Monday, November 11, 2013

#solo13 versus #solo14

I'm back from the SpotOn/Science Online conference where I facilitated a workshop on dark social:

Slides | Storify

This was my fifth Science Online conference in a row, and while it didn't have the impact for me of some of the previous events, it was still well worth while. Noticeably, the next generation have arrived, which is good. At the same time, SpotOn/Science Online feels like it is in need of a refresh and it is time to try something new to capture the impact of the earlier events.

Where would I like to see SpotOn go next? Ironically, I'd like to see it go all the way back to its 2008 roots and become much more focused online. The online component was the revolutionary element of the first event, but it is now standard for all major conferences. I would like to see the SpotOn conference as a one day midpoint/highlight of a month long online event.

It would be a huge mistake to try to capture all the activity in one site. Rather the focus should be on encouraging contributions across a distributed network of media - blogs, Twitter, Google+ hangouts, YouTube, ScienceGist, Wikipedia, etc, etc - conference as aggregator. Two weeks of online activity, with themes, campaigns and targets, one day f2f event (a sort of AGM), then another two week follow up to capitalize on the momentum rather than dissipating it all the Monday morning after the meeting. Build an online community of mutual support.

What say you?


  1. I've just just been to #solo14. I can see very much how what you are suggesting could have worked- particularly in regards to the 2nd day unconference. Interesting!