Various people have started blogging about NECC 2006, in San Diego this year, such as David Warlick and Julie Lindsay, and see also this technorati search. I will be there as well, as the chair of SIGHC (special interest group on handheld computing). It is funny to see how people are getting geared up to go, talking about how sessions are going to be podcast and blogged about, stuff being aggregated in browsers like hitchhikr, people’s emails being clogged with “visit us at booth x” messages etc. etc. While this kind of coverage will be great for NECC and valuable for people who won’t be able to attend, some of these people may be missing the most important eason to go to NECC: to meet, learn from, and network with people face-to-face. Technology can, and should have a role in this process, but to put it in Thackara’s words, ” The best Internet tools… are an extension of – not a replacement for- face-to-face exchanges” (In the bubble, p. 145).
What I’m really looking forward to is meeting up with the people from around the world whom I communicate and work with throughout the year. Many of them I only see at NECC. I’m sure I will go to as many sessions as possible, hang out on the trade floor, and be completely overwhelmed with information. Therefore, I’m not going to worry about podcasting or blogging while I’m in San Diego, and not fall victim to a case of continuous partial attention. I may look up some things that other people have to say about sessions I attended and the like, but not until AFTER the conference.
Hope to see many of you in San Diego, only two more weeks….