BEDJ 15: NXNEi Roundup

For many, NXNE is a a time for parties, concerts, and daytime workday drinking.

For some, NXNE is all about the i. The interactive. NXNEi, the conference dedicated to technology and music, was where I spent my week. No fancy parties for me. Well, not many.

Just wanted to share with you the highlights of my time at NXNEi.

Toys
I about lost my mind when I got to play with the Wacom Intuos Tablet 5. Tablets have come a long way. That thing is a blast, and could really help my illustration skills. Although for my needs, I do wonder if I could get a good enough app for the iPad and a stylus and be well enough off. Wouldn’t turn the Wacom down though. Not at all. You know. If you’re in the market

We Built This City on Rock and Roll
Making the Most of our Music City: How Toronto Can Move From Good to Great was my favourite panel, featuring moderator Nikki Rowling, Music Canada‘s Graham Henderson, Jeff Cohen (owner of The Horseshoe Tavern,among other venues) and City of Toronto Councillor Josh Colle.

This panel compared Toronto with Austin, TX, the self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World. What’s the deal, Toronto? We have the live music capacity, and we see crowds come out from within the city and neighbouring cities (and countries!) but live music in Toronto is still seen very much as an art, and not an industry. Cultural policy is of great interest to me, so it was heartening to hear Councillor Colle say how the city can develop infrastructure to foster live music as an industry. It was shown how in Austin after initial developments form within the live music industry, the local government developed infrastructure to support it, and then the live music industry took off exponentially. If we can replicate that in Toronto, which has a greater population and potential for funding, the positive impact (in mere tourism dollars alone) would be a lucrative one.

David Hains was there and has a sweet write up about what else went down on the panel.

I deleted an email. Vic Teows, can I have your copy?
When the Internet Met Copyright: The Story of the Canadian Copyfight was a terrific presentation. Dr. Michael Geist was unbelievably knowledgeable and frankly a top notch speaker. He laid out the  tricky medium between enforcing copyright and respecting privacy, with timely (and Canadian!) examples like that whole Vic Teows kerfuffle(slight understatement). He also highlighted how online users have recently helped impact policy – when Wikipedia makes a very public denouncement of your policy, people listen:


….or they are absolutely clueless. Kids, stay off Wikipedia for homework. Come on now.

The shining stars
But the real highlight of all of NXNEi was of course #charityfail, which was the panel on which I spoke. Honestly, being a speaker of NXNEi was great. Shout outs to 
 my fellow panelists Holly Knowlman and Laura Bradley, who are incredibly accomplished and inspiring individuals. I tip my hat to the two of you.

Feed the music nerds
The lack of food inspired a cupcake arms race:


Plenty of dudes and dudettes
I know I got down on FITC for being so heavy on men – as speakers and as attendants. NXNEi had refreshingly equal representation of women as speakers, panelists, performers, and attendants. And I’m not sure why. Yes, technology in general is still a closed off boys’ club rife with misogyny but I’m sure music has its fair share of inequality. Perhaps not as much? Anyway, the crowd and vibe was way different than FITC. Much more tweeting, more laid back, and everyone seemed to be nursing a hangover. Go figure.

Were you at NXNEi? What were your thoughts on the conference?

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