Let The Social Web Document Your Next Training

social-web-researchWhile driving home from the Maryland Library Association conference I had several hours in the car alone to contemplate things.  At some point my mind wondered to those forms that we or at least folks in Maryland have to fill out to receive CEUs.

The form is boring.  The form can’t really capture what you may or may not have learned at a training or conference.  Why not allow the social web to document your next training or conference as an option.  Mind you I know not everyone blogs or Twitters or has a Flickr account but many of us do.

Submit your Twitter stream and the hashtags you used.  Give the URL of your Flickr set from the training/conference.  Set up a blog and live the sessions you attend.  All of these options would give your employer a much better idea of what you got out of a session than some form.

Next Best Thing To Being There

I tweeted this morning that I was working on more photos from #CIL2009 (Computers in Libraries) and #JointSpringConference (Joint Spring Conference).  I got a reply to my tweet from @webmaster_ref asking to let him know when I had uploaded them.  He appreciated seeing all the tweets that were hashtagged #CIL2009 and the photos that were going up on Flickr.

I too have felt like the only one NOT attending a conference that my peers were attending.  Their blogs, tweets, YouTube videos and Flickr photos help to feel not totally out of the loop.  Of course nothing can replace the actual benefits of attending a conference (all the ideas you are exposed to, learns you learn to do and not to do regarding presenting, networking you do and friends you make).  One friend only Twittered during the conference and even setup a separate Twitter account so his other followers weren’t bombarded with #CIL2009 stuff.

What started as just a way to for me to record my experience at a conference, I’m now seeing in a different light.  With economic times hitting libraries hard these days I think it’s almost a duty of those who do attend to inform those of us who are left behind.  So if I can’t go to Internet Librarian 2009 I hope all my tweeps, freeps, fbookers and blog friends will do their best to make me like I’m there.

Things that Make You Go Hmm…

Wondering if the rise in gas prices that seems to trickle down to everything from shoes to groceries will cause a dent in attendance at conferences.

With ALA’s annual conference set to begin today I’ll be interested in hearing if their attendance is up or down from the past conferences. (Although many of the folks I follow on Twitter are going so maybe it isn’t a factor just yet?) I know that at Computers in Libraries this year they claimed their highest ever number of attendees. But that was before gas prices started to creep up, up, up.

Will libraries be forced to just send staff to local conferences or will they limit the number going to conferences further away or just stop going altogether?