Liveblogging an Online Conference

Keyboard & blurry handsWendy Wickham asked a good question in the comments on TCC08: Second Life: Teaching Tips from the Virtual Frontier:

Christy – are you using 2 computers (one for blogging, one for the conference), or just one?
How are you finding the experience of liveblogging an online conference?

I’m promoting her comment to a post because I think other people may wonder about this too.

I am using two computers. I run an open source program called Synergy that lets me share the mouse and keyboard back and forth between the two. It’s effectively a virtual KWM switch. This is my usual setup for working. I do a lot of switching back and forth during the day between my laptop and PC.

Liveblogging an online conference has been a little challenging. I haven’t ever done this much liveblogging in such a short period of time before. I’ve done several standalone webinars and one live conference, but nothing on this scale. Last year I just did a summary post on ubiquitous learning after this conference. I think the act of doing the summary was a good reflection, but I don’t think I’ve really looked at the rest of my notes from TCC07. I don’t find them to be as useful as Word documents. One of my hopes is that I’ll be more able to find and use my notes from this conference because I’ve recorded them here and can easily search through them.

The biggest challenge for me has just been being disciplined enough to really do a good job liveblogging for multiple presentations in a day. It does feel a little intense. We’ll see how I feel in a few months, but right now I feel like I’m getting more out of this conference because I’m liveblogging than I would otherwise. I’m very focused on the presentations and not trying to juggle other tasks at the same time. It’s so easy to only pay partial attention during online presentations. If I liveblog, I can’t afford to do that.

I don’t find myself able to participate in the backchannel chat as much though. That is a drawback. Most of these presentations haven’t had especially spirited chats though, so I’m not really missing much. With more experience liveblogging I might be able to juggle both more effectively.

By the way, anyone interested in more TCC08 information might want to check out Natalie’s notes. She and I haven’t attended all the same sessions, so you can get information on some other presentations. I’m collecting my posts from TCC on this Series & Themes page, so you can see the whole list of my posts there.

Image: ‘keyboard ~ blur
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34427466731@N01/1629269

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5 thoughts on “Liveblogging an Online Conference

  1. Hi Christy. I found it extremely difficult to review multiple presentations and the report back on them simultaneously. I did take notes in notepad and the later sift through the notes to pick the things I felt were worth blogging about. I did participate in the chat in most of the session. What I did like about TCC this year is that they actually showed you how to save the chat transcript from each session. I actually only saved two, but it’s a nice option since often times some of the really cool information is shared in the chat.

  2. Cool – just wondering how you did it. I’m the sort that would probably have a laptop blogging while viewing the main conference on another machine. Especially since this one sounded pretty resource-heavy (what with 2nd life and all….)

    BTW – my employers LUV what I did with the liveblogging. I suspect more of us will be (not so) gently encouraged to do that at our future conferences. The big benefit to me – I’ll have a much easier time finding my notes :’) Thanks for liveblogging this conference.

  3. @Natalie, I think they may have explained how to save the chat last year during the pre-conference orientation. That was before you started with PLS though, wasn’t it? I may have learned how to save the chat in a previous online conference though; I’m not sure. It is helpful though, especially if there’s a lot of links you want to save.

    @Wendy, I did exactly what you described–blogged on the laptop and watched the presentation on the big screen. I didn’t actually participate in anything in Second Life this time (I did last year), but my computer doesn’t like Elluminate very much. I have a better monitor for my PC anyway, so I prefer to use that as much as possible.

    It’s very cool that you are getting so much support from your employers for liveblogging the conference. I can definitely see how liveblogging would make it easier to bring the information back to your coworkers–all the notes are already done and easily accessible.

    I really appreciate your notes and everyone else’s from the Annual Gathering. It’s been good to have access to all that information, and I’m sure I’ll end up coming back to it later as a resource.

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