30 April 2009

Preparing for edaust09

This is the least organised I've ever been only a few days out from a conference.
The presentation, at least the slides, are kind of ready, but i need to spend some time putting the verbal bits straight in my mind. I also have to pack, oh and read the program and work out what sessions to attend.

Today, I received an invitation to join the edaust09 network site. This is a "netspot" site for delegates attending Educause Australasia in Perth starting Sunday. Conference organisers, please try to get these sorts of things sorted much earlier. A few weeks back I found a wiki where some delegates were trying to get some kind of community organised in the absence of an official one. They were even trying to come up with a suitable tag.

The netspot site looks pretty basic at present. It has:
  • flickr photos appropriately tagged
  • tweets appropriately tagged
  • a forum
  • profiles
  • instructions to download Pronto a chat application
  • a list of tags which are words and phrases that delegates have put in their profile descriptions
Problems I have with this:
  • i don't much like forums
  • there's little to attract me, but maybe it will improve as content grows once the conference really gets going
  • Pronto is for Windows users only - so how about a web-based chat room. How about a free Meebo chat room even. How about some way for the rest of us to connect our other chat tools - or is that too open!
  • I didn't see an RSS feed there - and in any case it is all closed off so I wouldn't be able to access the feed anyhow, at least while i don't have access to my favourite news reader, which will be the whole time i'm at the conference.
Still, there's a good chance that I won't need this closed community anyway - as the subversive back channel will probably take off.