Conference Tweeting

First, a confession. Your intrepid blog editor doesn’t even know how to send a text message. I use my cell phone as a cell phone only. It doesn’t even have a camera. Imagine that!
But I did enjoy following the MLA ’09 Twitter feed last week. Wednesday morning’s exchanges were particularly informative (to someone thousands of miles away) and lively.
So I was pretty interested this morning when I snagged this post “Paper Highlights Pros and Cons of Twittering at Academic Conferences” from The Wired Campus blog in my feed reader. I clicked through to this draft copy of the paper “How People are using Twitter during Conferences” available online to get the details.
The multi-national group of researchers asked the question “Can Twitter (or any other microblogging tool) help to improve interactions among learners, and enhance their learning experiences?” They surveyed 41 conference attendees of five particular conferences. They found that Twitter exchanges are useful for more than just following conference events and exchanging information. They facilitate communication about emerging issues and provide a forum for parallel “backchannel” discussions. The respondents noted that tweeting (gotta love that verb) enhances networking and community. So, yes, Twitter can add value to conferences.
Whaddya think? Should we try this at this year’s Midwest Chapter conference?

ConnectMidwest Word Cloud

So this afternoon, I caught what seem to be the last of the Official MLA 2009 Blog entries posted live from the conference. The tweets of the Leiter Lecture are still coming though.
Rachel Walden posted this Wordle word cloud of the MLA blog earlier today. So your intrepid blog editor just knew she had to make a word cloud of this blog. This is fun!

From a Distance

I’m keeping an eye on MLA ’09 using the various social networkings. The Official MLA Blog is working pretty well. [Just one little coding glitch yesterday that probably only I recognized since I made the very same goof once with the chapter conference blog. Allan B. came to the rescue that time.] Some of the Official MLA Bloggers have been staying up late or getting up early to share their experiences with the rest of us poor folks stuck back here on the continent. And thank you for that! It is kind of a mixed bag of fun stuff and session reports. Love the food photos the best! This all makes me really want to go to MLA next year. I’ve already requested on interlibrary loan a copy of A Whole New Mind which has been chosen for discussion at next year’s meeting in Washington, D.C.
I monitored the “Top Technical Trends III: Technology Fusion” panel using Eric Schnell’s Cover It Live feed yesterday afternoon. The tweets really could only give the flavor of the discussion with little detail which is a bit disappointing. But I did catch the videos as they were posted. The time difference is a bit of an issue for those of us in EDT. The session was only about halfway through when it was time to leave work. But this morning when I brought up the feed page again, the entire session was there for me to replay. I am actually just keeping that feed “open” to keep track of today’s conference tweets as everyone gets started with the day. As I am typing this, the tweeters are doing an excellent job reporting the Social Networking Task Force Open Forum with lots of interesting crosstalk between them.
Another great way I’m keeping an eye on the conference is with Facebook. Most of my Facebook friends are librarians and many are posting updates and, even better, photos to their profiles. Fun!
Keep up the great work social networkers!

Once Again MLA Vicariously

It’s time for those of you who are attending MLA ’09 to be packing your bags and making final preparations to get on that plane and go to Hawaii. Be sure to take one last look at the MLA ’09 wiki for everything you need to know. And once again, your intrepid blog editor will only be attending MLA vicariously. If you are attending MLA, please enjoy a fancy drink complete with an umbrella or other decorative item for me!
This year the Official MLA Bloggers (profiled here) have it all together on the Official MLA 2009 Blog. (You might recall that in order to follow all the bloggers last year, David Rothman set up a feed to gather them all together.) You can check the MLA Blogger Calendar to see which events your favorite blogger will be covering. Additionally this year, there are the MLA ’09 Twitter account and Flickr group. All of these already have posted content, so we are off to a great start!
Fellow Buckeye and Technology Trends Panel virtual presenter Eric Schnell has set up a CoverItLive site for the Monday panel. You can sign up for a reminder there on the blog entry. I’ve done this already and have a note on my Outlook calendar as well. (I hope I got the time difference right.) I’m really curious how this will work.
Attention Midwest Chapter Members attending MLA: please also consider sharing YOUR insights, experiences, and photos here on ConnectMidwest. You can even write up your experience after you get home. Contact me and I’ll show you how!
Have a safe trip everyone! I’ll be with you in spirit. Next year, Barbara, supervisor of my supervisor, and I will be joining you all in Washington, DC.

Midwest Travels

Well, it is not quite Flat Stanley, but the Midwest Chapter membership display has really been getting around this spring!
The display debuted at our 2008 conference at Michigan. It is currently featured on the always informative Midwest Chapter website.
In February, the display traveled to Illinois and was displayed by Beth Carlin at the 12th Annual Career Day sponsored by the Dominican University GSLIS Alumni Council.
In March, your intrepid blog editor exhibited at the Kent State University School of Library and Information Science Career Night here at the Kent campus. We have exhibited at this event before and really enjoy it. This year we had quite a lot of interest in the scholarships that are available for the 2009 Midwest Chapter/MLA Conference which will be held here in Ohio in October.
After the Kent event, I packed up the display and gave it to Career Night organizer Rhonda Filipan. She graciously took it with her down to Columbus and Stephanie Schulte exhibited for the Midwest Chapter at the Columbus version of the event.
The next stop for the membership display was at the Ohio Health Sciences Library Association Spring Meeting at the Mount Carmel Health Sciences Library in Columbus where Midwest Chapter Representative at Large Ximena Chrisagis set up the exhibit.
Stephanie Schulte took the membership display to Indiana for it’s final spring show at the ISHLA 2009 Meeting at Notre Dame in mid-April.
The display is now back “at home” with Membership Secretary Rebecca Caton. But it longs to be back on the road again!
The display promotes membership in the Midwest Chapter/MLA and careers in health sciences librarianship. Midwest Chapter members are encouraged to display the poster at any event in which they participate, including local career fairs, library school events, and state or local library association meetings. The display is lightweight, comes in a compact carrying case, and easily rolls out to full width for display on a tabletop. Pretty nifty!
To reserve the display for a particular event or for more information, contact Midwest Chapter/MLA Membership Secretary Rebecca Caton.