Sunday, June 29, 2008

SCGS Jamboree: Why Live Blogging Didn't Work for Me

And the Implications of That!

I had said that I would "liveblog" the Jamboree. As it sadly happened, I could not, but others did. Why? Well, there are a couple of reasons, each with certain implications and lessons.

FIRST: I had assumed without checking that the Marriott's Convention Center would have wireless Internet access for all participants. Apparently, there was a network available, but the key was accessible only to the speakers. So I paid $9.95 a day for wired access in my room. That, of course, made liveblogging impossible. I should have checked the situation beforehand. I hope that at other and future conferences, wireless access can be made available to all (even if we have to pay a reasonable fee for it). Additionally, as Randy Seaver has noted, the conference rooms were small and crowded with little space for computer use by participants other than the presenters. This fact made lugging my laptop around a major inconvenience. Now, looking at the majority of participants, I would guess (yes, I realize that I'm stereotyping here by age), many may not have been that interested in almost cutting edge tech issues and may not have had the hardware or the desire to carry it around for the conference. But there are many, regardless of age, who do have such interests and we need to accommodate them. That's where the world is heading.

SECOND: I did not have the state of the art hardware. I'm a tech dinosaur, I suppose, stuck back in the ancient days of 2006 or even 2005. I marveled at the fact that Elizabeth O'Neal not only liveblogged, she "moblogged." How did she post a picture of the Bloggers Summit on her blog while the summit was still going on? She used her cell phone! The cell phone took the picture; the cell phone printed the text; and the cell phone transmitted all of that to Blogger! This is facilitated by Blogger Mobile. Any cell phone with the capability to send email via MMS can work with Blogger Mobile. (And I suppose only a 2005-vintage dinosaur would describe Elizabeth's mobile device as simply a "cell phone"!). My cell phone is text-enabled and can send email via MMS, but I've never bother to do this. I can connect to the Internet with it, but I've never bother to do that, either. It can't take photos, however.

It's a fact of life that time and technology yield for no one. I need to catch up or be left behind. Reading Family Matters is a good way to to catch up for those who want to come along!

AN OBSERVATION: During the Bloggers Summit Q&A, I sensed that a number of people who may want to be more "tech-savvy" are a bit wary, even afraid, of the technology. This afternoon as I prepared to leave the hotel I talked with a woman who said she still didn't get the "how-to" part of starting a blog. Perhaps local societies should have a tech "How-to/Hands on Day" to demystify some of this for folks not used to it. We're at a point in history where technology is more accessible to more people than ever before. It would be too bad to let some smart people succumb to tech-phobia.


Becky Wiseman said...

Craig, I've enjoyed reading your posts (and those of other bloggers too) on the jamboree. When I went to the FGS conference in Fort Wayne last year I knew that I wouldn't live-blog it. Why? Primarily because I didn't want to lug the laptop around and, as you discovered, there really isn't enough space in a crowded room. I also have a problem with trying to type and listen to a speaker at the same time! LOL.

Back in February of this year I wrote a post for a presentation to my gen society: "What is Blogging? Why would I want to do it?" It might be helpful to someone thinking of starting a blog. I don't know if the url to the post will be readable in comments but here it is:

Craig Manson said...

Thanks, Becky. Yours is a great article. Here's the hot link:
What is Blogging? Why would I want to do it?

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Hi Craig,

It was such a pleasure meeting you at the Jamboree!

Thank you for the "plugs" for my little blog. I haven't had a chance to write about my experiences at Jamboree yet, due to a variety of interruptions (namely my 2 yr old), but I will this week. I also plan to talk about some of the tech tools I used.

I serve as one of the tech/web people for the DAR, and I agree with your assessment of people being afraid of technology, especially NEW technology. Personally, I love it, and can't stand to be without the latest gadget.

Sometimes there's a learning curve for the new stuff, but I guarantee that it's worth it. I see it as needing to stay at least one step ahead of my soon-to-be tech saavy daughter. Her dad's a rocket scientist, so I have reason to worry!

Take care!