#NowWhat16 - I'm late but it was great

In this extremely late – as in, almost six months in draft late – latest update from your humble correspondent, this seasonal migratory web librarian chronicles her travel to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to attend the Now What? Conference (April 13-14).

First, let’s get this out of the way: anytime I can participate in a fantastic learning opportunity, enjoying talks by industry leaders in a nicely-sized conference community held in a cute town IN A STATE I’VE NEVER YET VISITED, I call that a win. In case you’re wondering, I checked off State #38 (my apologies to Wyoming, I forgot it when I did my pre-trip calculation, so that’s one more inaccuracy on Facebook).

Now What? Conference is organized by Blend Interactive – and I’ll let them describe it in their own words:

Now What? Conference is two days of talks and workshops about how to maintain and improve your website. It’s not just about making a new site – it’s about getting better at handling your current one. Join us and our team of experienced web-hands to navigate the high seas of website maintenance – from writing great copy to tracking content effectiveness – and ensure that you have what you need for smooth sailing.

One of the emails I got about it put it this way: “People always wonder what steps to take once a website has been launched. So we asked the question: Your site has launched … now what?” It’s like they were reading our minds. 🙂

So, off I went to South Dakota.

I had a commitment to teach on the Wednesday morning, so I had to miss Meghan Casey’s Content Strategy workshop, but in the afternoon I attended Rebekah Cancino’s workshop on content management and governance. I took so many notes! So many good ideas.

In fact, the reason this post sat in my draft folder for nearly six months was the sheer volume of notes and insights from the half-day workshop & single day of talks. I kept thinking, I’ll go back and write them up in more depth. And then it was time to grade projects. ALA came around. My dossier was due. I gave a couple talks. The semester started.

Now it’s October – nearly November! Oh man.

I still plan to go back through my notes and write them up, but in the interest of getting back in the game on posting, I’m going to wrap this one up briefly with the following observations:

  • Jonathan Colman gave a great keynote, Wicked Ambiguity and User Experience, which has had me thinking about wicked problems and beautiful solutions ever since.
  • Each one of the talks was so on-point: Ron Bronson, Misty Weaver, Matt Grocki, Megan Costello, Rebekah Cancino, Kevin Hoffman. For now, just read the blurbs.
  • In addition to giving great talks, they were also just the coolest people – I wound up getting to have dinner with a number of the speakers (fun!) and so enjoyed hanging out and talking.
  • The folks at Blend Interactive who organized the conference were similarly awesome; and as previously mentioned, Sioux Falls is a delight.

In short, excellent speakers, solid content, cool town, nice people – I wish I could go this year. Sigh. Registration for the 2017 event is open now, and they have an awesome mad scientist theme going … check it out: http://2017.nowwhatconference.com