By now most of you who were following HighEdWeb know all about the infamous heweb09 keynote and heckling. I’m not going to address that.
Long before the HighEdWeb conference started, Dylan Wilbanks suggested that a place exist for people who could not attend or present at the real heweb09; fakeheweb09 was born. A Ning site was built for an alternative conference (complete with real heweb09′s color palette). Participants could post events or poster sessions directly to the site or via other cloud-based tools. Dimdim, twitter, drop.io and slideshare were used. (We even build our own swag and had our own excursion photos.)
Let’s face it: real conferences might give us new information, but often we go so that we can have the presenter preach to the choir. Then we go back and tell our unenlightened leadership and colleagues that the presenters at the conference they spent good money for us to attend said what we’ve been trying to tell them all along. I’m not saying that real conferences aren’t great, but so much of the conference happens in the networking. The presentations were a chance to commiserate and poke fun at the gap between how things should be done and how they often are done.
In the end Curtiss Grymala had an idea that resonated with attendees: what if we put our fakeheweb efforts into something real? Here were some ideas quoted from various fakeheweb attendees who responded to his question:
- “Get together more often to share ideas, brainstorm, and learn about emerging tech.”
- Use the Ning site to explore what’s available to deliver over a distance and interact with cool people.
- Use fakeheweb as a perma-conference over lunches: tweet it, ustream it, etc.
- “Many of us do presentations at work. This might be an ideal forum to dry-run presentations on tech-in-ed, web design and web 2.0. Schedule it here, let everyone know, Tweet it out, and set up an online meeting room.” “What better place to get feedback on your presentations than among your peers throughout the country/world?”
- “We should have a sort of ‘Virtual HEWeb’ conference.”
Whether you participated in this fake event or not, what are your thoughts? What do you think should happen to fakeheweb?