It’s been a while since my last post and in all honesty, I’m not going to lie about it. I simply haven’t made any time to sit down and pull together some thoughts about my work or learning to blog about it.
I’ve been too wrapped up in my own personal life and focused on things around the house that needed to be tended to (like the garden) but most of all tending to my friendships.
In recent times, I’ve made more of an effort to contact my online network and meet with them in person – whether it’s going out for coffee or lunch or meeting virtually with them. It seems that every other night, I’m on my computer having a chat with someone or another across the world and it’s quite lovely to reconnect this way – away from the public and getting to know them beyond their Twitter accounts and blogs.
This morning I was pinged by my manager Paul Woods (@PaulWoods) on Twitter to let me know that Microsoft is doing a call out for community reporters for Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando later this year.
Every year, reporters are selected from an application process who then share content by way of interviews, podcasts, videos, live streams and more while they’re on the ground at the event. It’s a great idea that allows people in the Microsoft community to get out there, meet people, learn about their work and then share what they learn to a global audience.
Paul sent me the link to the application process that required me to submit some samples of my work as well as an introduction video.
I spent most of this morning pulling it all together and providing links to my LearningNow TV community reports as well as the various vlogs I created at events and conferences in Australia, Singapore and Belgium and then also submitting my more creative reports as my alter ego Sharon (Don’t Call Me Shazza) Breaknews, (luddite) Foreign Correspondent for Fake News Channel CNT News.
Initially, I thought I was going to put in my application as Shazza Breaknews reporting at Ignite Conference (because she couldn’t score a foreign correspondence assignment anywhere else) and I had all sorts of ideas of how I could do the interviews as my alter ego.
My mind wandered around how I can get dressed up in my helmet and “bulletproof” vest emblazoned with the word PRESS on it and then be let loose on the floor of Microsoft Ignite interviewing developers and the tech community.
After clarifying that submitting as Shazza may be a little over the top, instead, I shared examples of my work as a community reporter for LearningNow TV an online UK based live-streamed television channel.
So now with my application submitted, I will sit and wait but I have to tell you how nervous I am. Despite doing a lot of videos over the years, whether they’re professional or not, I always get anxious and nervous when doing something like this.
Believe it or not, this is still out of my comfort zone.
The idea of talking to geeky and passionate people and having to decipher their world and present it to a global audience is scary. I worry about how I look, how I articulate my message and the rampant grey hairs on my head that may as well have a high beam on them.
Most of all, I worry I don’t have the right equipment, education and experience around creating video because much of what I create and share is just using my trusted mobile phone, a lapel microphone and maybe a tripod. Will I lose credibility?
However, I also realise that these worries are at times “convenient excuses” for me. Ways in which I trick my mind to go back to my comfort zone, to not try something new, to quietly “let it go”. In so doing, I deny myself an opportunity to personally grow from the experience.
I know that if I don’t bust through this discomfort and give it a go, I will deny myself an experience that would probably never come my way again. I figure that if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.
If I happen to get one of the ten community reporter positions then I’ll worry about the details later on. I’ll just have to work harder at being able to interview people, ask great questions and make the other person feel comfortable in front of the camera.
Besides, it’s an opportunity for collaboration with others and that’s another thing I love about it.
So now I wait…
Here’s my audition introductory video…not as Shazza but as Helen…
If you’re thinking of also submitting then here’s the form.