Well, it was great meeting people in person who I have been communicating with on the internet. But I did not get a chance to meet everyone who I wanted to meet and wished I had more time to talk to the people I did end up meeting in person. For me, my goal as far as meeting people, was to meet people who I already knew of. This probably was a bad thing since I didn't make that much effort to meet others (I did end up meeting a few others though) . The people who I did finally get a chance to meet are the ones that I e-mailed when I tried to figure out how to break into nonprofit technology. I felt accomplished by meeting these people. I hope now that we have met face to face that our conversations will continue.
One thing I was the most looking forward to were the discussion tables, where some tables were different topics. But I did not get a chance to take part in this because by the time I got to lunch after the session that ended at noon, the tables were already filled. Plus, when I did get in the room, I had no clue where to look for them until it was announced. I did end up finding a seat at a regular table and that ended up fine. However, I was disappointed that I could not take part in these discussions.
Another thing I was looking forward to were the backchannel chats, mainly the unmoderated one. However, it seemed like no one was using these. (maybe it was because of the internet connection at the hotel?) It seems like the only thing that worked with the backchannel was the group/e-mail list that was created. In the last session on Friday, the one I wanted to go to didn't happen. My backup one was filled up, which was the one that was in the moderated chat. I even ended up going to where the computers were and went to the chat. Nobody was in there. This bothered me because if people who were not at NTC wanted to check these out, they could not. Maybe there should have been a note added to the page that said "due to the internet connection problems at the hotel, these moderated chats might not happen" or something similiar to that.
Here are the sessions I attended:
- Classrooms Without Walls: Methods for online learning
- Managing your Nonprofit IT Career
- Building Better Online Fundraising Campaigns: Practical Tactics for Raising More Money via Email
- Branding Through Websites: Building Your Brand From the First Click
- Web 2.0 for Communities
I also attended part of the Flickr affinity group meeting.
One complaint about the sessions/meetings is that the attendees were all at different levels. Some were very new to the topics, and others were already familiar. Alot of us are familiar with many topics and would like to learn more. I would have liked to have seen two sessions for some topics where one is for beginners and learning about the topic and the other for ones already familiar with the topic and want to expand their knowledge. I honestly don't know if this idea could work, but it could be worth a try in the future.
I see these sessions and the introductions as a way to continue the conversations either in an e-mail list, blog, or somewhere else.