The Rise of Conference Wikis

26 Oct 2005 (Wed)

CONFERENCE-BASED WIKIS seem to be the “in” thing nowadays. Did a simple Google search on “conference wiki” and straightaway I get 35,600 English pages for “conference wiki”. :-p

Yes, perhaps not all will be the kind of conference wikis that I’m thinking of. But a quick sampling yields the names of many conferences:

AND THE LATEST conference wiki is — Learning 2005. Eliot Masie’s latest newsletter announced:

“A Program as a Wiki: We have placed our entire Conference Program in an interactive wiki. This means that every session is open for comments, extensions and even revisions by our attendees. Quite a difference from a printed traditional program. In the last few days, we have had hundreds of people start to extend the program, volunteer to co-facilitate and add their perspectives. This is evolving the program from an agenda
publication to a dynamic needs assessment and content evolution tool.”

Sure wonder which one was the first conference wiki of them all.

Personally, while attending the eAgenda 2005 conference organized by NTU last August, the thought of using wikis for conferences first crossed my mind. I was supposed to be a scribe for the two-day conference. Ended up bringing my own notebook PC and started entering personal notes on the conference into my wiki. And I couldn’t help thinking, “How wonderful it’d be if all attendees enter their comments/notes into a common wiki.”

And it is happening now — all over the world! ;-)

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Posted by J.K. in Collaborative, Constructive, Discursive, Psychology, Social, Technology | View Comments |

  • JK

    The conference wiki that Masie mentioned in Learning Trends can be found here: Learning 2005 Wiki. Interesting. Looks like the participants are still updating and commenting on the wiki even up till today, although the conference is officially over in late October.

    AND more conference wikis coming up, sponsored by Socialtext:

    • O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference – March 6-9, 2006, “a space to gather conference resources.”
    • PC Forum – March 12-14, 2006, an online space for “attendees to communicate with each other, and extending the conference beyond the meeting place and time”.
  • J.K. Tan

    See also some practical tips for blog and wikis for conference coverage at Science Library Pad:

    • People like to blog in their own blog space. Ask them if they will be blogging as part of the conference registration process, and continue to accept submissions of new blogs. Provide a list of conference bloggers. Provide a blog aggregator with both inplace reading and an aggregated RSS feed. Be inclusive.
    • People will use tags if you provide them with a standard tag and with info on how to use it in various apps (Blogger, Typepad, delicious, Flickr). Make sure you standardize early and clearly (Internet Librarian seems to have destabilized; people are using both IL2005 and IL05).
    • Ideally provide a feed of Flickr images along with the blog aggregator.
    • Wikis will not succeed unless you have a HUGE community to draw upon. People still don’t seem to feel comfortable contributing to a conference wiki. It may work only for very large conferences. This puts an onus on the conference organizers to provide basic information about the conference: hotel info, maps, Google Maps bookmarks and Google Earth placemarks, suggestions about local dining, events and sites.
    • If you put the presentations up early, people will feel less pressure to use the “transcribe the powerpoints” conference blogging style and will be able to provide more analytical coverage.

    UPDATE 2005-Nov-03: It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re going to encourage use of wireless, that means supporting laptops, which means you should try to provide lots of access to power outlets and run power strips everywhere. Until we have wireless power, an outlet is a precious resource to a laptop user.

  • Hendrik

    The Rise of Conference Wikis is good to reading out i can not found any thing new.. and knowledgable… if you got just told me…ok

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