Venn Librarian

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Pre-conference thinking

Posted by lpearle on 30 May 2008

(note: I’m loving this pre-posting feature in Blogger – I can write and set it up to post in the future. Like magic!)

I’m starting to get ready for the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. We know how I feel about travel, and I don’t love heat. I’m not the world’s biggest Disney fan, and the idea of going to The Happiest Place on Earth just brings out the Grinch in me (to mix children’s icons). Part of that planning is to think about blogging, both professionally and personally.

Recently I’ve read a few posts about the benefits of not live-blogging. Doug looks at it from a multi-tasking perspective, saying

At the end of the keynote, I had an entire page of handwritten notes, which has become unusual for me. Why?

My laptop’s battery was dead and the lecture hall had zero electrical outlets. I could not do my usual thing of checking e-mail, reading rss feeds, or Twittering and half attending to the lecture.

I’ve been trying to multi-task, reading magazines or catching up on-line while “watching” the Celtics in the playoffs. Either I’m not taking in what I’m reading, or I’m missing the big pass/steal/dunk/foul. Never having tried to live-blog a conference, after reading this I’m not going to start!

Oached Pish
seems to think this might also be a function of interaction:

I’m thinking about this because I went box diving last night, looking for something, and discovered instead the pages of notes I’d taken during Sercon, spring 1987. I sat there in the attic, reading about the state of publishing then, prognostications of the future of the genre, etc, etc, and thought, Well, I managed to take tons of notes! Then I thought, Yeah, because you listened the entire time, you are were a dorky piece of furniture of no interest to anyone and certainly no utility, so of course you had plenty of opportunity!

When I go to conferences, I don’t feel like a “dorky piece of furniture of no interest to anyone” but I do try to listen, both during sessions and during those “meet-and-greet” times.

We often tell our students that writing notes and then re-writing them, or typing them, helps the meaning sink in. That repetition coupled with the physicality helps the learning by adding an extra view, an extra motion.

So, why do we live-blog? Because we can? Because we can show that We Are There? Because it’s the cool thing to do? No thanks. I’ll stick with my steno pads and pens, taking notes and listening the old-fashioned way. Then I’ll write, and perhaps blog, and get another chance to internalize what I’ve just learned, rather than having it go in one ear and out my fingers.


3 Responses to “Pre-conference thinking”

  1. doug0077 said

    Lazy,You will be so engrossed in the pre-conference, you won’t want to be multitasking any who. ;-)See you in Anaheim!Doug

  2. Aravis said

    I agree with you; I couldn’t pay attention to the speaker if I was blogging it, or even just playing around on my computer. I need to sit there, notepad in hand, and listen, which I feel is more respectful anyway. The speakers may not always be interesting, but they put effort into what they’re doing, and perhaps are even feeling anxious over having to give a speech at all. The least I can do is pay attention.

  3. Alice in Infoland said

    I think live-blogging requires special skills, and very few — like Jenny Levine — are *really* good at it. Most folks really need to listen/process/think before they post, if their reports are to be of any use to the rest of us.

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