Liveblogging Academic Conferences – Best Practices

As Jeffrey and I are working on a research project on academic conference live blogging, he posted the list of considerations from lessons learned from the academic conferences we’ve lived blogged to date (AHRD and AERC conferences). Here is the list so far (further explanation on his blog entry today) ~
Robin Yap speaking about the background of ibstpi1. Have an extension cord.
2. Use an offline blogging program.
3. Have a fully-charged battery.
4. Create entry shells prior to the sessions.
5. Distinguish between internal and external experiences.
6. Have a camera and its sync-cord.
7. Have an international adapter/plug.
8. Adjust the computer time to the local time.
9. Consider a hyper-link policy.
10. Plan for breaks.
11. Get a comfortable seat.
12. Consider keywords carefully.
13. Tag the posts with an agreed-upon tag.

There is a difference between taking down notes from a conference and passing it to colleagues in electronic format and a thought-out blogging exercise concurrent to a live conference albeit content can most times be just immediate flash thoughts (as in a Gladwellian Blink). With Nonaka’s ba on our side, live blogging an academic conference can be quite taxing and quite exhilirating at the same time. Like Jeffrey, I too am a constructivist qualitative researcher which results in my multiplane reflexive blog entries when I live blog academic conferences. It is therefore a requisite for this variant of live bloggers to ensure distinguishment of internal and external input to the blog content ensuring faithfulness to content being delivered and content being interpreted. Further to this observation is the additional challenge of interactive academic conference sessions. Live blogging while you are participating proved to be practically impossible. At one of my Oxford sessions, Jeffrey was live blogging it and could not participate fully as he needed to continue typing and finish his thoughts on the session interaction. I couldn’t live blog as I was the one speaking although interestingly enough I too had live blog thoughts reeling in my head while I was interacting with the audience (weird out of body experience, I say – now if only I could have a double..)

So bottom line is that if you are intent in live blogging an academic conference there are trade offs – from spatial requirements to intellectual balancing acts. It is enjoyable but it can also be viewed as work. You choose how you’d like to proceed but these best practices continue to be refined so as to have a better framework for you academic conference live bloggers out there.

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