Conference etiquette and wifi
simon at thegestalt.org
Tue Dec 12 01:15:57 GMT 2006
On Sun, Dec 10, 2006 at 03:29:07PM +0000, Tim Sweetman said:
> An acquaintance, with the somewhat unpronouncable name of
> http://london.pm.org/lpw/faq.html, tells me that it's "rude to type
> during talks".
Since I wrote the offending FAQ I feel I should comment.
So, the whole FAQ is fairly lighthearted in tone. The line about WiFi is
mostly because, at the venues we go to for the LPW, getting permission
to have an open Wifi network has, in the past been fairly hard and
represents an additional hassle which I (we) could do without.
However, that said, personally as a speaker, I find it really annoying
to look up and see everyone's head down hunched over a keyboard. In my
opinion the best talks are always the one that represent a dialogue with
the audience, even if one side is (mostly) silent. this is why I'm in
favour of Takahashi style slides rather than endless lists of bullet
points - the more the speaker is looking at the audience the better.
So, in short - yes, personally I think it's rude to have a back channel
in a talk (or a meeting for that matter) no matter how ADHD one is. This
is doubly true for a small conference like the LPW or a tehc talk.
Also, I happen to find that the best things at conferences happen when
the wifi inevitably goes down and people start actually talkinbg rathe
rthan checking their email, updating their blog, reading Slahsdot.
playing WoW etc etc.
Again, thus is just me so if you *really* disagree then organise your
own conference with WiFi as a USP :)
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