Updated: 6/23/2005; 9:36:30 PM.


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  Sunday, May 25, 2003

  BlogTalk: back home

Ok, I'm back home, I posted all pieces I had written on my way back home and finally I can catch up with sleeping :)

This was a great experience! I suspect that my "reflection" posts can create a totally different impression, but they are an attempt to understand what was happening at BlogTalk.

Thomas and his team - thank you for making it real. See you on-line.

More on: BlogTalk 

  Writing books for managers

This is something totally different: some ideas from talking with Phil Wolff and Martin Roell on Friday night. Phil talked about two types of books for managers. One is a thin "vision" book. It usually has one main idea ("message") in it, so it seeds certain idea in manager's head. The second type is thick "how to do it" book. It provides case-studies, lessons learnt and implementation guidelines. Managers usually do not read these books, they give them to specialists who are supposed to implement the idea.

More on: BlogTalk writing 

  Blogging echo chambers

Probably not blogging gave me some time for more thinking :) At the end of the day I realised that we've got a quite good understanding of our viewpoints, but have no idea what people in the audience think. It was strange to have rich discussion between panellists and few other bloggers and almost no comments and questions from other people. I even don't have good idea who they were and what do they think about blogging.

Before not having access to others' feedback was fine, but once I realised that I have ways to get them because they are blogged, I've got a strong feeling of loss of impressions of people who were not blogging. It's like getting feedback only from one - biased - part of the audience.

Yesterday I asked not bloggers to comment on the conference, but it wasn't very successful. The funniest thing is that at the end I started to feel like agreeing with Denham Grey about self-referencing in the blogosphere. Blogging accelerates shared understanding and consensus building, but at the same time it amplifies it's own sound. At the end it's so strong that voices of not bloggers are not heard.

One may argue with Rebecca Blood's talk about the danger of group think in the blogosphere, but yesterday I could feel that we were in echo chamber.

More on: BlogTalk 

  BlogTalk: why I wasn't blogging

For me this was the first conference blogged for many people in real time, so I had to discover my way of doing it. A couple of times before I was the one blogging and I did it mainly in reporting style. I started the same way blogging BlogTalk, but I was also adding links to other bloggers.

Very soon I realised that this was a bit stupid: blogging by 2-3 people is enough to provide quite good summary of what is going on (presentations and papers are on-line too, so if someone is not happy with summaries there is always something better). Next to it we went into discussing "don't blog me I'm real" issue, so I also didn't feel like blogging.

I also found that during this conference I was even more lazy. It was not only "why reporting if there are others doing it", but also "why making photos if many others make them almost real time with their digital cameras".

[photos by Heiko Hebig]

More on: BlogTalk 

  Real-time conference blogging: reporting vs. reflecting

I'm sitting in the plane on my way back from Vienna. I wasn't posting from yesterday's morning. The network was down in the afternoon and evening/night face-to-face time was too valuable to go on-line. So these are some of the yesterday's impressions revised and reflected while talking with many people late at night.

I think that there are two modes of conference blogging: reporting and reflecting. Reporting provides a summary of a presentation/discussion with a bit of impressions. Reflection goes deeper to analyse what was said and to build on it (Phil Wolff also distinguished between "three levels of reflection" and "twenty levels of reflection").

Dan Gillmor provided a great example of impact that real-time conference reporting can have. He blogged about an executive presenting and soon received a comment pointing that this guy was playing with a company stocks. This was posted as well and had an impact of an audience reactions to the presentation. Another example was about real-time corrections after he posted misinterpreted summary of presenter's words.

This mode of conference blogging is not really different from note-taking, it's only about changing medium and making notes available for others. The best of real-time conference reporting comes from the opportunity to provide reacher feedback. But it's also requires that presentations are more-or-less long and that a blogger has substantial number of readers reading his blog real time.

Reflecting mode of conference blogging is different. I believe that reflection requires more attention than reporting, so if you do it real-time you tend to switch from active listening and participating in a discussion to your own thinking. This is provides much richer ground for a conversation, but I doubt that it can have real-time impact (because in most of the cases discussion will move faster than your writing). It may be more valuable to formulate your emerging reflective ideas as a question and ask it.

From one side a conference gets an on-line mirror with many people posting, commenting and linking to each other. This mirror can change and enhance the conference reality (using Gilbert's words it can direct reality). From another side, the process of creating and supporting this mirror takes our attention and energy, so we have less energy for creating the reality that mirror is supposed to reflect. This is an interesting and very strange phenomena.

I agree with others that conference blogging is there to stay like SMSing during lectures. I agree that it can make our experiences more interesting by providing a real-time mirror. Still, I feel that rich discussions require our attention and that it's quite stupid to change opportunities of talking to real people into virtual conference. At the end our face-to-face time is limited and blogs are there for long.

More on: BlogTalk 

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© Copyright 2002-2005 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

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