NECC 2008 – Channel overload

Is anyone else feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the information available here at NECC? It’s bad enough when we’re at home, but the focused concentration of all of these people on this single event within a short time period, combined with the proliferating use of both older tools (Twitter, blogs, RSS, tags) and newer tools (Summize, Ustream, CoverItLive), along with all of the new people I’m meeting (and thus want to add to my ‘personal learning network’), is leading to some serious mental overload.

Is it possible to actually attend conference (and unconference) sessions as well as … ?

  • talk to people
  • monitor the various Technorati tags (ebc08, necc, necc08, necc2008, individual session tags)
  • monitor the various Flickr tags (ebc08, necc, necc08, necc2008, individual session tags)
  • respond to the blog posts, Flickr pictures, or comments that you discover
  • post on your own blog!
  • follow the NECC conversation in Twitter and Summize and Hitchhikr
  • participate in the NECC Ning and/or your Facebook/MySpace social network(s)
  • read and respond to cell phone text messages
  • track down and read the various wikis, handouts, etc. that are floating around
  • track down and watch the various Ustreams and CoverItLive backchannels that are floating around
  • investigate some of the new technology tools that you learn about
  • and so on (I’m sure I’ve forgotten something major!) …

Maybe I’m getting old, but my brain hurts. In a good way, but it still hurts.


Photo credit: ‘a’ stands for headache

5 Responses to “NECC 2008 – Channel overload”

  1. I laughed at the comment, “…older tools (Twitter, blogs, RSS, tags)…” If Twitter is an old tool, dinosaur does not do justice for a label for me personally!

    I won’t for a moment question the value of NECC. Nor for a moment question the value of the conversation. However, it seems the last couple of NECCs have focused on the use of the newest gadgets/tools, etc. So much time is spent creating the backchannel/sidechannel/upchannel that one spends all the time chasing his/her technological tail.

    You summed it up well in how many different things there are to keep up with. Conferences were brain-fulls before the advent of the bazillion cool tools.

    Thanks for your blogging from NECC – it is great for we non-attendees!

  2. Scott,

    Maybe those who didn’t bring their laptops had the right idea and the rest of us are just too ‘connected’, thus spread too thin. I’m not sure if I’ll bring my laptop next year or not so I can focus on the discussions and personal interactions more.

    That, and the fact that my right shoulder LONGS for a rest from carrying that heavy bag!

    It was great to meet you f2f. Safe trip home.

  3. I gave up. I carried my laptop around the first day but left it in my room after that. I decided to focus on face to face interactions and attending sessions live. The blogs and wikis I can read later. But the offline, live action stuff is what makes being there worth while for me.

  4. “Is it possible to actually attend conference (and unconference) sessions as well as … ?”

    No. It’s not possible – at least, not if you want to maintain sanity, perspective, and a decent amount of sleep.

    When living in a world of “water, water everywhere”, we’ve got to give ourselves permission to figure out which drops are worth drinking. And to give ourselves permission to sometimes just float along when we need to.

  5. I agree with jeanette. When trying to keep up with every technology out there, it becomes a distraction to the issues – issues that are age-old and that need our serious attention. There are many smaller peripheral issues that are relevant, but they are not what is most important. Trying to be present in the periphery ends up taking away from the heart of many issues that need a great deal of concentrated attention, conversation, and dialogue. I know from personal experience that when I am in conference sessions with my laptop, I spread myself too thin. How frustrating is it when you can’t connect to one of the 10 different wireless connections that “seem” to be available 😉 Multitasking, for the most part, is a myth (if one wants excellence). I like Alfred’s thought that the asynchronous stuff can be left for later and the synchronous stuff, for the most part, should remain f2f for those how have the opportunity to attend in the flesh.

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