It’s a wrap!

Alexandra from Social Signal in the Bringing Your Community to Life session at N2Y3
Photo – Alexandra Samuel from Social Signal, in the Bringing Your Community to Life (with lots of fun chocolate to encourage participation!) session.

Last week over 300 people came together for the NetSquared Conference in Santa Clara, California. This years conference was all about the N2Y3 Netsquared Mashup Challenge where 21 projects competed for cash prizes to enable them to further their work in using the web to help with social change.

I’m finally back here in the UK, catching up after being away from my iMac for a couple of weeks, and finally stealing a rare moment to squeeze in a quick post about it all!

I was there as one of the live-bloggers, recording the sessions live as they took place enabling those who couldn’t attend to still be able to participate and see and read all about it.
It was an excellent experience seeing how innovation is taking place across the other side of the pond, and also hearing that many of the nonprofits face similar barriers to moving forward as many groups over here in the UK do too. I was really inspired by the drive, passion and innovation of all people who came from the chosen projects and the interactivity of everyone participating too.

The conference was recorded with live bloggers (My main live blogging buddy there was Brenda Hough who works with the MaintainIT project), video-bloggers and also others at the conference submitted blog posts too. Twitter was used lots (when it worked…Twitter was having a bumpy ride!) throughout too.
If you missed the conference, I’d highly recommend that you head over to the Netsquared Conference News pages to read more about the projects that were there, innovating for social change, but also about the other sessions too which included open source CMS such as Plone and Drupal for building online communities, and other sessions on how to encourage participation and build your communities and connect with your users. To see what took place in the sessions and more from the bloggers and vloggers at Britt Bravo’s round up post on the sessions at N2Y3 here.

Another of the high points was meeting so many people that I’d connected with on social networks, especially the effervscent Deborah Elizabeth Finn, Allan Benamer, of course great to catch up with Beth Kanter, meeting finally with Marnie Webb, Britt Bravo and many many more. (I could name drop forever on all the people I met there!) I also made lots of new buddies too including Katie Laird who made me smile and laugh lots (yup – Katie is definately a Happy Katie!), and it was great to see two others from the UK there, with Terry and Aba from LASA at the conference on their way back from events in Australia. It’s great to connect online with people who have shared interests and visions with nonprofit organisations and their use of technologies, but even more fun to meet up face to face and talk for real!

Thank you all at Netsquared and Techsoup for organising a great event! Hope to come again next year! You all rock!.

Is now wondering how we can get things moving here more in the UK with our own UK non profit tecchies, or something stemming from the Social Media Camp which took place back in April (and so sadly had to miss…but hear rumblings of another one coming…?)