I’ll be getting up veeery early tomorrow morning to head west for the second annual NetSquared conference-thingy. Last year’s event had a profound effect on me. It’s where I first started using Second Life , and it’s where I had the opportunity to deepen my relationship with the brilliant Micah Sifry which led to my eventual involvement in techPresident and the Personal Democracy Forum. In other words, some of the most interesting and professionally beneficial things I’ve done in the past year grew out of NetSquared.

N2Y2 (as they are calling this second event) is going to be very different from last year’s conference. In fact, they’ve thrown out the standard conference format and instead are focusing the entire event around 21 projects that were selected by the NetSquared community (ie: anyone who wanted to vote). The entire event will be about improving the projects from a technical, financial, and management perspective.

I’m not really sure yet how I feel about this change, but as with many conferences, much of the value comes in the wonderful people you can meet, and I’m sure this year will be no exception. You can follow the action via the N2Y2 tag and NetSquared’s Twitter friends page. Read Beth’s Blog or the NetSquared community blog for more goodness.

As I mentioned before, my special part to play will be as one of 21 “champions,” each of whom is helping one of the projects through the process. My project is the Genocide Intervention Network, which aims to utilize social networks and social media to build the movement against Darfur and other atrocities. For my homework, I plan to spend some quality time on the plane reading their excellent proposal. If you get the chance to read it, I’d love to hear any feedback.

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