Friday, September 7, 2007

First Experience in live blogging at PCC Summit 2007

I promised to get back to you on my first ‘live blogging’ experience. As readers know I live blogged Gartner’s Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit 2007.

I was very curious if I was going to get it done. Would I be able to post a summary of each talk just after the talk ended? Would I be able to write a readable summary of each talk, not just for myself but also for others? What’s the best way to do it? Type directly in Blogger or in Word and copy it to Blogger? Will there be more bloggers at the Summit? How do you blog about figures, diagrams, flowcharts, etc.?


Let’s answer these questions.

For one, I’m pretty satisfied with my live blogging experience. It worked out really well. I could listen to the talks and type along with them. Even though I was typing I was able to ask questions (which you have to right down at this Summit… - wouldn’t it be an better idea to email them to a central panel visible for everybody?). Based on the comments I conclude my summaries were pretty understandable.

I started out typing the summary in Word. I would copy-paste it to Blogger after the talk finished. This was a terrible thing to do. Word slips in all kinds of markup, that is not understood (or wrongly understood) by Blogger. This resulted in a lot of work getting the post in the right and publishable format… This is why I wasn’t able to publish every post right after the talk ended.

So after a couple of sessions I started blogging in Blogger directly. This worked wonderfully. In this way I was able to publish the post at the end of the talk.

However, not every session room had enough electricity plugs - some didn’t have any - (so my battery would run out every now and then) and Internet access was only good enough in one of the three rooms… I really don’t understand how Gartner could organize such a Summit and not have facilities set up correctly for modern day workers. Note that the Summit was about these workers…

Apparently not many modern day workers were there. I saw lots of Blackberrys, some laptops and lots of paper and pens. I was the only one blogging the Summit (as far as I know). How do I know? Well just type in the Summit title in Google and see what you get. My blog comes/came up very high in the result list. (The results were the same for day 1 and 2.) And my blog was number 1(!!!) if you searched for blogs on the Summit. (Refer to the pictures for proof.) That’s cool for me, of course. Another thing I saw was the sudden increase in subscribers to my blog. I’m not sure it has to do with my live blogging though.

Then there’s the diagrams, figures, etc. How do you get them in a post?! I don’t know. Sometimes I tried to describe them in words. Taking pictures of slides is a way to do it. But it’s a lot of work, getting the picture on your pc, uploading it to Blogger, etc. (The pictures that were taken will be on flickr soon, someone promised.) Does anyone have tips on this?
Will I live blog my next conference? Definitely. It was a nice experience. And, comparing to writing along with pen and paper, I really have the idea I got the content of the Summit in my head in a more structured way.

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