2nd writing prompt for #cccwrite and I already found myself struggling. I am a week behind on this post, but I decided to not let it off the hook just yet. The prompt asks us to reflect on our experience with conferences, on what we learned and how we shared insights from a conference on campus.
Well then. First: why did I find this prompt so difficult? Probably this hast o do with me slowly but surely dissociating myself from academia.
I’ve been able to attend quite a few national and international converences over the last four years. At the majority of those I attended, I also presented – that’s what we as the Writing Center had agreed on. The idea was for us as employees to „pay back“ the university‘s investment in our conference attendance by presenting at the conference. So that’s what we did.
Getting to know people was always one of the major take aways for me; I’d says it’s mainly because of my conference attendences (and my not being a quitter or early leaver at conference dinners) that I now consider myself pretty well connected with others in the discipline.
A quick story I want to share in reaction to this prompt regards the question how we like to share information from conferences on campus: Back in 2012, I tweeted from a conference by basically using Twitter as my public notebook. My meddling with the smartphone didn’t go unnoticed during one of the talks and earned me a few whammies, probably because some people thought I was hanging out on Facebook or whatnot. Later, in one of the coffee brakes, I would learn that people had complained about me to the presenters, telling them I had written about the presentation on the internet – deary me! Back then, I was super alienated by the fact that people I thought considered themselves writing professionals deemed it a crime to write about the profession online. (By now, I am less easily confused by these opportunistic „professionals“ who enjoy to think of themselves as „dinosaurs“ who want to „shut the screen down“, but who will of course all gladly hop onboard the digitization train when in 2020 federal funds will be flushed down that old pipe.)
Long sentence short: my favorite way to share things learned at a conference ist to share right on the spot. I love Twitter walls and I am also a fan of Storify – it saddens me they’ve pulled the plug on that one.