I am reading an article on blogging a conference by Josh Hallett and since I am planning to blog the TCEA conference in February I found the article to be useful. His suggestions are broken down into hardware and software and they include a laptop, connectivity, a digital camera, and voice recorder. I have the first three covered but I’m going to have to think about the voice recorder. I don’t have one at this point and I’m not sure how useful it would be. The presentations can be spread out and if you are wanting to make it to one on the other side of the convention center there is no time to do anything but run. They are 45 minutes long and often crowded so time and space are limited for dealing with equipment. I see myself struggling with tangled cables, camera, laptop, notepad and pen. I don’t think I could manage a voice recorder too.
The software Mr. Hallett lists includes an offline blog editor, a Flickr account for pictures and Flickr upload software. Also included are FTP software, audio editing software, and Technorati to track other blogs about the conference.
Because of the short time frames of the presentations I plan to use free note-taking software on my Mac Book called Journler. I like the application for it’s simplicity of use. I don’t want to spend a lot of time learning how to use the software – I just want to take notes. and Journler fills the bill for me.
There is wireless at the Hotel so I plan to edit my notes and upload at night. That will also give me time to edit photos (if I manage to get any) and get them uploaded to Flickr. I haven’t used the digital camera with the Mac Book yet, nor have I uploaded to flickr from the Mac so I will do a trial run on both before the conference.
Other parts of the post deal with assembling your blogging team, planning, and prewriting parts. I am going to try to at least start an outline of the presentations I want to attend and that way I can plug in the actual information when I get there. I hadn’t even thought of that and though I know there can be last minute changes and there will also be some presentations I want to go to but won’t make, I can have plan A and plan B ready so I will be working on that over the next few weeks. TCEA does a wonderful job on their website of letting everyone know what is happening and when. There are links to all the presentation and after the conference most of those links will include downloads of the handouts.
There is much more to Mr. Hallett’s article and if you are planning to blog a conference I would recommend his article and doing some planning in order to get the most out of your time and to help share with the folks in your organization who are not attending.