What do bloggers do at conferences? [en]

In the process of getting ready for managing blogger accreditations for LeWeb’10 in Paris (for the third time, but warning, the system will be different this year!), I’m having a good hard think about what bloggers actually do at conferences that makes them a valuable audience.

I mean, everybody today is live-tweeting (a bit of a pleonasm). Clearly, if a conference is to invite “new media people” or have “official bloggers”, something more is expected than a brain-dump in the real-time stream. (Not that I have anything against that, but the interest of such a dump fades quickly with time.)

Bloggers (and podcasters) have various talents. I’ve finally learned (after years of finding what I did pretty normal) that mine is live-blogging. Others, like Charbax, catch people in the corridors and interview them — I was so impressed by his Lift’08 videos (you can find his interview of me somewhere on the 2nd or 3rd page) that I invited him to come and do the same thing at Going Solo. These are just two examples amongst many others.

So, here’s where I need your help: I’m trying to make a list of “blogger/podcaster missions” for conferences. Here’s what I’ve got:

  • live-blogging of sessions
  • synthetic/critical blogging of sessions/event (somewhat less live)
  • photography (live and less live)
  • speaker interviews (written, audio, video)
  • corridor interviews (written, audio, video)
  • start-up/entrepreneurial scene coverage (maybe this needs to be broken up into sub-missions?)
  • “off” coverage: parties, networking events…

What else can you think of? If you’re a blogger or podcaster who likes to attend tech conferences, what value do you consider you bring to the event? I’m all ears 🙂

12 thoughts on “What do bloggers do at conferences? [en]

  1. I am, as you know, something of an obsessive live-blogger at events. For me, a good liveblog (in my style; I realize that there are other styles, but they are not mine 🙂 ) with provide a combination of summary of what’s being said, some instant analysis of this, and a degree of tone and context to who the attendees are reacting to what’s being said. The post should have an awareness that the session is happening at a conference, and the non-stage reaction should be part of what you record.

    The post will develop in real-time during the moment being recorded, and then will be tidied up a little, with pictures added, in the minutes that follow.

    In a sense, you are offering readers both an evolving view of the session as it happens – one they can join in with at any point and catch up quickly and easily – and also a record of that session that can be linked to, referred to and commented on later.

    It is, if you like, news as a process, rather than a product.

  2. Hi Stephanie,

    Great post, and I agree with you. I prefer writing posts, and in the past, I got lost tweeting too much, and blogging less than I would/should 🙂

    Posts live for months or years. Tweets last only hours.

    Hope to see you at LeWeb’10 😉

    Best wishes, from Brasil, Miguel

  3. I think my angle on Le Web is to do the corridor chats like Charbax. I focus on learning about what problems people have solved. Very impressed with Leweb last year – and curious to find out what happened after 1goal. I thought there was going to be a big hand-over of signatures, but haven’t seen anything about it. I tend to try and find topics with a longer shelf-life.

  4. In the past I’ve transitioned to keeping both the smartphone and the laptop in the bag during sessions and conversations, which has helped me a lot in actually diving in and getting a feel of the conference, barcamp or whatever the format was. So – for me, personally – real- or near-time blogging is not an option.

    What I like most about conference coverage is the little highlights, the unexpected, e.g. the surprising talk from a speaker you’ve never heard of before or the amazing session you only went to because everything else was overcrowded. Probably that’s because that is what I enjoy the most when I’m there myself. So, give me the personal view!

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