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Blog SAS Global Forum 2009

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Blogging Conferences I have been blogging at SAS conferences for years even before the term blog existed. I experimented with something new this year however. Rather than taking my paper notes and then reviewing them on the plane or at my desk after I came back from the conference to blog about them, I wrote about the experience while I was sitting right there in the conference. This included the opening session and during the talks. I guess the speakers don't mind because I usually sit near the back and turn down the volume of my laptop. I found that twitter was a great tool for this since it allows me to jot short blurbs.

Twitter, Fliker, YouTube... There is a sense of immediacy to twitter as compared to traditional blogs. It is information delivered up to the minute rather than something that happen hours or days ago. The challenge however is to communicate anything of substance in such a short one or two sentences. It does have the ability to create hyperlinks so I link it to the pictures that I can take and also videos that I create. A couple of examples are at:

Rather than expressing the entire meaning inside the message, I found it useful just to link it to other types of media such as photos and videos. Since I am sitting at the presentation, I just take a photo of the slides or record a video of the event on my digital camera. The Internet connection was fast at the conference thanks to SAS so that made it easy to upload.

Twits Group Think Blogging is usually a more individual expression and can be more a solitary cathartic experience. However, twitter which is a micro blogging tool can be more communal. At SAS Global forum 2009, I started to blog but then I then notice there were a group of us that was also twittering at the same time. We began to use the key word #sgf09 as part of our blog so that when we applied a search as in:, all of our twits are shown in chronological order together as one long discussion. This added a new dynamic. There was much of a sense of a community as people started to comment on each other's threads. It created a larger group think ethos that was akin to the cult nature of this SAS conference.