So more on the BS angle from the last post.
The third session I attend was a poster session put together by Dickie Selfe. As I tweeted yesterday, I enjoyed this session quite a bit, and it seemed to draw a good crowd. I think people appreciate the lower personal investment of a poster session. Check out what interests you. Interact if you want. Leave when you're ready. Poster sessions are hardly a new phenomenon, though maybe new to CCCC. I've never been to one at least. I think the idea is worth further exploration.
Almost everyone complains about these mega-conferences. To get funding, you need to present, so people invent presentations in order to attend. The tail wags the dog here. That doesn't mean we're not interested in the work we are presenting. It just means to motives are a little skewed. Is CCCC a conference where you speak to experts in your field? Is that the audience you imagine? I don't. There may be some experts in the audience, but today when I present I expect to have to make at least some gesture toward explaining what Twitter is when I discuss it.
Anyway, my point is that we could do this a little differently, give people a chance to present their research, and not have so many concurrent panels for so many days of sessions without really detracting from the intellecutal-scholarly value of the conference. We might even improve it! How about slideshow poster sessions where every presenter sets up a laptop? Or pecha kucha sessions followed by online discussion? Picking up on next year's "remix" theme, Derek Mueller and I were discussing, half-seriously, the idea of remixing the space-time of the conference. How about flash mob presentations outside conventional presentation spaces? Sign up. Receive a text message and in 15 mintues show up in a public space to hear a quick presentation. I was thinking about 60s happenings and I know they used to do things with elevators. How about an "elevator talk" presentation? Everyone who can squeeze into the elevator goes and the talk lasts the journey up and down from the lobby.
Of course you would still need a conventionally approved presentation to get funding to attend, so it always comes back to that.