CiviCon Recap: Thoughts on CiviCRM Conference 1 Week Later, Plus Videos

It’s a week and a day since the first ever CiviCon concluded. I’ve had a chance to encode and post all the videos from the Ingite and Lighting Talks (see below), and wanted to share just a few thoughts.  There were over 70 people at CiviCon, nearly double the number at the first DrupalCon (5 years ago). Both firsts took place 5 years after the project launched.  There were some jokes as we left the Michell Kapor Center about how big CiviCon will be in 5 years.

The opportunity to meet with so many great people working with CiviCRM was fantastic, and for me, it was the first time I had met folks from the Core team other than Dave Greenberg and Donald Lobo. I look forward to future CiviCon and meeting more people working with the software.  To that end I am going to convene a Seattle Area CiviCRM User Group (SEACUG), the first meeting of which will be announced shortly (it will be at the end of May).

The CiviCRM mobile brainstorm was perhaps the most exciting session.  Our own Ian Rhett did a great job facilitating a discussion about the future of CiviCRM on mobile platforms.  It is not easy to keep a room full of geeks on task in a brianstorm for an hour, but he did it.  I know there were some great notes, but I haven’t seen them on the wiki yet. Hopefully soon! During the session we identified a range of features we’d like to see in a mobile CiviCRM app, and discussed potential resources and paths to achieving them.  The lowest hanging fruit seems to be a mobile optimized theme for CiviCRM, followed perhaps by two purpose built Apps, one for nearly full CiviCRM access (search, edit, add contacts and other records) and the other for more limited “canvass” like functionality.

And now the Ignite and Lightning Talks.  I have to say, when we were about a week out and I hadn’t gotten very much interest from folks about presenting during this session I proposed, I was a little concerned, I even thought of pulling it.  But with the help of Michael McAndrew we filled the line up and had 3 great Ignite Talks (5 minutes, 20 slides, 15 seconds per slide) and 3 Lightning Talks (5 minutes).  All were video recorded, and the videos are available on Vimeo from the links below.  In addition to these videos, the first few hours in each breakout room were recorded via UStream.TV (and the second room) thanks again to Ian for setting the streaming video up!


The last thing I want to mention is the CiviCRM training that I led on the Sunday before DrupalCon.  I had the pleasure of teaching 19 people about the features and capabilities of CiviCRM and how to take the fullest advantage of them.  Thanks to the DrupalCon organizers for coordinating the training, and to my two helpers Kev Walsh and Fen Labalme for keeping things moving during the day providing one-on-one guidance to the trainees.  This training followed on the heals of another that I conducted with Dave Greenberg in Atlanta the day before the Nonprofit Technolgy Conference.  I look foward to organizing and leading more trainings like this.  If you are interested in attending a training, drop us a line through the contact form.


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