Sunday, October 23, 2005

ConvergeSouth Reflections

It has been two weeks since ConvergeSouth, and I want to offer my thanks to those who worked hard to make the conference a raving success. The sessions have been covered very well by a number of attendees, so I will focus my reflections on other items.

NCA&T was an inspired choice to host the conference. Their facilities are new and spacious, and the students who attended enriched the sessions and social events. I hope that next year's conference will return to the campus.

Meeting several bloggers for the first time was a highlight. I shared a delightful lunch with Joe Guarino. I also got to talk with Mickey McLean briefly a few times. He and my wife work together, and I hope I get to see him again at a company function. Mickey's faith blogging session was interesting and lively. I only spent a small amount of time with Sam Wharton, but he is an impressively bright, articulate, and mature 16-year old.

Christy Seals and I have corresponded via email, so it was a real treat to meet her at the military blogging session she led with Allison Perkins. At that session I also got to meet Jon Lowder, a funny and insightful blogger. Jay Rosen contributed some key points in the one session we attended together, and I enjoyed talking to him on the Hoggard's front porch, too.

And speaking of the Hoggards, they hosted one of their famous cue parties with David Wharton and Mathew Gross. Before arriving, I had been at an outdoor fund raiser in the pouring rain, so hot pig, cold beer, and intelligent conversation was just the medicine I needed.

The Saturday evening meal at 223 South Elm was delicious, as was my conversation with News & Record Editor John Robinson. We knew each other a bit from previous blogging events and our involvement in Rotary, but I found him to be warm, funny, thoughtful, and certainly intelligent. I dominated his attention that evening, and I hope he has recovered.

I have two final thoughts about ConvergeSouth. The first is that it was a pleasure that there was so much more diversity among attendees - age, race, gender, political, geographical. The second thought is that it seems we have gotten past the journalism vs. blogging discussion that never seemed to add much at previous conferences. That allowed us to talk about more interesting topics.

I am already looking for to ConvergeSouth in 2006.


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