« An interview with the future | Main | 7 conversation starters »



Sarah Horrigan

I agree with Alan. I think that a common problem with 'attending' online events is that if you do it anywhere within your normal working environment (and I guess I'm generally thinking office-based environment) getting proper time to participate is extremely difficult. What I get most from conferences tends to be the opportunity to meet people, to feel a sense of wider community and shared interest... to get some headspace and perhaps find one or two good ideas to think some more about. A lot of the presentations are... well... a bit crappy. Reducing a conference to its bare bones of 'here's a presentation... and another... and another' and doing that online is missing the point of some of the f2f stuff, I think.

That said, I like the fact that at f2f conferences with live blogging, twitter streams etc you can bring the outside in remotely and vice versa... and I think that adds a really healthy dimension to any event. I wonder if rather than this being an 'either or' choice, finding a better blend would be an option.


Yes, I definitely don't see it as an either/or - that applies to any given conference, but also to us as individuals. All the elements you mention are important, so we should really take advantage of them. But we do have options now, whereas attending or not attending was the only choice previously. It is possible I think to say 'I'll only go to 2 conferences, but attend 4 remotely' or 'I'll physically go to Alt-C every other year'
So I see the remote participation as giving us more choices and moving away from a binary don't go/go choice.
But I also think if we are to do this we need to build some time into workplans/schedules to actually pay attention to remote conferences

Nick Pearce

I think it's certainly interesting to think of remote participation as complimentary rather than a substitute for F2F participation.

as sarah says the presentations *can* be a little dull (especially if you are already familiar with somebody's work).

perhaps an answer lies in seperating out the presentation (and questions/ comments) and the 'getting away from it and networking, socialising, thinking'elements of conferences.

You could end up with kind of cross institutional, interdisciplinary away-days around particular topics. is there any real need to present your work when everyone can find out all they want about it online?

Laura James

I think that remote conferences with an active backchannel (particularly a real chat room, second life, although twitter is OK) can provide a good experience. I do try to attend online from outside my normal workspace to ensure I focus on the conference.

Nick's suggestion is very intriguing and I'd be more likely to take time to travel to something more engaging than a basic presentation production line.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • www.flickr.com
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from edtechie99. Make your own badge here.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter