I’ve been home from the STC Summit in Atlanta for about a month, and only feel like I’m caught up with work as of this week. Pitiful, isn’t it? But that’s the situation when you are independent and have trouble saying “no” (though I’m working on that last bit…. “nnnnot right now”…”maybe later”…”I’ll see what I can do.”)
This week’s priority is work on the upcoming IEEE/PCS conference, and I’m getting really excited about it! The program is coming together nicely.
Our keynote will be Blaise Aguera y Arcas from Microsoft. If you haven’t seen his Photosynth demo on TED, you should probably go check it out right now. It’s a really collaborative way of working to make online, interactive pictures. He’s a dynamic speaker and I’m really looking forward to meeting him in person!
I know that some people think of this conference as somewhat academic, and while it’s true that we have significantly more professors and research papers than , say, the STC Summit, we also have a lot of practical workshop type of sessions. For example, we’ve got the always-fabulous Sarah O’Keefe (from Scriptorium) talking about Movable Type and XML, we’ve got George Hayhoe describing how to implement the new ISO standard for documentation into your workplace, and we’ve got Tharon Howard from Clemson University (whose work I’ve admired for years!) talking specifically about user testing of information products.
Though I was not involved in selecting the accepted papers (that was the dedicated and hard-working team of Sandy Bartell and Anne Watt), I’m really pleased to see lots of sessions that apply directly to my current interests. There are sessions on social media (of course!), controlled languages, globalization, and visual communication. I’m particularly excited to see some sessions that combine two or more subjects that I find fascinating. For example, I’ve been doing a lot of work over the past several years with emergency preparedness and business continuity. I’m also a big proponent of social media, as my twitter followers know! I can’t wait to see the presentation by Liza Potts called “Peering into Disaster: Social Software Use from the Indian Ocean Earthquake to the Mumbai Bombings”.
As you can see, I’m pretty excited about our conference program! For people thinking about joining us, I do think it’s important to understand that this is a bit different from other events you may have attended like the STC Summit or DocTrain events. Because we’re an IEEE event, the sessions are mostly paper-based. That means that (except for the ones clearly labelled “workshop” or “panel”) some sessions are reports of new developments or studies that have been conducted recently. In a typical 90-minute session, you’ll get to see up to 3 different but related paper presentation. And of course, all papers go into the proceedings and are eventually available for purchase from the IEEExplore digitial library.
Another difference is that we don’t have an exhibition hall. We do accept sponsorship (just drop me a note if you or your company want to send us money!!) but the only booth you’ll see is the one for IEEE membership.
But like the other conferences, the main benefit (for me, anyway) is the opportunity for networking. I sometimes learn more inbetween sessions that at the formal presentations. If you’re looking for something fun (and deductible) this summer, join us in Hawaii in July!