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?