symposium countdown

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This year's social computing symposium is the first event I've ever had primary responsiblity for running, and it's been quite a learning experience. I have to say, doing something like this at Microsoft, where the quality of administrative and technical support is so high, makes it a whole lot easier. Even so, it's more work than I initially anticipated, and I'll be very glad when all the prep work is done. (I don't want to say "when it's over" because I'm so looking forward to the event!)

We are planning on webcasting the event outside of Microsoft, so you're welcome to sit in on the talks remotely, and to participate on the backchannel (which I'm tentatively planning to have at irc://irc.freenode.net/#scs2006).

I do want to make a point of thanking MSR for its willingness to support this event. It's not cheap to put on a conference, particularly when you offer travel support to all the speakers and students attending, and don't skimp on food and drink. When you're the person in charge of the budget, it becomes much clearer just how much it costs to put on an event of this sort. Could it be done less expensively? Sure. But MSR was committed to attractomg and bringing in a wide range of participants, and providing an environment conducive to discussion and interaction, and provided the funds to make that work as smoothy as possible. That includes the funding to webcast the event, which is a non-trivial exercise, and allows it to be open to far more participants than we could squeeze into one room.

It's not just MSR that's been supportive. Several product groups stepped up to help support this event, including Windows Live (aka MSN), which is sponsoring the dinner on Monday night, and Channel 9 (and 10), which is sponsoring the reception on Tuesday evening. Many thanks to both of those groups for their recognition of the value of this event and the conversations it enables.

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It looks GLORIOUS! I love that you're doing the open conference thing (you are, right?) with self-organising discussion groups - is that what'll be going on? Looking at the program suggests so. How will you be webcasting that?

Yes, we're doing the OpenSpace/unconference approach for much of the two days. Amazing how hard/scary it is for me to do that--the old professorial instincts die hard!

And we won't be webcasting those--only the opening remarks, lightning round panels, and closing keynotes/remarks. The discussions will be too spread out and chaotic (I suspect) to try to webcast. (Though the tech guys said they may just leave the video feed open so that people checking in can see that we're in discussion mode rather than wondering...)

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This page contains a single entry published on May 2, 2006 2:30 PM.

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