To Blog or Not to Blog
To Blog or Not to Blog (at conferences). That is the question raised by an article in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education. The topic was raised by a journalist from Nature who argues that,
conference organizers can’t send mixed messages: all conferences have to be open for public discussion, or all conferences have to be closed.”
This is a very good point. Presentations at conferences are mostly open for whomever to attend, as long as you pay the traditional conference fees. If you think about it, these presentations are available to the public. A major function of conferences are to spark discussion on topics that relates to its attendees, as well as continue after the conference ends. They are essentially a gathering of the like-minded, and attendees are usually encouraged to share what they discussed or learned from their colleagues back at their place of employment (share what they learned).
While I don’t think it is okay to record & publicly post what was discussed at presentations verbatim without permission, it should be perfectly acceptable to post personal notes. The ability for anyone to make information publicly available has essentially made everyone a potential journalist. This is another subtle shift in scholarly communication that conference organizers should be well aware, as well as presenters and attendees.