Thursday, 11 February 2010

Blogging the higher education leaders

I found the task of maintaining a live blog of the conference physically difficult (low lighting, lots of room changes, occasional connection failures, my own RSI problems) and rhetorically perplexing (who was I doing it for, what was the purpose, how should I avoid doing exactly the same as the other 'official' bloggers?).

(If you look at the Cloudworks record of the conference in a new browser window the following will make more sense)

Patrick McAndrew's Extra Content is an account of what Martin Bean was saying. I was sitting next to Patrick typing pretty much the same, but I didn't post it directly because I could feel a critique coming on and wanted to interpose some comments of my own. There wasn't time to do this and get down what he was saying, at the same time, and maybe I wasn't supposed to be interpreting, just reporting. I wonder if there are experienced live bloggers skilled at doing both at the same time?). I wrote my account in a Word document, intending to copy/paste from it into the blog later. Patrick has not worried about correcting his typos (he might go back and do this later of course), whereas I was constantly backspacing to make corrections. At the end I decided not to bother to upload my version of the speech as content, but to save it for even later (and elsewhere), when I could use it to examine what MB was actually saying, behind the jokes and the rhetoric.

The Discussion boxes below the Extra Content are Patrick's record of the questions that the audience asked Martin. They look like a different type of content, but in fact they just ran on from the speech and it's simply the software that makes them look like a different kind of record. Again, I wrote much the same, only in the same Word doc that I used to record the speech.

At a later session, Patrick and I agreed to share roles. Have a look at the Dragon's Den session. I wrote a more detailed account (in the Extra Content space) of what the 'pitchers' were saying (and here I didn't feel a need to comment), and Patrick concentrated on using the Discussion boxes to record the questions the 'Dragons' and the audience put to each pitcher, and their answers. It makes slightly more sense in the way the page is laid out, because the session was a bit more interactive, following the pitches.

There's still an anomaly where both of us have recorded the vote, however, me in the content space where it is read before the Q & A account that preceded it. All this is assuming a reader would be going down the page in normal reading fashion of course.

We tried another approach for the final session - a talk by Susan Greenfield. Patrick recorded the talk in the Extra Content space, and I simultaneously made my own subjective comments in the Discussion boxes. The page that represents this does not, of course, capture the simultaneity, but it does at least represent 2 different styles of comment in the two differently formatted spaces.

So what? I'll have to think a bit more about this. I had a lot of questions about the point of this exercise, and I'd be very interested to hear from anyone who feels they can make any kind of textual or circumstancial sense about the event, out of reading what we produced. As a new academic literacy practice live blogging still needs to explain itself I think.

Other than that, though... here is a bit of visual representation produced by 2 artists who were working on a wall throughout conference...

No comments:

Post a Comment