Monday, February 28, 2011

Reflecting on Qualitative Computing in Istanbaul...and the Blogness of it

Wrapped Fabric garlands for sale at the Istanbul Archeological Museum.  They look like May crowns to me. 

Oh the blogginess of it all...
I wanted to try using the blog as a place to record the conference experience.  It's the first time I have tried incorporating the blog into a real piece of action as it happens kind of professional work. 

The first day, I took notes by hand in my notebook, and then in the evening, translated the notes into summaries that I shared in the blog.

The second day and from there on...feeling more bold, I took notes on my computer as I listened.  But as if often the case for me, note taking falls into the compulsive, rather than the analytic side of my personality, and I take notes as if I were more of a legal transcriber than an active participant. 

When I uploaded my notes, I was pleased with the completeness...but then I began to wonder--do I have the right to share this kind of loose transcript of someone else's work?!  What is appropriate?  What crosses the line? I didn't audiotape and transcribe, but if I am listening and taking notes with a I come close to doing that? 

How would I feel if someone blogged this closely to my presentation.  I remembered that at a conference last year someone told me they were tweeting about my presentation as I spoke, and I have to say I was thrilled!  But tweets are only 141 characters. 

With this new appreciation of the blogginess of reporting on a conference--should I clear the note taking with the presenter?  Or, is it the responsibility for the conference to do this with the presenters?  What kinds of rules should now be set in this kind of venue?  Should the conference have planned ahead of time for their own web presence and held tight to their own dissemination?  Were they derelict? 

Or is it up to the presenter to be prepared to be 'published' as we speak--should I tell people what they may do and may not do before I start?

I thought about O'Reilly Media and JISC, both of which do everything in their power to create media transparancy for conference participants and those who are listening in...they videotape conversations, videostream whenever possible, set up archives...this is a welcoming approach to media.  Would academics like this kind of conference or would they feel that their work was being appropriated by others? 

Then I begin to feel a bit resentful.  If I follow in the tried and true way of means I make a presentation one year, turn it into a paper the next year, and if I am lucky publish it in the third or fourth year.  Why should I wait years after a conference to have my ideas move into publication?  Having spoken them aloud...haven't they moved into public view? 

This made me wonder about the issue that writing something in a blog--many people have told me is--publication, but that awful word in academia..."self-publication".  God forbid that someone should self-publish!  Does this mean then that having written about this topic of ethics, blogs, and publication...then I can't publish it in a 'real' publication? 

Hmmm....once again I say, oh the blogginess of it all!

This is a booth in the Spice Market, where I found this wonderful piece of advertising--the sign that said "This shop is recommended by Obama."  I didn't get a chance to find out why--but it seemed like one of those wonderful US meets other cultures' moments. 

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