Category Archives: Photos

WordCamp MSP 2010: a home run

I left Northfield at 7:30 am yesterday as the snow storm was just cranking up, thinking that an extra hour would be sufficient for 35 mile trip to Best Buy HQ in Richfield for the 2010 WordCamp MSP. I was scheduled to present during the first round of sessions at 9:30. At about 8:30, I tweeted: "Traffic on I35 one mile south of Lakeville is at dead stop. #wordcampmsp hosed"

After sitting there for 20 minutes, I began preparing to send out another tweet to tell the WordCamp organizers that I wasn’t going to make it in time. But suddenly, traffic began to move so I held off and arrived at 9:15. When I found chief WordCamp organizer Lauren Freeland, she told me that they’d seen my tweet and bumped my session up to 10:30. I thought, "Jeesh, these people have their shit together."

Lauren Freeland and Toby Cryn on stage at WordCamp 2010 Lauren Freeland and Toby Cryn on stage at WordCamp 2010 Steve Borsch at WordCamp MSP
Left and center photos: On stage at Best Buy HQ: Lauren Freeland, WordCamp conference organizer; Toby Cryns, co-founder of the MSP WordPress User Group; Right photo: Steve Borsch, capturing some video of the scene.

As it turned out, I was able to do my WordPress Basics for Noobs session at 9:30; I also did a session at the end of the day: Blog-Based Conversations: Tools and strategies for managing comments and the people who make them. Both were well-attended, I got lots of great questions, and was pleased with the informal feedback I got from people afterwards.

WordCamp MSP was a well-run conference, starting with the venue, the food, and the range of sessions offered.  As a speaker, I was impressed with the whole process, including their terrific blog site and all the helpful email communications with Lauren Freeland and Brian Goeppner leading up to the event. A special tip-of-the-blogger hat goes out to the tech support volunteers who rescued me at my first session when hook-up to the screen projector failed.  Twice I overheard people talking about how helpful the WordPress troubleshooters were at The Tech Shop onsite. What a great idea that was.

WordCamp MSP 2011?  I hope so. In the meantime, I’ll be a regular at the MSP WordPress User Group.

2:30 PM Update:  A WordCamp album of 43 photos by Lauren Melcher posted to the TECHDotMN’s Flickr account, including one of me not paying attention.

WordCamp photo album

Minneapolis-St. Paul WordPress User Group meeting

Lauren Freeland Josh Leuze Toby Cryns Mitchell Hislop

I attended a Minneapolis-St. Paul WordPress User Group meeting this week (their 9th meeting) and came away impressed.  Co-founder Toby Cryns (@mightymo) greeted me warmly,  the food (pizza, fruit, beverages) was ample, the facilities (offices of The Nerdery / Sierra Bravo) were perfect for instruction, and the teaching sessions I attended were well done. 

Future of the Web event

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Citizens League Executive Director and chief blogger Sean Kershaw (left) launched this morning’s Summer Policy series event titled The Future of the Web and Civic Engagement: What Happens When MySpace Meets Our Space? held at The Forum at Minnesota Public Radio. (Click photos to enlarge.)


I recorded the forum. Click play to listen. 1 hour, 5 minutes, 22 seconds.

I found myself a little disappointed with the event. I wanted to hear more stories… stories that would illustrate the what the future of the web could be for civic engagement, public problem-solving and policy-making. I don’t remember much about the discussion but I do remember two stories: Jean King’s story about Gov. Al Quie and Roger Moe; and Steve Borsch’s story about visiting the Eden Prairie public library.

I also was hoping to hear more about the forces — systemic or otherwise — that are both helping and impeding the constructive use of these Web 2.0 technologies in the public sphere. That would’ve generated more discussion about what steps could be taken by citizens, civic organizations, and yes, policy-makers to address these forces.

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Left photo, L to R: moderator Jack Uldrich, panelists Jean LeVander King and Steve Borsch.
Right photo, L to R: panelists Garrick Van Buren,Tom Swain, and Jen Alstad.

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During the post-event schmoozing, I had a chance to talk with (L to R) Steve Borsch, Steve Clift, and Garrick Van Buren. And then Mr. Clift and I retired to the MPR lobby to chat further in the way-cool audio-enhancing pod chairs. Amazingly easy to hear one another. And yes, that’s an apple core in my mouth.

Aug. 22 Update: Victoria Ford has a set on Flickr of 60 photos from the event.
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Aug. 23 1 pm update: AAAARRRGGGGGHHHH!! I mistakenly deleted this blog entry earlier today and had to ask my beloved webhosting company, Tiger Technologies, to restore the site from a midnight backup. They’ve done it but two comments were lost so I’ve manually replaced them. Apologies to Steve and Mike.

Utne alum party

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I worked at the magazine Utne Reader (now just called “Utne”) for most of the 90s. Last week, the magazine announced that it had been purchased Ogden Publications in Kansas.

Many former employees gathered at the Kitty Kat Club in Dinkytown on Thursday night. See the dozen photos in this Flickr album set.

Flickr automatically creates several sizes of the photo, up to 800 pixels-wide. If anyone wants one of more of the originals, suitable for printing, let me know.

Heartland Circle’s Happy Hour

I attended a Heartland Circle Happy Hour last night, courtesy of the firm's co-founders, Patricia Neal and Craig Neal. They hosted an informal gathering of some of their area members at the Enjoy! restaurant in Apple Valley. Click photos to enlarge.

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Left: Yogiraj Achala, Vonda Vaden, Patricia Neal, Craig Neal, unidentified, Francois Paradeise, unidentified
Right: Mary Hamann-Roland, Matthew Rochte, Craig Neal

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Left: Dave Labno, Don Thomas, Loretta Anderson, Russ Schoen, Myron Lowe
Right:  Virginia Selleck, Cheryl Persigehl, Dave Labno, Don Thomas, Loretta Anderson

At the e-Gov Expo at ExCel London

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We're at the e-Gov Expo at London's ExCel Centre, right on the Royal Victoria Dock. Center: in the local e-democracy booth, the gang from Northlincsnet: David Ritson, Isobel Harding, Fraser Henderson. Click photos to enlarge and see 6 more at the bottom of page 2 of the photo album. I have a Leadership Blogging and Podcasting presentation (break-out session) at 2 pm.