list of professional contacts. Lately i’ve been feeling like a teenager avoiding all the cool kids. I’m starting to think i’m losing people’s skills, or my charm doesn’t work around here. I come from a different culture, and you brits sometimes don’t make it easy. But some do, actually, as i found out after the end of the conference, over a few beers.
I was approached by John Thompson, publisher and owner of Journalism.co.uk, so, the man in charge of the operations. He kindly put up with my ranting about what i thought Journalism.co.uk could do when covering the Journiverse, while i thanked him for my (nowadays undeserved) presence in their list of the best journalism blogs. John and his team do some of the best work i see related to the industry, and i’m constantly recommending their work. Another huge mistake i keep doing is not having a camera available to interview people, my Samsung Omnia has terrible video and sound quality, so i didn’t even tried, but my conversation with John could have been registered and posted here, instead of having to describe it using just words. Not much multimedia of me…
Other people that i managed to talk to IRL (in real life) for the first time we’re Laura Oliver, from journalism.co.uk, but i failed to meet Judith Townend. I got to “e-talk” with them a bit in the last two years, so it’s easy to have the “i kinda know you” feeling. Another great moment was when I intercepted Andy Dickinson, whom i must convince to taste some Portuguese wines, I owe him a bottle anyway. But if you’ve ever been to these events, you know it’s all three minute conversations, then change counterparts. After three beers in a nearly empty stomach i was feeling like a pinball (so unprofessional of me…) but i got to talk to Dave Lee, Adam Westbrook, Josh Halliday, and Phillip John that i already knew from Birmingham. But it was nice to get to talk to these guys in person, they are what i thought of them: smart and to be followed in their online presences, there is a lot to be learned from them.
It was a great day anyway, and the bullet points were the following:
– journalists can’t do everything, they need to find what they need to know;
– journalists need to be entrepreneurial;
-journalism is changing faster than we can be aware of that;
-journalism is still the same thing as it was before, but there is a plethora of new ways to do it, monetize it, distribute it, work on it;
You should check these websites to get a better picture of what happened during the conference: news:rewired, of course, with all the profiles of the speakers and some accounts on the sessions; Andy Dickinson talks about one of the sessions he attended; Adam Tinworth also reports on the sessions he attended.
Now i’m working on my assignments for the MA and looking for a place to work for the Labs phase next semester. This was a useful event for me, nonetheless, and i might profit from it in the near future. At least that’s what i hope. And if you see me at one of these things, please approach me, i might not recognize you, be offline, or just too shy that day.
Here are some images of the conference.