Is F2F or Ustream Better?

Bummer. I have joined another conference (free of course) by joining Ustreams w/ chatrooms (see my previous post.) One of the presenters, Steve Dembo, actually created his own Ustream for us, and twittered to invite us. Then Lisa Parisi twittered that she was at the same conference, and would be asking permission from presenters to set up a UStream/chat for the sessions she attended, which were graciously allowed. So I got to virtually sit in on sessions given by Alan November and David Jakes. David Jakes even walked up to her Ustreaming laptop and asked the chatroom what they thought! Now how cool is that?? You must visit her saved UStreams here.

As always, I’m watching my bloglines, and many have been blogging from the AASL conference in Reno. When one of the first blog postings came in, I posted a comment first thanking the said blogger for sharing about the conference, and then asked about any backchanneling or possible Ustreaming coming out. The response I got (in a polite little email and not posted to their blog) was that “videos and podcasts will be made available after the conference for a cost,” and then the posed question “and if they did allow that, then what would the conference of the future look like?”

Well, I hope I’m not alone in thinking that Ustreams and Skypechats will NEVER replace the feeling of having a f2f experience. Just like my friend Lisa Parisi, who I am ever so jealous of, ate lunch with the very presenters she attended sessions for that day. All b/c she asked permission to widen the network of the conference experience.

I guess you could call me a twitter ustream groupie, b/c I hop over and check out any ustream happening when it is twittered to me. But I certainly would MUCH rather be there f2f for the fun and networking, than left out here in a virtual sense to experience it. If I could go, I would. But that is not always possible. I really don’t think people will STOP going to conferences, so I am shocked, saddened, and puzzled by the other blogger’s response.


Image: ‘Zooomr Mark III Launch

5 Responses to “Is F2F or Ustream Better?”

  1.   diane Says:


    I will ALWAYS yearn for the upfront and personal experience. Perhaps it’s a generational thing.

    I love interacting with colleagues around the world, but a part of me refuses to accept the fact that I might never meet my new friends in the “real” world. Haven’t been to Europe since 1995, but…never say never!

    I’m even giving up our annual visit to Key West to attend NECC in June. Talk about sacrifices! I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to connect with some of my cyber heroes.


  2.   Lisa Parisi Says:

    Great thoughts, Cathy. Hopefully, more conference presenters will allow back chatters and UStreams. We must continue widening the circle.

  3.   diane Says:

    What happened to “information wants to be free”?

  4.   Sue Waters Says:

    Hi Cathy – I have just spent the last 3 weeks at conferences so would be interested to read the posts by bloggers about people stopping going to conferences. Actually I am totally exhausted by the whole process and agree the best aspect is the social networking.

  5.   Christine Southard Says:

    Hi Cathy,
    I have never had so much fun at a conference before! I think that all conferences should allow this type of back channel networking to take place b/c the back chatter was such a great experience.

    I have a special education teacher convention in the spring and I’m wondering who I can network and chatter with while I’m attending this event. I don’t know a lot of spedutechs, do you? If so, pass them on my way. :)


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