The annual Online News Association conference is just a few days away. I’m told this year we’ll have more attendees than ever, making this one huge event in our nation’s capital. (If you see #ONA10 trending on Twitter from Wednesday through Sunday, you now know why.)
2010 Online News Association conference
If you’ve registered, be sure to fill out the 30-second survey to help us organizers figure out the menu. (Check your email.) In exchange, you’ll get the complete list of attendees. (Networking! Get-togethers! See virtual and long-time but distant friends!)

I’ve been a conference organizer since 2007. In that time, things have changed a lot, thanks to free tools, simple-to-use platforms, and the resulting adoption into online culture. What I’m encouraged most by is the growth and expansion of our online community. It’s nice to see the hard work of dozens validated by the proliferation of other related events that’ll be happening because we’re in town.

If this is your first ONA conference, welcome. If you’ve been to one before, welcome back. The official ONA10 conference website (and booklet, which you’ll get when you register in Washington) will be your guide to conference coverage. This year, we’ll be livestreaming all keynotes and sessions for free. My team and I will be curating session discussion, back-chatter, related blog posts and photos. You’ll be able to find that content on the ONA10 website.

For those who like check-in apps, we’ve populated Foursquare with session rooms, and we’ll be launching trips and tips on Gowalla. (Our official account there is

As for practical matters, pack a light umbrella and jacket or coat. The current weather forecast calls for light showers Thursday during the pre-conference workshops and job fair (high: 78 °F/25.5 °C; low: 65 °F/18 °C), and mostly sunny skies Friday and Saturday. (Friday high: 62 °F/16.6 °C; low: 45 °F/7.2 °C | Saturday high: 60 °F/15.5 °C; low: 47 °F/8.3 °C).

There’s no official dress code, but business casual is the norm. In years past, the Online Journalism Awards dinner has been a fancier affair. People have brought tuxedos and gowns. While you don’t have to get that swanky, you will not go wrong dressing up, however you choose to interpret that — especially if you’re a finalist. (Good luck everybody!)

OK. I’ve got more work to do before Oct. 28, so I’m gonna go now. I hope to see you in DC. You can follow me on Twitter @MacDivaONA.