Despite the Fact… Blogging Conferences

Despite the fact that today I attended a regional conference which I really enjoy and am going to post the notes from several sessions, I am frustrated. It’s the same kerfuffle…

Once again I received an email asking me to take down a post that was a live blogging of a session.

Really? You want to present to hundreds of people but you don’t want me to write about it? You want us to talk about it, to remember you, to link to your work, but you don’t want me to blog about it? You want to get feedback, hear what people hear you saying, and hopefully add another line to your CV, but you don’t want me to blog about it?

At least this one wasn’t the evil, threatening version. Instead it was somewhat clueless.

I have several objections to having this posted online, one of which is the fact that the images presented are not my own. I feel this is an unethical misrepresentation of information. Also, because the blog only includes bits and pieces of my ideas, I would prefer to not have something that is so sporadic and discombobulated associated with my name without my knowledge and consent. I have since further developed this paper and do not wish for the beginning stages of it to be presented online. I am also in the process of having it copywrited.

Two grammar errors. A vocabulary issue. A spelling error. An insult to my writing notes. She now knows it’s associated with her name, so that takes one point away. She doesn’t want the beginnings out there, even though she presented them. (Yes, I know a conference presentation is seen as more ephemeral. Online is forever. Wouldn’t that be good? Her stuff is readable forever.)

Then there is the fact that notes as news reporting and scholarship are allowed as fair use, even if the work is copyrighted, which it might be immediately upon presentation. Fair use allows me to use the work without the author’s permission for reporting or scholarship.

Would it have made her less upset if I had noted that the images were mine? Probably not. That just gave her one more point to talk about in the email.

I like to write about conferences. People writing about conferences is what introduced me to some of my favorites.

I don’t like getting email from people saying take my notes down. You know what, this isn’t your paper. It’s my notes. If I take your name off of it, will that make it better? If your name isn’t on it, you won’t be able to google it. So maybe from now on when I blog conference presentations, I should not put the person’s name on it. Instead I will say S-D- from BU spoke. Then most people won’t notice that I blogged their posts. And if they don’t notice that they were blogged, they won’t ask me to take them down.

Is it more ethical for me to take someone’s name off, while giving you enough information on both the conference and their university that you could find them if you wanted, or to leave my post up even when someone wants it taken down?

These are NOT their conference presentations. These are my notes. They are not the same thing. They do not belong to the person presenting. They belong to me.

I won’t present their papers anywhere, but I want to be able to put my notes on their papers up. I can see, though, how having my notes up may feel like I am misappropriating their papers. They can’t control them. (Of course they can’t control them in other environments either, they just don’t see them as easily there.) I personally would prefer to see the notes up with my name attached than out there floating in internet space without my name on them.

Yes, I realize other people may take them and use them and not put your name on them. But they could do that following your presentation.

Too bad there aren’t a thousand folks telling me about how my blog got their work out and someone contacted them because of the notes on my blog.

4 thoughts on “Despite the Fact… Blogging Conferences”

  1. Not again? (sigh) Your conference blogging is a treat. Don’t let the trolls discourage you ~ their loss and a sign of how out of touch they are.

  2. PS ~ for some reason, this Will Rogers quote comes to mind
    “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

  3. “Then there is the fact that notes as news reporting and scholarship are allowed as fair use, even if the work is copyrighted, which it might be immediately upon presentation. ” I fully agreed. I don’t see why someone would be asking you to take down a post that was a live blogging of a session. The reasons given were not convincing. We understand that blog posts were bits and pieces, and may only be reflective of blogger’s personal thought. However, blogs are important means for sharing and communicating our thoughts with others, in networks and community, and so why are people forbidding others to do so, whilst they do it themselves? Copyright one’s blog – that may easily be done using Creative Commons.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful insights.

  4. Don’t take it down. If someone does not want their work to be publicly discussed, they should not present at conferences. If this person wants to clarify a point, she can discuss it publicly as comments to your post or on her own blog. Do keep live blogging conferences, please!

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