MiT5 wrapped up yesterday and it was an exhausting but really exciting weekend of scholarly exchange. I kept some tabs on events as they transpired on Twitter, which was fun (though some attendees seem to have resented the divided attention of laptop-enhanced participants). I have been enjoying reading blogs about attendees' conference experiences, including those by Derek, Jill, Chuck, Axel, and Jason.

Perhaps I'll write some more about the conference in the coming days. In the meantime, there are a few photos at my Flickr.

Update 5/1: Jean Burgess (who I heard give an excellent paper at MiT5 about Flickr and vernacular creativity) blogs about issues around Twittering the conference and the "continuous partial attention" that this requires:
As far as I could see over people’s shoulders, and certainly in my own case, most of the time the twitterers were using their laptops and the internet to annotate, share, get background on, critique, and fact-check the papers they were listening to - and yes, they were also sometimes ‘playing around’ and socialising.
The question to me is not only whether this parallel communication is a distraction from the conference presentation--it is and it isn't--but whether it's disrespectful to the person giving the paper. I don't think it is. My mind wanders all the time during conference panels. I find it hard to attend to every word of three or four papers consecutively, so I zone out for moments, scan the conference program, doodle, think about other things. Having a computer in front of me filled these times in addition to allowing me to annotate, share, etc. I don't see the harm in that. All the computer does is makes people's already partial and intermittent attention visible.

And: My paper is now available in PDF form at the conference website. Or you can download it right here: "The Community as Artist: The Show with Ze Frank."


steven edward streight said...

I agree. Those same fools who bitched about "partial divided attention" do the same thing at home.

They eat pizza, watch TV, listen to music, blog, Twitter, chat, and smoke whatever they smoke, simultaneously.

Besides, I space out all the time when ppl talk, because they are boring or I go off on internalized tangent.

Nothing wrong with that. Focus is over-rated. We need to be skillful at Multi Attention Fixing.

Reik called it "listening with the third ear", a floating awareness of patient talk and personal mental annotations.

steven edward streight said...

Web 2.0 presentations must include Web 2.0 communication tools (Twittering an event as you present it,etc.) or else it's hypocritical.

PowerPoint is dead.