Thursday, August 30, 2007

Live Blogging Thoughts and Reaction

I was surprised at the lack of "live bloggers" at ILTA. It is a technology conference so I expected to see some interesting ways people were keeping notes and tracking information. Lisa Kellar Gianakos was toting around a tablet PC. But otherwise, I saw very few people using computers. Mostly, I saw people scratching some simple notes in the back of the conference book.

I first started live blogging at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in June. I was (still am) new to blogging. But I thought a blog would be an excellent way to keep notes from the conference. Just before going to that conference I came across some notes I had taken from another conference I attended. There was some good stuff in those notes, but they were just sitting in a pile. I could not retrieve the notes, leverage the notes for other use or leverage my attendance at the conference.

With my notes in a blog, I can use the blog search to quickly retrieve them, use labels to add some organization and incorporate them into the stream of thoughts embodied in this blog.

In addition to my use of the notes, the blog makes them readily available to my colleagues in the knowledge management group at the firm (and shows my director that I was not just off having a good time).

I think it is important to stop the blogging shortly after each session. I do not want blogging to take the place of person-to-person interaction at a conference. As the session ends, I will generally do a quick spellcheck and a quick skim for obvious errors. If it is decent enough, I just hit publish and let it go with whatever typos, grammatical errors or formatting problems I missed. If it is in really bad shape, I will wait to edit the post during a later, quiet time. For me the key is to capture the information, more than polishing them for prime-time.

During a session, I will look surgically attached to my computer. But the end result is much more useful. Isn't that what technology is all about?


  1. I was quite happy to see the coverage increase this year. I agree that a blog is a great was to organize notes and share the conference with those who are not there. I have always noticed that for a technology conference, ILTA is attended by fewer uber geeks than other conferences. I just don't know that many of the people in attendance have blogs to blog on. I plan to attend in Grapevine next year, and I plan to blog each session. Might be kind of interesting to setup a blogger blog next year and get a number of people to contribute to an ILTA community/conference blog.

  2. Doug,

    I liked both your approach to blogging sessions - I really enjoyed your notes from my presentations - and the fact that I also got to talk with you after the sessions. I think you struck exactly the right balance.

    I've also been thinking about the benefits of live blogging to the presenter. The blogged noted help me understand where I might need to place more emphasis, explain points in a different way, or otherwise improve the presentation. If a presenter is doing two or more presentations, as is common, the blog posts from the first session might lead to improvements in the second. Very interesting dynamic.

    The increased ILTA blogging (something I know Kevin O'Keefe was a big advocate for) does seem to have given the ILTA conference much more "buzz" outside the conference itself this year. There's probably a lesson in that for other organizers.

    As I told you in person, you are doing a great job with this blog.

    Dennis Kennedy

  3. Good theory. I've liveblogged a few events and as you say, it's a great way to keep track of one's thoughts and notes during a speaker. Another great thing is if there is some sort of central repository of links for those blogging an event, whether it be something official setup by a conference organizer, or even something informal like everyone tagging their entries the same way.


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