The Museums and the Web 2007 conference was the first time I’ve use a blog to record and share my thoughts on the sessions. I found that it did require more concentration than I’d expected – and on a couple of occasions I missed sessions in order to do some further reading (of the papers presented, for example) and to compose my postings. However I felt it would be useful to do this, partly to inform a wider sector, especially members of the museum’s community, of the key issues which were being discussed at the conference, and also to familiarise myself with the process of conference blogging, in order to do things better at future events and also to share my thoughts on this with others.
I was therefore pleased with the feedback from Martin Mackain-Bremner: “thank you for such a fantastic job in recording the proceedings of MW2007. There is a huge quantity of ’stuff’ to be absorbed here“. Martin went on to add “I would really value a meeting at some time to discuss some of the issues you have raised/spoken on/commented on“. Making new contacts was an additional benefit of blogging – and, in Martin’s case, this will be a face-to-face meeting as we both live in Bath.
And at a meeting in London a couple of days ago Paul Mayes, University of Teesside, told me that he’d used a posting about a paper Mike Ellis presented at the conference during a staff development event he was running for a group of archivists. As he described “we used the paper by Mike Ellis and yourself on organisational barriers to Web2.0 in museums at a recent archive staff development event. The delegates were asked to compare your very useful structure of barriers with possible barriers in archives. The session was very successful.”
I’m planning on doing more of this in the future – but given the mental effort it takes, I’ll try and share this responsibility with others at UKOLN’s forthcoming Institutional Web Management Workshop.
I’ll also, I think, need to document best practices for blogging at events. I didn’t, for example, describe the social events at the conference. Would this have helped provide a better feeling for the events, or would it have distracted from the content?