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June has been a busy month with lots of events to track and blog posts showing increasing takeup of event amplification and curation approaches. There’s always a lot to think about both before and after IWMW, so I’m going to split this report into two. This post looks at the amplification and curation, while a second will tackle issues around content and the web manager.
This year’s IWMW has had a strong focus on the ‘post’ part of the event lifecycle – in previous years they’ve tried out an event blog and a network, but for 2012 there’s an official event website plus Lanyrd.
Quick overview of how I followed – participated? – in the event:
- followed Twitter via Tweetchat when watching the video stream, via Searchhash for a quick scan of other sessions, via TAGS for mining/searching, eg fiddly things like counts for session hashtags, most RTs for conference th/memes. Tweeted 12 times during the conference, mostly admin type tweets rather than substantive.
- watched a few sessions live – switching between Tweetchat, slides, Storify…for me audio plus a healthy backchannel is sufficient, with video creating a fleeting sense of occasion. Following an event remotely is a new – innovative? – experience, a kind of mashup, and the balance of the individual components can change. For example, at #iwmw12 there were a number of excellent livetweeters alongside the ‘official’ stream – when can an official livetweeter fall away?
- tried Storify for reflections and to collect resources – see #iwmw12 live and remote. This felt more informal/ephemeral? than a blog post (I even allowed myself some snark and off the cuff remarks), but not as public or random as Twitter, with space for longer comments.
Recordings of all the plenaries are now available in an IWMW 12 Vimeo album but also, as described in IWMW 2012: the movie, with slides and video side by side, another example of the ‘mashup’ approach. @mearso’s sketchnotes also attracted much attention as another way of amplifying an event – so here’s the image, from IWMW 2012: the image:
All this raises the question of where the best return is for amplification, and even who should pay? The newly launched Greening events guide makes the point that too much amplification can be overwhelming and contribute to information overload, so choices do need to be made as to which are the most effective. What offers the best value for the whole IWMW community? What balance needs to be struck between the ‘event’ and longer term and wider access to the content?
For me event amplification has always hung together with content and curation – that’s where I came in, trying to extract value from an annual conference, as outlined by Brian Kelly in Conferences don’t end. The IWMW 12 key resources page rounds up the main media used at the event, while the Lanyrd coverage page is filling up, with some resources added by participants. I don’t really want to have to go to two places though – ideally an event homepage should be a hub, embedding activity rather than sending people off to different locations. Is it time to rethink the event website, so knowledge and learning can take centre stage rather than the programme?
But it’s not all about resources – events and their amplification are also about facilitating networking and building communities. Here’s a quote from Associcom:
The opportunity is to use the conference as the keystone event of an ongoing learning process that occurs throughout the year. To achieve this, one must follow the precepts of blended learning…provide both online and face-to-face interactions that keep professional development moving forward all the time.
As Brian stated in his introduction:
Kelly: We are not here to provide events, we are here to support our goals #iwmw12
— iwmwlive (@iwmwlive) June 18, 2012
This is all the more challenging when there is no natural home for the participants outside the annual event. Where will the results of surveys taken during the conference, including one on mobile strategy and one on responsive design, be revealed, for example? A popular session at #iwmw12 was on user centred design. If I wanted to find other sessions at previous conferences on that topic, where would I start? Some work has been done on a web managers community of practice, but given the diversity of roles involved perhaps there is no need for one place when we’ve got Twitter:
Is a problem with event amplification the myriad of “places” to communicate G+, lanyard etc… twitter still the glue for it all? #iwmw12
— Ranjit Sidhu (@rssidhu) June 18, 2012