I’ve been really interested to see the way that conversations around conferences are being collated online. The recent D.Construct conference had a BackNetwork that I thought was really great – even though I wasn’t able to attend the conference. The upcoming Web Directions conference in Sydney has a similar Web Connections site set up. Even though these aren’t designed for those of us unable to attend – it’s a really valuable resource for those of us unable to attend.
A similar kind of conversation sprung up about the upcoming Office 2.0 conference. Granted, it started from the fact that there was a dreadful under-representation of women on the speaker list… but since then Anne Zelenka has spearheaded a concept known as Office 2.0 PodCast Jam.
The idea of the PodCastJam for Office 2.0 is to expand the conversation to people who aren’t invited to speak, or who aren’t able to attend, but who are still really interested in this topic. Anyone can contribute a short podcast, and then around the time of the conference, the podcasts are shared, and chats and blog posts and otherways of having this conversation allows all kinds of people who wouldn’t usually be engaged in this conversation to have a voice, and to engage with other people who are also interested – hopefully both those who can attend the conference and those who can’t.
From my perspective, this is a great opportunity for three groups who are usually chronically under-represented at these conferences to have a voice: women (which is where it started), people not from the US (as an Australian, I know how hard it is to get to these cool conferences!), and people who are interested in usable and accessible design.
So – getting to the point of this post. If you are in any one of the three groups I’ve just mentioned. Or, if you’ve got something to say about Office 2.0 but haven’t been invited or able to attend the conference. Get involved!
Contribute a short podcast, or put PodCastJam in your diary and come get involved in the conversation.
The more diverse the voices, the more successful the PodCastJam. Check out all the great people who are already involved. But don’t be intimidated – make the lineup even more special!
Don’t know how to do a PodCast? Well… what better time to have a go.
Get in touch (leisa.reichelt AT gmail.com) and we’ll get you involved!
It’ll be great!