In the two weeks since attending the Catholic New Media Conference there is still a tinge of sadness that it is over, that feeling that I didn't talk to enough people, take enough notes (or selfies) or soak in the experience. What I really want is another 24 hours to learn and be in community there, but the truth is the CNMC could be a week long and it still wouldn't be enough.
What is the CNMC? It is part-conference part-celebration of Catholic New Media rolled into one event that is open to Catholics involved in or interested in blogs, podcasts, social media, etc. We come together for a weekend and learn from one another. The CNMC focuses not only on the technical know-how, but also the reasons we put ourselves and our faith out there in the digital world.
Ok, I know what you're thinking. That it sounds very high brow, stuffy, and serious. No way! What makes the CNMC special is the celebration part. We are a huge family, so the CNMC is more like a crazy family reunion. There are the usual people who organize and run the show, the friends you see every year, the online people you've never met IRL, and all the new people you didn't even know existed. You know what happens when you get a crazy family reunion together, right? All kinds of shenanigans and fun! The “remember when we…”, family stories, sharing important details, lessons learned from those who came before you ... New connections ... Deep connections ... and did I mention the selfies? ;)
It’s so much more than just a conference; we come together in community to celebrate our faith and how we witness it online.
Personally, I absolutely love learning about the nuts and bolts of online media. Presentations like Capt. Jeff's on how to podcast make me want to jump into podcasting with both feet. But what keeps me coming back to the CNMC year after year are the people and the community we’ve built. This year celebrated the tenth anniversary of Catholic new media podcasting by SQPN and the seventh CNMC.
At our first CNMC back in 2009, Shelly and I were new to the blogging scene. We recognized names from podcasts and blogs, although we had never met any of them IRL. Meeting them in person was the most amazing feeling and we were quickly made to feel welcomed as part of the family. Every CNMC since has been the same.
To all those attending their first CNMC this year? I hope I made you feel as welcome as Shelly and I felt six years ago. I hope you experienced that same love and community the CNMC is known for and that the friendships created draw you back year after year.