MY Hines

Excitement for the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC)

Posted on: April 6, 2010

It should not be any surprise that I’m bouncing with excitement to start heading to Atlanta tomorrow since one of my first blog posts was all about how much I love NTEN. So anytime I have anything on my schedule related to NTEN, I just feel a little bit more of a spark. Really, NTEN often keeps me motivated when the technology aspects of my job are draining me. For weeks now I have been looking forward to the Nonprofit Technology Conference.

So in preparing to leave, I am not even stressing that much about what is left in the office to do (except for a graphic project that I would love to have to the printers but I must admit it isn’t looking good). But there are some things that I am going to miss – and guess what, nothing have anything to do with work. I’m going to miss Cafe World on Facebook, I’m going to miss the last regular season game the Penguins will have in the Mellon Arena, and I’m going to miss writing fan fiction for my secret identity.

On the same note, there are things that I am not going to miss – and is it just by chance they have to deal with work? I’m not going to miss HelpDesk tickets at all. (New staff starts when I return!!!!) I’m not going to miss VPN, VPN directions for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS…. well, you get the point. I’m also not going to miss trying to piece together hardware for an 8-year-old computer from several other broken machines (not even the same brand!) and if someone else feels like making that happen, go for it! I’m not even going to miss my white board!

Now that I’ve outlined that, I must admit, I do have some challenges coming up while at NTC. I thought I’d share and maybe I’ll get some feedback

  1. Carry-on vs. Checked Bags – I think I can pack with just carry-on. This is probably only because my personal item is going to be the really sickenly-awesome bag I got several years ago at Cisco Live! That bag holds my laptop (I’m taking a Mac because it fits). This bag is just the bag that I love to live in. I even have extra space right now for bringing back goodies. But I have a plan if I have to bring more back. So for now, I think I’m fine with carry-on.
  2. We Are Media Sessions – I made my selections and I’m going to the blogging session and the podcasting. It may seem odd that I’m going to blogging, but I’m a novice at blogging. I know that I can learn more. Podcasting is interesting to me, but I’m afraid of what will happen when people back in the office know that I know how to do podcasts. So, I better think of some things to podcast before I have to do it for real. I think it’s a skill I need to know since I play so much in that marketing role. (I decided not to take movies because I’ve become friends with iMovie, Final Cut Express, and AfterEffects in the past three years – each year learning a new one. I think I got my hands on those. As for Listening to Social Media – that’s why I know (and have training sessions planned with) Cindy Leonard.
  3. Breakout Sessions – 100 possible breakout sessions? Quick, someone tell me how many different combinations one person can have for sessions? That’s a kind of math that I can’t handle. More difficult, I can’t even start to narrow down which ones I want to go to at a given time. I do plan on trying to let the ones that are going to be taped go on by so I can catch them later, but still, that’s lots of options left. Given my dual hat situation, I’m getting many different “angels/devils” on my shoulders telling me that I should just focus on Social Media, or just focus on Websites. Or better yet, just planning & collaboration. But wait, maybe I should get at least one session about budgeting in. Yet those Change Management sessions (especially Leading Tech Change when You’re Not the Boss”), looks like it is calling to me.
  4. Geeka Being Social? – I like to hide sometimes behind the screen and words on a computer. That’s easy for me. But part of me is very shy (even after being an un-cool lead in some badly budgeted high school musicals). In social situations, it takes me a long time to warm up. I always feel like I’m stumbling over my words. That is exactly what happened during Cisco Live! (Plus, the ratio of gals to guys was like 1 to 150!) Now I think this crowd is more “me” and hopefully it won’t be so difficult for me to be a bit more social. If you are meeting me, I apologize for any social awkwardness that I start out with because once you get to know me a bit, and if you like sarcastic humor, I think you may like me.
  5. Weight Watchers at a Conference – Yeah, I’ll admit it. I’m a Weight Watcher and anything that takes me away from my norm, well, it can throw me off. But I also don’t like to call attention to it too much. Conferences are always difficult because the food isn’t usually my call. I know that if I eat the wrong types of carbs in the morning (right now I can have a Fibre One muffin without any problems), I will crave carbs all day long – and I will need to eat them. This uncertainty has had me on the trails, bikes, and elliptical a bit more since last week in the hope to lose some extra weight before leaving. I need to remember water, water, and more water. I’m giving myself the right to gain because if not, I’ll probably gain more. Yet, it’s a rough situation to be in – because in the end during the conference call last week Holly Ross mentioned the bar and all the social events. Holly, you’ll see me at the bar at some point.
  6. Science Fair – I think NTEN might have Cisco Live beat in this one. The list of vendors at the Science Fair look so much better than the list of vendors that were at the Cisco Live event I was at. Wow – w0w – ah, in fear to sound redundant – wow! Focusing in on what I need may be a challenge (plus I have to make sure to at least try to be in the running for one iPad prize.)

I’ve got to stop because I have to do some work today. In the end, I feel like I truly only have a couple of questions left for the NTC: How many new projects/ideas am I going to have when I come back? When can I sign up for the 2011 NTC? When can NTC come to Pittsburgh?

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