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When travel is limited

January 9, 2009

Earlier this week, we began the conversation about a new conference about women in astronomy and planetary science and several points were made about accessibility, particularly for those who are instructors, mothers, etc. with limited time available during the semester and too many conferences to attend.

I’ve happily participated in several meetings lately using WebEx as a remote conferencing tool, and I’d be happy to suggest to the organizing committee that this capability be added … but tell me, for both this meeting and the LPSC breakfast … what do YOU think would work? What technologies (WebEx, twitter, liveblogging, etc.) would help YOU participate in conferences or meetings to which, for whatever reason, you can’t travel?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan K permalink
    January 11, 2009 4:19 pm

    I was very disappointed in AGU’s “casting” this fall/winter. They made a big deal about it, sent us an email etc. I went to the web site in advance (direct link from email), but all that was there was a notice that they were going to broadcast certain sections at certain times. The internal links there were not live yet.

    So I went back at the proscribed time, clicked the link, and was THEN informed I needed to install software to get the broadcast to work. Well, guess what. I’m not allowed to install software. So I couldn’t participate.

    So any plans please need to make clear EITHER that you need to install something (and give you a chance to do it well in advance and test it) or use some software that does NOT require installation.

    Increasingly, I suspect, individuals are not administrators on their own machines. This is an issue.

  2. squawky permalink
    January 9, 2009 8:16 pm

    WebEx works well – as I recall, this tech. lets you see the streaming presentation but also participate in a chat room discussion with other WebEx-ers (and possibly have a person at the conference who monitors the chat and forwards questions/comments). I liked the streaming sessions at DPS because they were archived – missing the possibility for interactivity, but allows for flexibility if your schedule isn’t compatible with the session.

    The idea of a liveblog or twitter is interesting – it’s less likely to give the science content of a conference session (hard to share slides, for example), but it would be a great way to keep up with “townhall” meetings or brainstorming sessions.

    A combo of the two might be really interesting – a streamed conference like DPS with the combination of a live blogger / twitterer in the session itself. The live person can pass along questions (or even answer them directly), and the discussion could continue even after the live version is finished.

    This might be worth pursuing as a “test case” at an upcoming conference that has such capabilities – any suggestions?

  3. January 9, 2009 5:48 pm

    I really liked the live webcasting that was done at the DPS conference in Ithaca. It helps me stay interested if I can actually see what’s going on – especially if there will be more brainstorming/discussion sessions.

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