Guidelines for Blogging at Conferences?

The following is a slightly altered version of a post I made on the AEA Technology Forum.  The original post was a reply in a thread about whether AEA should consider writing guidelines for bloggers at the AEA conference, and if so, what kind of guidelines they should be.

I haven’t seen any good guidelines for conference blogging, but I’ll admit that I haven’t really looked for any either. Thinking as a presenter, I wouldn’t want the blogging activities of audience members to interfere with my ability to present my ideas. For example, if anyone were to attempt to do a live vlog post during my presentation, I would find it distracting, annoying, and simply rude. Also, I wouldn’t want my presentation recorded in an audio or video format without my consent.  However, I think it would be fair to expect that many audience members will prefer to take notes in a digital format and I think they have the right to take written notes for their personal use during any conference session they attend.

Public blogging differs from simple note-taking. If I am thinking as a researcher, my main concern with blogging during conference sessions is the proper attribution of ideas.  If a researcher presents research at a confernce she has consented to share those ideas, at least with other conference attendees.   Is she also consenting to share those ideas with the public at large? I believe that she is, or at least should, but others may not agree. No matter how widely I share my ideas, I still want credit for them and I believe that most researchers feel similarly.

As a blogger, I want the freedom to write about what interests me.  I want to be able to post my reflections as I synthesize ideas from various sources.   I hope that others will provide feedback on my ideas, helping me to sharpen my thinking and clarify my languange.  I want as few barriers to this reflective process as possible.

Synthesizing these three perspectives, I think that a good set of standards for conference blogging would address at least the following:

  • Possible disruptions to on-going presentations
  • Assumptions about consent to disseminate ideas
  • Procedures or policies on attributing sources

What else should be included?

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About Kimberly McCollum

I'm a former middle and high school science teacher and current stay at home mom.
This entry was posted in Conference, edublogosphere and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Guidelines for Blogging at Conferences?

  1. sarajoypond says:

    Interesting questions, as always, Kimberly.

    If attribution is obligated from the blogger, perhaps part of the policies or procedures would be for the presenter to indicate her preferred format for that attribution. I’m thinking specifically of a presentation I blogged about at OpenEd08–the presenter had a particularly common name, and I remember feeling a little distressed (not to mention almost completely distracted) at not being able to determine which site to insert as the link for his name in my post.

    Hmmm…

  2. Andrea says:

    Are you going to make this your dissertation topic? If you don’t I might steal it from you. Haha. (kidding)

  3. @SaraJoy – I think your suggestion is a good one. Next time I present, I’ll be sure to follow it!

    @Andrea – No worries, this won’t be my dissertation topic, so steal away if you like.

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