Speak up: #ONA10 session culture

Facebook was only seven months old when journalists and Web enthusiasts convened for the Online News Association’s first conference in Hollywood, Calif., in 2004. Blogs were still sometimes referred to as “Web logs.” Real-time social media? Barely there.

Take a look at this 2004 comment from conference attendee and college professor Barbara Iverson:

Real time blogging

I experimented with blogging during several events. As I have found previously, it is not that easy to do. You try writing and posting and end up feeling like you weren’t at the actual event.

There was no one blogging with me from outside or inside the room and that might have made for some interesting commentary.

Like a bunch of 3 year olds, there were folks who were engaging in “serial blogging” throughout the room. Maybe next year we can do more of a community realtime blog.

Of course the work suffers from no editing, too, but just in case someone wants to see how the “Uber Panel” played to one in the audience, here’s a link to my blog: current buzz and look for the November 13th entries. Because I go way back with computers and Internet, you will notice that the entries are published in several chunks to make sure if something crashed, I wouldn’t lose all.

November 15, 2004 2:46 PM

Conference culture has drastically changed. More than half of session attendees are using social media of some form–or often multiple forms–on not just laptops, but mobile devices and tablets. Some are using combinations of the three. They’re doing the very thing Anderson saw as difficult to do, and they’re doing it as if it’s a second nature.

What are the benefits of using social media during conference sessions? What are the disadvantages? Do you attend the sessions and workshops for the speakers, or has this second nature significantly shifted the focus–do you attend in real life to better participate with what others are saying online?

Join the conversation in the comments below, or tag your thoughts on Twitter with #ona10speakup.