In 1969, hippies travelled from far and wide to attend Woodstock. They came to appreciate the vibe and the amazing music. They drank lots, they drugged lots. It was a good time.
It’s 40 years later, in 2009. Writers travelled from far and wide to attend Wordstock, at Ryerson University. They came to appreciate the wisdom and experience of amazing traditional and new media journalists. They drank lots of coffee. It was a good time.
So that’s where and why I was in Toronto on Saturday. I went to school and learned from the best of the best:
Robb Montgomery gave a two-hour opening seminar to all of us. I couldn’t take down notes fast enough! He had so much to share about new media and the tools to make it happen. Robb’s got a really nice way about him. You just want to catch up with him later and have a beer. If I start going on about Delicious, embedr, and bit.ly, you have him to blame.
Next, there were break-out sessions. I picked one with Don Gibb, a journalism veteran and retired Ryerson prof. He also acts as a writing coach to the Globe & Mail staff. This man was born to teach — he is just so good at getting everyone involved, and we all learned and shared a great deal about how to craft a feature article. A good one, that is.
Kim Pittaway was the presenter at my next chosen break-out session. She was slotted to give guidance on when and how to slip into first-person narrative. Truth be told, I really wasn’t so much interested in the topic as I was the speaker. When Kim was editor of Chatelaine, all sorts of stuff went down (which you can read about here and here), and to me she sounded very cool. So I went to see her. And she was cool.