ScienceOnline2010 - what to do while there, what to do if you are not there but are interested?

ScienceOnline2010 is starting in three days! If you are not excited yet....well, I think you should be! And perhaps I can help you....with this post.

First, see the complete list of attendees, or, if you want more details about everyone, browse through these introductory posts. It is always good to know more about people you are about to spend two or three days with....

Then, check out the Program to see which session in each time-slot you want to participate in. Go to individual session pages right now and join in the discussions, or ask questions. Start shaping the discussion online before it even starts offline.

This is an Unconference, meant to be highly participatory. The point of the meeting is to have conversations. The sessions' titles are meant to be topics for conversations, not lectures. The session moderators are supposed to keep the room engaged and on topic, not to drone on and on in a lecture. And then, there are all those informal conversations that happen in the hallways, and during additional events, and in the hotel lobby and at the hotel bar.....

What to do if you will not be physically present but want to follow? Graham Steel has some ideas, but there are plenty of ways to follow, and to some extent participate in the meeting.

This is an Unconference also in the sense that it is open. Not just that we allow, we actively encourage participants to cover the meeting online - not just sessions, but everything that happens there. The participants are encouraged to livetweet the meeting, to discuss it in various online places like FriendFeed and Facebook, and to blog about it: either liveblog, or a series of blog posts afterwards, or one big summary post at the end.

So, follow our official Twitter account, follow the #scio10 hashtag on Twitter, and follow the Twitter List that aggregates all the participants. Subscribe to our FriendFeed room and our Facebook event. A lot of coverage will also be found on the Science In The Triangle site and blog.

All (except one) sessions will be recorded and the videos posted on the scienceinthetriangle YouTube channel. You can also search YouTube for the #scio10 hashtag later on.

The sessions in rooms D and E will also be livestreamed on The RTP stream - there are chatrooms on the side: use them to discuss in real time. We will have assigned "room monitors" who will check the chatrooms and, if they see an interesting question or comment, inject them into the real-world conversation in the room.

Likewise, these same sessions (in rooms D and E) will be livestremed into SecondLife on the RTP Island. Again, we will have someone keep an eye on the conversations there and may read out a good question out loud into the room.

We are also encouraging participants to make photographic, audio and video recordings of various events - not just sessions, but hallway conversations and other events. We hope they will interview each other. And then post all those audio and video files online and tag them all with #scio10 hashtag for easy search. We will collect everything from anywhere on the Web with that tag in one place - check the wiki (and our other communication channels) for more information when the meeting starts.

One way to warm up and get excited for the conference is to read some blog and media coverage from the previous years. Check out the collected links of coverage of the 2007 meeting, the 2008 meeting and the 2009 meeting. Of course, the 2010 meeting has already generated quite a lot of coverage (this time in reverse-chronological order) and we expect much more, so try to catch up (and add to it on your own blogs).

Finally, some of the past participants revealed much more about themselves in a series of interviews I conducted with them over the past two years. Many of them will be here again this year/week (marked with an asterisk) so you can see what they had to say about themselves, their science/Web projects, and about the conference itself: - the 2008 interviews and 2009 interviews.

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