Big Conference / Nary A Blog Ripple / Spam Nibbles

This semester I am taking a complete respite from the usual big ed tech conferences… well, I am taking a break from all of them. The time spent traveling, the cost of travel, really do not balance for the things gained. That said, online conference have yet to really find a niche yet that provides value as well. The value I speak of is what I am able to gain by surfing RSS feeds and blogs I place my trust in.

So last week there were 10s, 20s, maybe much more from our system among the 6 gazllion other ed tech types in Orlando for EDUCAUSE 2005, but really, for all the techies there is hardly made a ripple in the blog-o-sphere. Of course the bulk of blogging activity was taking place in the EDUCAUSE hosted blogs which were nice, lots of podcasts, but mostly lots of “rah-rah”.

I am basing my “barely rippling” analsyis on the Technorati tags for EDUCAUSE_ANNUAL (the official suggested Tag), a whopping 28 posts a week after. There was a good hunck of session summaries in JoAnn Gonzalez-Major’s Rose Colored Glasses, though I may be put back by her favorite movie being listed as National Treasure a disc so bad I was hoping it was camp comedy. But I digress.

At one point 2 days ago, the Technorati search actually topped off with 3 links for a spam blog. This site apparently mixed its own mathetic content with that of sites they suspect likely would be searched on, in fact when I checked the link, it no longer had the phrase that technorati had latched onto, and the spam sucker had gone on to include phrases listed for some medical conference site:


A day later, it was gone, hopefully spotted and expunged by Technorati.

So if anything worthy happened in Orlando, maybe someone can give me a call, the blogs I read and searched for don’t yield much.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. I blogged a few posts about the conference over at ACRLog (http://www.acrlblog.org) – not sure why they didn’t get retreived by your search, but you may want to check them out. I don’t go to EDUCAUSE every year, but every so often I find it’s a good conference to attend. As a librarian I find the IT and education technology dialog informative – and I always pick up some good ideas and learn about new technologies to watch out for. Compared to library conferences, EDUCAUSE is light years ahead in providing technology for participants and presenters.

  2. Thanks Steven,

    Keep in mind most of write I write is tongue-in-cheek, and I know that EDUCAUSE is a key gathering for many groups.

    I went to Denver in 2005 and found a paucity of tracks/sessions on teaching and learning, not a major focus of this event. I also brought home this indelible impression of the conference lobby where some 200-300 people were sprawled about checking email and watching people in sesssions mainly reading email. It just seems counter-intuitive to come to a face-to-face networking opportunity and seeing lots of folks spending most of the time attending to office work.

  3. Hey Alan, thanks for the comments. As time progresses, I think we’ll see an increased number of bloggers providing coverage at a range of events … At EDUCAUSE and beyond.

    Interesting to me is that folks in the profession seem to have reservations about sharing thoughts via blogs (but not on listservs) … tho’ I don’t have any empirical data to support that. I’d love to spend some more time on it. For now, I’m focused on editing audio.

    As to our podcasts, I wouldn’t write us off too quickly 😉 We collected a lot of content and expect to publish a lot of it over the next week or two. Unfortunately, I’m a little slower on the draw than some, but I think (I hope) that we collected a range of interviews that might prove interesting … not quite the degree of contiguity that many would like, but hopefully we’ll take greater strides going forward.



  4. Matt,

    Please know that most of what I write is intended to be taken with a boulder of salt… All in all, with the blogging and podcasting initiatives, EDUCAUSE is making some great evolutionary leaps. On the other hand, the standard conference format has not.

    And honestly, Technorati is a pretty poor measure; many bloggers get left off for whatever reasons.

    I too am stumped by the resistance to being public with ideas; what I thought was always engrained in the cornerstones of the “university” concept as a marketplace of free flowing ideas. I see it myself, even in some of our groups running under the banner of Scholarship of teaching and Learning where one of the main tenats is being “public” with our work.

    It’s way too early to write off or rah-rah podcasts. The novelty is wearing off a bit, but the prime time is yet to come. I still selectively download as there is no one “channel” of audio I have found that I want to continually subscribe too. And I don;t listen while working so the amount of time to tune in is small for me. I think we need to pay attentiona bit more to good “design” rules for audio (Todd Mafin has published some great stuff) and not just turn on the recorded and do free flow.

    The quality and the timliness of EDUCAUSE podcasts has set some good marks, especially with the model you set up last January. It might be nice to aim for getting live streams as well, like was done at Pop Tech.

    Keep ojn editing 😉

  5. Cool. If you have any direct links to the design rules for audio or have any tips for me in general, I’m happy to take a look. I’m certainly a novice at best.

    I’d also be interested in alternative conference formats that you find engaging. BTW, I believe that we’re going to try to attend some of the more organic events that take place in various tech sectors as they occur so that we can see what might work well in the context of the EDUCAUSE audience. If you have any that might make for good models for EDUCAUSE that we should attend, let me know.

    It will be interesting to see where we go with synchonous coverage of our events … we’ve talked about a range of activities, but I don’t have a strong feel for what makes sense there given the cost, complexity and potential size of the audience that might tune in real time. Another area for more research … ‘just wish I had more time 🙂

    Thanks for the reply.


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