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Archive for the ‘NWP’ Category

tips on liveblogging a conference

Posted by Jenna McWilliams on November 17, 2009

I’m packing up for a whirlwind tour of Philadelphia as I hang out with the National Writing Project, the MacArthur Foundation, and NCTE. (In case you’re into backchanneling or can’t attend, Twitter hashtags for NWP and NCTE appear to have settled on #NWPAM09 and #NCTE–I’ll see you there.)

I’ll be co-presenting on two panels, and the rest of the time I’ll be liveblogging the conference. You can liveblog too! It’s a lot of work but the payoff is big; most significantly, you get to start the reflecting on panels–what we always say we’re going to do, once the conference is over, but end up shunting off to the side because we came home to so much work that needs to be taken care of immediately and the cats need to be fed and the water pipes busted and there’s a huge spider in the bathtub and brb freaking out

ok back

Liveblogging takes some focus, and it takes some planning. Below, I’ve included some resources to get you started if this is your first time, or to refresh you with some good tips if you’ve liveblogged before.

  • The indispensable “Tips for Live Bloggers,” by Bruno Giussani and Ethan Zuckerman. Read this one first; it offers big tips (don’t transcribe an entire talk; just grab the main points and think about what people who weren’t there would want to know and could understand without being there) and small (get there early, sit in the back so your typing doesn’t distract)

That’s a good starter list. I’ll over a few tips of my own, from my experiences live blogging a handful of events:

  • Do your homework before the event starts. If you plan to liveblog a keynote, find out the speaker’s background, grab a bio and a picture, and paste it into a blogpost. This will save you tons of time, give you a graphic for your post, and help inform your understanding of the talk.
  • Add a “my thoughts” section at the end of every post. This can be as short as a few sentences, written immediately after the event, panel, or keynote. Readers came to your blog either because you’re the only one liveblogging the event or because they want to know your opinion on the event. Either way, this is a key aspect of the live blogger’s vocation: synthesizing the event for others.
  • If you’re bored by or don’t understand a panel, give up. If it can’t hold your attention, it’s probably not going to make much of a post anyway, and your time is better spent planning for the next session you plan to liveblog.
  • Direct traffic to your blog using Twitter or other backchannel tools. This one’s obvious–you want to generate a community, both among attendees and non-attendees, around the events. You get to provide a useful service, too: Describing the events that many attendees won’t have been able to attend.

That’s all. See you at NWP and NCTE! I’ll be here:

Session: D.44 – 2:30 pm to 3:45 pm 11/20/2009 Format: Panel
Room: Convention Center/Room 105B, Street Level Topic: 21st-Century Literacy
Level(s): Secondary (9-12)

Title: Reading in a Participatory Culture: New Media Literacy Practices and Discursive Assessment Strategies for Critical and Creative Engagement with Classic Texts
Web 2.0 practices are expanding our definitions of literacy, providing new tools for teaching classic texts, and transforming educational assessment. This panel examines these profound shifts towards participatory approaches, while also addressing concerns with traditional literacies and test-based accountability. 

Chair:  Michelle Honeyford, Indiana University, Bloomington


Jenna McWilliams, Indiana University, Bloomington, Rebecca Rupert, Aurora Alternative High School, Bloomington, Indiana, Lynn Sykes, Wareham High School, Wareham, MA

Posted in liveblogging, NCTE, NWP | 1 Comment »