After attending WordCamp Victoria on Saturday, Island Tech on Friday, Victoria Tweetup on Thursday, Remembrance Day service on Wednesday, and Victoria Open Coffee on Tuesday – I find myself thinking about the people you meet, randomly or intentionally. When I was doing field training as a young Reserve Officer I got exposed to the concept of ‘time on Recce is never lost’. You can always learn things through reports of others but you need to get out on the ground with your head on a swivel to truly be informed. Getting ‘out there’ also has many unintended consequences – good and bad – but it always worth the effort.

One of the results is you get exposed to people you wouldn’t meet if you followed a well planned path. I found myself thinking of that while putting together the comments from the WordCamp sessions, so I’ll start with those folks and there is no implied order of importance here.

Lorraine Murphy Raincoaster Media (@raincoaster)
Raincoaster has spoken at Social Media Club as well as this weeks WordCamp. To call her style irreverent wouldn’t be far off. There is a line about learning from other peoples experience because you won’t live long enough to experience it all yourself. Her talks are engaging and her experience dealing with the ups and downs of the “online social” provides just that experience.

Dr. Raul (@Hummingbird604)
In a short reaction to Raul’s talk at Wordcamp I used the term ‘Ninja-like’ and the more I think about it, the more I like it. Following the quiet spoken and unassuming nature of Raul’s talk is very disarming but before you know it, there are these waves of meaning and thought provoking ideas come rolling out. If Tony Robbins ‘in your face’ style is a hallmark of the motivational ‘industry’, Raul’s style is the anthesis that fits the social media movement equally well.

Tris Hussey A View from the Isle (@trishussey)
Tris’ session on tools is closest to the type of presentations that I would like to give. By plowing through hundreds of tools you try and find the gems. Once you have reached that you want to share your discoveries with others.

Jodie Gastel In Jodie’s Brain (@jodie_nodes)
Jodie presented at WordCamp but is also a regular at the Victoria Tweetups and Social Media Club. If there wasn’t a Jodie in the crowd you’d have to invent one. She had the opening spot at WordCamp on Saturday and fighting the pressure to answer a day’s worth of questions in the first 50 min gave the day an excellent start. That and the fact she owns “” makes her cool.

Robin Heppell Funeral Futurist
You wouldn’t think a funeral director would have much to contribute to a ‘social media’ conference. And you would be as wrong as the stereotype. I like to learn from other presenters to try and see what elements are compelling. The challenge of a presenter is always to connect with their audience. I expect Robin has a few challenges making a wider audience comfortable with the business context for his work with WordPress. But he powers past it with details and well thought out presentation points.

Mike Vardy The Mike Vardy (@mikevardy)
Hope Mike understands the concept of leaving his name to the end… Mike Vardy, like a budget-concious bottle of imported red wine is an acquired taste. From his session at IslandTech to the discussions at WordCamp and the Victoria Tweetups you get the sense of the humour and the messages of this gifted communicator. Many people can be ‘ha-ha’ funny but to aspire to the level of Satire is a skill. If you have the inclination, you will be both entertained, informed and amused … eventually (sorry Mike had to go for the cheap pun).

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