Thursday, June 16, 2005
I registered for the Technology Track portion of the conference which consisted of three sessions. I missed the first one ("Keeping Current: Gadgets & Tools") because the keynote presentation by David Snowden - which was excellent, but dense (I'm still mentally digesting it) - ran long and I didn't have the guts to wander into the session a half hour late. So, I started my technology "track" with this session, which got off to a wonderfully ironic start with a cranky internet connection and a laptop that crashed a couple of times. But the panelists - Darlene Fichter, Randy Reichart, Aaron Schmidt, and Steven Cohen - merrily soldiered on. It was a really fun session.
Some of my takeaways:
- 3 keys to blogging: frequency, brevity, and personality
- blogs don't stand alone, but are part of a loosely joined conversation, thereby encouraging collaboration
- RSS allows you to redistribute/repurpose content - however an RSS feed itself is content, and so has copyright implications. It's a good idea to check for appropriate permissions from the provider before using an RSS feed
- Blogging/RSS represents a shift from mainstream media to grassroots media - widens the field of knowledge
- Blogs vs. wikis (question from the audience) - blogs allow for limited and controlled collaboration amongst one or a few; wikis allow for wide open and uncontrolled (for the most part) collaboration. Blogs also are more robust and stable than wikis right now, allowing for more flexibility in accomplishing your purpose.
- Legal and/or ethical implications of scraping feeds (another question from the audience) - there likely are legal implications (at least in Canada) as you are basically manipulating someone else's content without their permission. Darlene recommended reviewing the Electronic Frontier Foundation's new Legal Guide for Bloggers for more guidance.
Aaron's and Stephen's presentations were rendered as a website and blog, respectively. I appreciate being able to immediately go back and review the presentation online, without having to download a ppt or doc file. Lovely.
...in beautiful Calgary, Alberta, which also happens to be my hometown (so, of course I'm not biased). CLA sent out a call earlier this week asking for volunteers to blog the conference. I didn't respond, mostly because I'm not sure how consistent I will be (note the spotty record so far). But, I'll do my best.