I realize it's been a while since the last blog update on ScienceOnline2010, though bits and pieces showed up on Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook over the past few weeks. You should follow the updates on the News and Updates page and also on the Blog and Media Coverage page on the wiki in order to stay up to date.
There are two new important pages on the wiki for you to check out: Travel and Hotel Information page has the relevant information (the exact rate for the hotel rooms will come shortly, probably Monday) on how to get here, where to stay, and how to get around. If you are driving in, or want to share a room, use the Carpooling and Room-sharing page to find the other interested people.
We are trying to organize an Early Bird dinner on Thursday, January 14th 2010, together with The Monti - a local organizer of storytelling events. For this occasion, the stories will have a science theme.
On Friday, January 15th 2010, there will be Food Tours at breakfast and lunch times, workshops at the PRC Training Facilities in RTP at 10am-12noon, and Lab Tours in the afternoon, followed by a dinner (and a talk) at the RTP Headquarters, co-sponsored by Science Communicators of North Carolina.
The main portion of the conference - a number of sessions and demos, will be held at Sigma Xi on Saturday January 16th (all day) and Sunday January 17th (half day). We will have a fun evening at the Radisson hotel on Saturday night with an Ignite session and a band.
The Program Suggestions page got so big, full of interesting ideas and discussions, that the wiki started balking - it refuses to save your edits. So I made a new page - Program Finalization - where I migrated only those sessions that have made some traction. All of the sessions listed on that page are either 'set in stone' or almost there.
The Program is essentially/almost finalized and will be completely finalized within about 10 days. After that, each session will get its own individual page where moderators and other participants can start discussions, ask questions, provide useful links, etc.
If you looked at the Volunteers page before and sent a message to us offering your time and effort, don't despair - we have received them all, have a list of all of you and will get in touch with you soon about the ways you can help us. We appreciate everyone who did so already, as well as anyone who does so in the future - this is a community-organized conference and more people pitch in, the better.
We will open for registration in about a week or two. Sign up for e-mails in order to get notified on time. There are 250 spots (and all the moderators/presenters HAVE to be registered first), while almost 500 people showed some interest in showing up. So, faster you register, more likely you will be to get in.
There will be a small registration fee this year, to help us provide for you, in this bad economy, what you have learned to expect from us over the years: excellent food, coffee and program.
Speaking of bad economy, this is a difficult year for everybody. The conference is bigger than ever, with more moderators/presenters than ever, with many of the moderators in need of financial help to travel, and with some of our returning sponsors hurting as well. In the past years, we always managed to provide some financial help to poor students, unemployed bloggers and people traveling from very far away (including from developing world) and we are hoping we will be able to help such folks this year again. So we need more sponsors - if you and your organization can do something for us: cash, travel grants, sponsoring a meal, sponsoring the technical support (wifi, A/V, livestreaming/recording), donating swag or advertising, etc. let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
NESCent has already received a nice batch of blog posts submitted to their Travel Award contest. Write an evolutionary biology blogpost and send it in to them if you want to be considered for one of their two $750 travel grants for the conference - we are keeping those two spots open for the two winners.
If you blog about the conference, please use one of the logos/buttons from the Promotional materials page.
Check out some of the science/nature/medicine NC blogs as many of their authors will be attending the meeting and you will be able to meet them in real life.
The Facebook event page gives us some indication of who (and how many people) intends to register. Check it out - if you have done so before but have changed your mind between "Attending", "Maybe Attending" and "Not Attending" please change your choice accordingly so we can have a better idea.
Most Science 2.0 folks have realized that FriendFeed works better than blogs, Twitter or Facebook for liveblogging conferences. Thus, for live coverage of the sessions, you should join the official FriendFeed group.
It is getting close, and it is getting exciting. I can't wait!
Looks like tis is going to be a blast, Coturnix!!