ASIST K-Blog Panel

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Educause Review: Social Software and the Future of Conferences – Right Now

Pointed out by SC. Vicki Suter, Bryan Alexander, and Pascal Kaplan. "Social Software and the Future of Conferences – Right Now." EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 40, no. 1 (January/February 2005): 46–59. Wow. Explains the difficulty of moving to all online conferences by analogy to throwing a good party. Discusses the value of f2f conferences:
We attend conferences for the conversations, among other experiences. Through conversation, we create a common ground from which we can explore the issues and problems of our professions and practice, as well as potential solutions. Conversation is the engine for work, for community, for decision-making, and for collaboration. However, the conversations we have at conferences are ephemeral. If we could find a way to make the conversations persistent, what effect would that have on our ability to construct knowledge collectively?
Talks about moving from virtual interaction to f2f (we should have conference name tags that transmit our online identities and can be set to alert us if we are in proximity to someone with whom we have an online relationship, it's possible, I saw it on morning tv... )... The important point that we don't have to choose between online and f2f interactions or the interface between the two
We tend to think of a virtual space as some sort of alternate electronic analog for face-to-face, as a replacement location when the physical is not available. Given the evolution of increasingly sophisticated social software and of the social architecture that can manage its effective uses, we might realize significant advantages if we think of virtual spaces as interwoven or intertwined with face-to-face experiences in equal partnership. The combination may augment the benefits of each—through complementarity (the strengths of each compensate for the weaknesses of the other) and synergy (the joining creates properties that did not exist when the experiences were separate).
Update 2/17: A new case study web-only add-on is up. The Future of F2F


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