Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kick Off Graphic Jam

Welcome sign by Michelle Laurie
Our workshop agenda
Yesterday we arrived in Rossland, British Columbia from a variety of locations for the 2nd annual Graphic Facilitation workshop. A few of us did some prep work to get ready for the kick of graphic jam -- hanging paper, prepping the floor space with plastic to catch chalk dust, and throwing open the curtains to let the natural light in.

It was exciting to put names to faces and learn about the various backgrounds and reasons for coming to the 3-day workshop. The first activity was a visual introduction. In 5 minutes the 20 participants came up with drawings that gave us a lot to talk about! We toured the room and participants described what they saw. Not your traditional round robin intros!

Violette Clark creating her visual introduction
Next Nancy made sure we warmed up properly and became aware of space around us by using our whole bodies. BIG circles! Rockin' straight lines!

From there Nancy introduced participants to basic concepts around lettering, spacing, colour, and everything else that emerged from the group. One thing I really appreciate about Nancy White's teaching style is that she uses the work of participants to point out different styles, design principles, impact of colour, use of space, and so on. We don't always work through all skills and concepts systematically. By the end of the evening graphic jam we were talking about what works, what frustrates us, what we're curious about... because we had plenty of time to experiment.

Yes we can! Close up of drawing by Sara Davis
We're capturing bits and pieces that will give you a glimpse of what happens in the #rosviz graphic facilitation workshop. On to day 2!

Monday, July 11, 2011

RosViz Social Reporting

The last couple of months have been a bit of a whirlwind with planning, organizing, traveling, presenting, facilitating... It's the usual stuff that goes with my job, except lately a new, fun piece has been added to the mix. Drawing on walls! And not that I needed to have any more fun, but now something else has been added to the list: Social reporting!

I mentioned earlier that I will be participating this week in the Graphic Facilitation Workshop in Rossland, BC, facilitated be Nancy White and Michelle Laurie. I'm getting pretty good at packing supplies for these trips. This time in addition to the rolls of paper, variety of markers, coloured chalk, tape, xacto knife, etc I'll be bringing along a bag of items to support my roll as social reporter: video camera, iphone, laptop, cables, etc. I've also been reading up the role of the social reporter. Michelle pointed me to this report that has some good tips: Social Reporting from Conferences, Workshops and Other Events: A practical guide for organisers. It also has a good definition of social reporting:
Social reporting is a set of skills and tools mixing journalism, facilitation and social media to report collectively and live from an event, capture the moments of the event and develop interactive conversations.
I'm realizing that this concise sentence packs in a lot of skills and responsibility! I'm not a particularly fast writer, nor a brilliant multi-tasker. My photography could use some help, too. Hmmm, right person for the job? We'll see!

We have a few of the basics in place:
Photo by Nancy White, taken at RosViz 2010
What else do we need? So many questions are beginning to whirl around in my head. Should I set up a separate ROSVIZ blog? What about possibilities for using Google+?
Getting ready for a road trip to Rossland, BC for a graphic facilitation workshop with +Nancy White and Michelle Laurie and thinking about how G+ might fit into the social reporting equation
Do you have experience with social reporting? Any advice to share? Whatever happens I plan to keep Nancy's concern in mind:
My worry? Distraction across too many media. So how do we keep it simple?
Oh, and more about my drawing on walls adventures will be posted soon!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Merging Blogs

There's a bit of a history to this move, but the What's New blog, previously and also better known as Pink Flamingo Resources, is now here at Webbed Feat. It took me awhile to get up the courage to press that import button. Blogger Help has the basics of how to export and import xml fies, but I still had a lot of questions:

  • Will the post dates be maintained? 
  • What about the tags (labels)? 
  • How will this impact RSS feeds, both from What's New and Webbed Feat? 
  • Will places like the ETUG community suddenly have over 800 blog posts dating back to 2005 showing up in the activity stream? 

The one-and-only Pink Flamingo
After some research I was confident that merging the two blogs would be quick and easy. I even found a very clever workaround for moving away from the What's New blog without impacting the current subscribers (which is different from "followers", but there are very few readers using that option).

So after sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the import to finish, I checked my blog and was so impressed that everything worked. Oh but wait! Here's the question I forgot to ask: Will the blog post authors stay intact? Turns out the answer is NO! Now it appears as if I wrote all of these imported posts, when in fact Kate Britt (aka Pink Flamingo) should be showing up as author for everything prior to April, 2009. Then after that we had a few posts from ETUG members, such as Amanda Coolidge and Leva Lee. Oh well, if you want to check those details you can always go back to the What's New blog. I'll leave everything intact over there. Meanwhile, thanks for reading the newly-merged blog!