I did a lot of blogging at the last two major national conferences I attended. I decided this time, given that I’m giving so many talks, doing the book signing, etc., I would just kind of take things in without writing everything down. I’ll still write about my impressions and may go into some depth on the talks that really inspired me, but I won’t be transcribing everything the speakers said. Lots of other people will, and I’ll try to link to other coverage of anything I write about.

Yesterday I gave a talk on social software and I think it went quite well. The room was so crowded that people had to stand and there was an overflow room. It was kind of shocking to me. I hope I gave a talk that offered people something — whether inspiration or concrete ideas or new tools that they’d never heard of. It’s always hard to meet everyone’s needs considering that some people are totally new to this stuff and for others, everything I was saying was probably “old hat.” The slides from my talk and links to the sites and tools I mentioned are all available here.

At my talk, I announced the winners of the Flickr Alternative Book Cover Contest. They are:

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who entered!

There were a lot of interesting talks yesterday, but the one I found the most exciting was Ken Roberts’ talk on the myhamilton.ca portal. I will probably write a post on this later on because I found the partnerships his library set up with other community organizations absolutely inspirational. It’s funny how the talks that sound the least interesting in the program end up being the most interesting. Some of it has to do with the content, but a lot of it has to do with the speaker’s speaking ability. The speaking skills at this conference really run the gamut from truly amazing (like almost Al Gore good) to people reading their entire presentation. I know how hard it is to speak well. It’s something that still causes me anxiety and that I am constantly working to improve. But no matter how interesting your content is, if you can’t speak well or enthusiastically, you will not engage your audience.

The most fun always are the conversations that take place among attendees between sessions, at lunch and dinner, and at whatever place people hang out after dinner. So many of us don’t work with people who are really interested in library technologies, so when we come together, it’s like finding our tribe. I feel lucky to have such good friends in this profession, many of whom will one day (or are already) leaders in the profession.

It’s now the start of Day 2 of CIL and I’m listening to Andy Carvin speak about Web 2.0, social software, and blogs. I am a great admirer of Andy’s, so I was actually happy with this last minute keynote speaker switch. I’m glad to see that he is as not ga-ga over the whole Web 2.0 moniker, but still realizes that there are a lot of exciting things are, in fact, going on (a people-powered revolution). He’s talking about blogs and YouTube and what an effect they are having on politics and society. To me, bloggers (especially political ones) are the modern day muckrakers. Even in our profession, think of all the things we’re actually talking about now that were never discussed publicly before or were just taken for granted. It’s a good thing.