Friday, September 08, 2006

Conference blogging

This morning's email brought an annoucement about various things related to this conference. One of the things was a call for volunteers to "live blog" the conference.

I am torn as to whether or not I want to do this.

On the one hand, I definitely plan on blogging from the conference. It was such a great experience for me last time that I want to (a) share it with others who can't make it, and (b) have somewhat of a record for myself of my impressions, etc.

On the other hand, I'm a bit wary about being public about my blogging. I worry that blogging during sessions will make it easy for people to glance over and match up the blog name with the name on the nametag, and there goes whatever illusions of anonymity I have. Is this even an issue? Probably not as much as I make it out to be---I probably am not as anonymous as I'd like to think I am. But I still worry about it.

(Also, related to the last point, I'll have students with me, who will ostensibly be at some of the same sessions as me, and I really don't want to "come out" to my students, now or ever!!)

So, to be an "official" blogger or not? I'll have to ponder some more. Has anyone done anything similar, and if so, what was the experience like for you? Would you do it again?


Addy N. said...

Hi Jane: One thing you could do is to start another blog under a different account. I actually have THREE different blogger accounts- including one with my real name (I've used for class and other professional things). You could always add the new posts to your own blog later? Just a thought... Good luck with your decision.

dlamming said...

I think blogging from a conference could be a very bad idea - you reveal the work of others before they're ready to publish, criticizing or praising certain work/groups/theories will piss everybody off, and finally, it distracts from talking and thinking... but that's my view. :)

FemaleCSGradStudent said...

I wrote a newsletter for a conference once. It was a summary of the previous days events, important information for the next day, poems that the attendees had submitted to me, and my own take on a particular topic of interest on the conference. It was kind of fun to get recognition from the conference's mini-community, but it was also one of those bits of work that's demanding with little reward. Given your previous post about feeling a bit low due to your recent evaluation, I wonder if your time would be better spent taking care of you. I dunno, take a yoga class, arrange some flowers, or watch a bad movie...whatever will allow you to take a couple more steps towards healing from the nasty scratches inflicted upon you by your dork-wad colleagues.

Wanna Be PhD said...

Hi Jane,
I think you should not blog your conference report as Jane. Or maybe you write your thoughts into a text file and post it later in the evening from your hotel room (I did this at various points while working in caf├ęs as I don't have a wireless).
Anyhow, thanks for pointing out the Grace Hopper conference. Do you know if there is an European version of this institute or the conference?

Wicked Teacher of the West said...

I agree with addy and femalecsgradstudent, and disagree with dlamming. I think the explicit invitation to blog the conference is fair warning to the presenters that they might be blogged. Personally, as a presenter, I'd love it if we got blogged! I also think that blogging can be a reflective process - I take electronic notes during presentations so I can come back and review them and think more about them. I thought briefly about blogging the conference and decided not to for many of the reasons femalecsgradstudent lists. It seems like a lot of work and due to its openness, possibly open to critique, which would be annoying. (Though the conference seems really supportive, so maybe not.)

I also have several weblogs. I figure it isn't that hard to find me and figure out who I am, but some are more explicitly tied to my 'real' self than others. I must say, I sort of wish it were easier to figure out who you are, because it would be neat to meet you.

Astroprof said...

I also disagree with dlamming. Perhaps if someone were blogging and no one knew, that would be one thing. But, since there has been a call for conference blogging, then that means that there will be bloggers doing just that. Those presenting are aware of this. Besides, don't they publish abstracts in the conference proceedings? In my field, the major conferences even have abtracts published in bulletins that to to a great number of people in the field, whether they were at the conference or not.

As for you anononymity, as others suggested, you could set up a separate conference blog. There, you could blog under your real name and affiliation, thus getting some exposure in the field.

Jane said...

Thanks for the advice, everyone! I've decided to do what several of you suggested, which is to just blog about whatever moves me (if I'm not too exhausted!) at the end of the day. That way, I don't have to feel like this is just another obligation, and I can spend quality time with my students and meeting new people (hopefully, um, some of whom are hiring this year).

WannaBe, there's just the big every-other-year conference, which to the best of my knowledge has always been held in the US/Canada. It would be nice if there were regional conferences, though, especially if those happened on the off-years.

plam said...

I think that dlamming is also unused to computer science conventions: conference papers in many subfields of computer science are the most important form of research publications (for historical reasons). This is very much unlike, say, physics. So it's hard to scoop a conference paper: it's already published!