Archives for posts with tag: conferences

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.

ONA08 Logo - Online News Association 2008 conference Washington DC

ONA08, the Online News Association’s national conference, has launched several sites online, where you can connect with others who will be in Washington, in person or in avatar, next week.


  • A Twitter feed that’s the “control tower” for all things ONA08 online

My team, the ONA08 Social Media Subcommittee, wants to make ONA08 as much about community as it is about industry. I hope you’ll join the conference online and in person. And if you want to get a hold of me, send me a message or reach me on Twitter.

The Subcommittee members are Mary Ann Chick Whiteside, who will be among those liveblogging the conference; Paul Hyland, who’s been a creative sounding board and instrumental in gathering volunteers for on-site help; and Steven Lubetkin, who’s putting in a tremendous effort producing the podcasts. This conference is made possible in no small part because of them.

Actor and activist Tim Robbins was opening keynote speaker at the recent National Association of Broadcasters conference. An interesting choice, for sure.

When the time came, Robbins balked, according to an AdAge report.

After a bit of confusion, Robbins took the stage and gave a speech that entertained the audience before delivering a thrashing.

Here, in its entirety, is the speech.

(via Paper Tiger TV)

The news business, and it is a business, is getting squeezed. There are those who think “big J” journalism is a waste of effort and resources at a time when we can count exactly how many people spend time reading the stories, watching the videos, and clicking around on our interactive features.

Strapped for cash, the easy answer is to do things that drive traffic: produce more photo galleries; publish more “gotchas,” celebrity and entertainment news; follow and there by feed controversy; play up drama and conflict.

Does that mean that the fundamental mission of journalism — to find answers to incisive questions; to explore and reveal the world around us; to gather and check facts and report back; to challenge authority — ought to be left in the wings while we make enough money to get us past this rough patch?

Tim Robbins, actor, director and activist, had a few things to say about that during the National Association of Broadcasters conference, which closed last week.

Maybe we the public don’t need the things Robbins is talking about, but clearly, the numbers show us it’s what people are paying attention to. On the other hand, in surveys and day-to-day conversation, people say they want something better than what’s on offer.

So I ask: As a member of the public — not as a journalist — what kinds of stories do you seek out? How do you spend your time when you’re not working on news? And if you’re not in the media business, what do you spend your time looking for, reading and watching? And what aren’t you finding that you’d like to find?

If you’re on Facebook and you’re interested in the Online News Association conference in September, join the growing Facebook group.

This year’s conference promises to have more hands-on workshops, more networking opportunities, a backchat channel, and more discussions about the business side of the news business.

Full conference details can be found on the conference website.

By the way, if you like the logo above, kudos go to Scott Johnson, Associated Press Multimedia art director.

Didn’t make it to the Journalism 3G symposium in Atlanta? Catch up on what you missed.

Georgia Tech has posted videos of the talks and panels, and links posted by conference attendees.

The TED conference has been surrounded by some pretty heavy mystique since its inception almost 20 years ago.

This year’s conference seems to be changing that. In addition to the main conference in Monterey, Calif., 300 people are in Colorado, attending a simultaneous gathering at TED@Aspen.

Ted PrizeTED organizers announced they’ll be live streaming the TED Prize ceremony today at 5:15 p.m Pacific Time.

The TED Prize is awarded to those whose work extends beyond their area of specialty to educate, inform and enlighten people around the world.

This year’s winners are Karen Armstrong, a former Roman Catholic nun who has become an authority on comparative religion; Dave Eggers, author, philanthropist and founder of the 826 writing labs for kids; and Neil Turok, a cosmologist and education activist.

In addition to the $100,000 prize, the recipients are granted a wish that’s fulfilled through donated goods, services and connections.

What does this have to do with news? Aside from the conference being something of news itself, it may spark broader thinking about the nature of news, and what is possible online. Each one of the recipients started in a single calling and through curiosity and application expanded and shared their body of knowledge.

Learn more about this year’s TED Prize recipients and read up on live blogs from the conference before watching the ceremony.

Down in Miami, people are recovering from a massive power outage.

Now that the power’s back to most of the city, I expect We Media Miami will be kicking off.

In addition to scanning Twitter and following Web posts by other attendees, conference organizer iFocos has an embeddable widget that carries the latest from the official blog.

Not a bad way to spread the word.

As mentioned earlier this week, the live webcast from “Journalism 3G: The Future of Technology in the Field” (a symposium on computation + journalism) begins at 1 p.m. ET.

Speakers and panelists include:

  • Krishna Bharat – Principal Scientist at Google and creator of Google News
  • Ian Bogost – videogame designer, critic, and researcher, Assistant Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Founding Partner at Persuasive Games
  • David Cohn – and
    Ezra Cooperstein – Director of Development and Production for the Viewer-Created Content group at Current TV
  • Leah Culver – Founder of Pownce, a San Francisco-based micro-blogging service
  • John Geraci – Co-Creator of
  • Mark Hansen – Co-PI of the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing at UCLA, creator of (and one of the guys who created the cool art installation in the NYTimes Tower)
  • Alexander Hauptman – Senior Systems Scientist working on the Informedia: News-on-Demand project at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Elizabeth Spiers – media columnist for Fast Company magazine, founding editor of

Check out the full list of speakers, then be sure to watch the webcast. QuickTime 7 or later required.

Those who blog conscientiously know this already, but it’s worth bringing up this excellent post from Mindy McAdams.

Today, OC Register science columnist Gary Robbins spoke at a panel about blogging during the Future of Science Journalism Symposium.

In addition to writing about things his local audience can actually see and experience for themselves, Robbins times his Sciencedude posts to have the most impact:

The idea that “people will find it” is a vestige of the old journalism, Robbins said — no, they won’t find it, unless you play it correctly.

Therefore, it pays to know your metrics. Any site that doesn’t let its producers see Web traffic is wasting opportunities to tailor its content for maximum traffic, which translates, of course, into money. Think about that.

(via Teaching Online Journalism)