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08/11/2010

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Kevin Hodgson

I went through a similar experience a few weeks ago for a New Literacies event, and we were even at a Microsoft Research Center, which you would expect would be fully connected. It was frustrating for me, a presenter, and it was certainly frustrating for folks in the audience.
All the points you make are exactly what I would have said, too. It's interesting how our expectations of conferences have changed over the years -- we don't expect to be passive receivers, we want to be active participants.
Kevin

Martin

Why can't Alan Cann comment on my blog?

twitter.com/AJCann

I can log in with twitter but not by writing my details in the boxes. Changing emails makes not difference. I hate having to log in to make comments - usually don't bother.

twitter.com/AJCann

Yes, MiFi is relatively expensive abroad, but preloaded, so part of conference budget and no cost over-run.

twitter.com/didactylos

It has to be an absolute given now for conferences UNLESS there is a reason of them being 'incommunicado'. The frustration and loss of impetus that results from he disconnect is dreadful.

twitter.com/cogdog

I was among many people not in Barcelona looking for the live stuff from openEd. If it were not for the limits of mobile plans abroad we would have seen more action, as the new response to the venues lack of net is to whip our own out of our pockets.

Rather than "haves" and "have nots" we can see times of being "connected" and "connected nots" and rather than it being a factor of economic status, it's one imposed by the facilities (and tha damn mobile companies). It was great that one person shared some notes and links on their wiki.

The live amplification is one thing but also equally valuable is the reflective and archival amplification that happens post. Where are the blog posts, the shared presentations, the Flickr stream? Given a lavk of live video, did snybody pull out a pocket audio recorder. That is not the same amplification, but IMHO, important in other ways, and to me, more valuable than knowing what was happening in real time.

I'm a bit saddened with the decline (I don't buy "death") of reflective blogging from conferences.

The only footprint making this conference one can find on the web site is the program?

Martin

@Alan - I felt that not having people like you, Tony, Jim etc as part of the broader conversation definitely lessened the conference. I also wonder if the lack of activity you note after the conference is a consequence of the lack of online activity during it. You get conversations going, start blog posts, find links etc while you are there and in the moment. You may post these afterwards but a lot of it is formed during the event. If you are not connected a lot of these ideas are lost.
Also a small point - if you're not connected then it means you get stay on top of emails, so when you get back you have a backlog, which distracts you so you never get around to doing that reflective post.

Erikduval.wordpress.com

I agree with Martin's comments.

In addition, I've come to rely on permanent connectedness, and it makes me uncomfortable when I get disconnected. Like many of you, I am at a conference or in a meeting abroad two a three days every week and it becomes difficult to balance that with work and family obligations when the connection disappears.

After two days without a connection, I actually stayed away from the last day of the conference because of this reason! Pity I missed some good talks and conversations as a result...

Carl Morris

If you know which YouTube videos you want to play at a conference, you should download them beforehand - at least as a backup if the connection does fail. I use a Firefox add-on called DownloadHelper for this.

Martin

@Erik - I'm not away from home as much as you, but to be unconnected begins to have a knock-on effect doesn't it? So your decision to stay at the hotel and do email was partly to stop the backlog into the following week.

@Carl - yes, I know I should have done this. I thought about it and went 'nah, it'll be fine, it's a modern science museum and they've promised wifi, it'll be fine...'

Heloukee

Your lack of connectivity really strikes a chord, although my (recent) situation was different: I had a total tech fail at the AoIR conference - laptop died on the first day, closely followed by malfunctioning iPhone.
It was a good conference, lots of interesting papers, I met some great people etc. but without being able to connect online as well as f2f I almost feel as though I wasn't there!
It was strange to read the twitter stream afterwards, feeling as though i'd missed out on the event despite having attended. Made me realise just how integral my online connections have become at conferences, both in terms of engaging with my wider network (who didn't attend) and - more significantly to my mind - the 'bonding' that takes place through communication with other delegates via Twitter. I really do feel as though I missed out on some of the more social (and potentially rewarding) aspects of the conference purely because I wasn't part of the back-channel...

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Awesome you have done great job thank you n addition, I've come to rely on permanent connectedness, and it makes me uncomfortable when I get disconnected. Like many of you, I am at a conference or in a meeting abroad two a three days every week and it becomes difficult to balance that with work and family obligations when the connection disappear

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Amazing post you have left here. It was strange to read the twitter stream afterwards, feeling as though i'd missed out on the event despite having attended. Made me realise just how integral my online connections have become at conferences, both in terms of engaging with my wider network (who didn't attend) and - more significantly to my mind - the 'bonding' that takes place through communication with other delegates via Twitter. I really do feel as though I missed out on some of the more social (and potentially rewarding) aspects of the conference purely because I wasn't part of the back-channel...

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