As the conference approaches, we’ve been doing everything we can to get ready – getting our words-per-minute up, building up a tolerance to caffeine, and getting you all excited. One of the things we really want out of OR2012 is a good conversation. That means networking in person, and using this internet thing – we hear it’s sticking around. We’ll be using several different tools during OR2012 and we want to make sure that everyone’s familiar with them so you’ll find a guide here to using Crowdvine; Twitter; Lanyrd; Flickr; and Live blogging – click “Read More” below to browse through all of our tips or click on the one you are most interested in.
Once you’ve had a change to try these out – or if you’re already an expert – then you should also take a look at our Your Conference Needs You post! And if you have any question at all just leave a comment here or email our social media officer, Nicola (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will be happy to help.
First up is Crowdvine – a social network just for the event. At past Open Repository events there was plenty of activity on Crowdvine, so this is a good place to start. You can see who else is attending, make some early contacts, and get some preliminary chat. Signing up is pretty easy, just head over to http://or2012.crowdvine.com/ and click on ‘create an account’.
Fill in your name, email address and create a password. Once you’ve done that, if you click on account (right where ‘create an account’ was before), then ‘My Profile’, you can get to filling in introductory information.
On Crowdvine, you can share your organisation and which topics you know best. You can also submit a photo so people recognise you when you run into each other at the conference.
Once all that’s out of the way you can browse attendees, see what what’s going on, or start your own discussion.
Over the past couple of years Twitter has made quite a splash online. Twitter is a microblogging platform that lets people share what’s on their minds in 140 characters or less. Check out this video, describing Twitter in plain English. By keeping updates bite-sized, you can go through a lot of information in a short period of time. Head over to http://twitter.com/ and log in or put in your name, email address, and create a password. Then click sign up.
In order to start using Twitter, you’ll have to find some people or a conversation going on. Click in the search bar and type in a friend’s name or a topic. Let’s start with a search for OR2012. Once you find us, click Follow. Now any posts we share will show up in your timeline – a collection of updates, or ‘tweets’, from people you follow.
You might notice a hashtag in our updates. Hashtags are used to label tweets as part of a broader conversation that’s going on. While you’re at the conference, if you put #OR2012 in your tweets the other people will be able to find them when they look for conference chat. Be sure to join in so we know how things are getting on and what you think some of the best talks are about.
To sharpen your Twitter skills a little bit more, head over to Mashable’s guide.
Lanyrd is a social conference directory which lets you use your Twitter profile to track or indicate that you are attending an event and to find others who are also attending the event. We have set up a Lanyrd for OR2012 here: http://lanyrd.com/profile/openrepos2012/. You’ll need a Twitter account to sign up, and once you do you’ll have access to a list of attendees, updates, events, and links.
We will also be updating the Lanyrd event to link to other useful conference resources – all of these are already on this website or will also be linked to from these main conference pages.
We’ve also got a Flickr group going. Flickr lets users share photos and, in our case, put them all together so everyone can see what’s going on. Is that speaker wearing a novelty tie? We need documentation. We’ve got a group started at http://www.flickr.com/groups/or2012/.
If this is your first time using Flickr, you’ll need to either sign in with a Facebook account, a Google account, or create a Yahoo! ID.
Once you’re signed in and you click join, just type us a quick message letting us know that you’re coming and we’ll send you an invite. Very exclusive.
Last, but certainly not least, we will be live blogging all of the key sessions at Open Repositories 2012 and we thought you might like to know how to join in – we’d love to see lots of blogging and live blogging from all over the conference. Live bloggers type up what’s going on at an event as it happens, keeping track of what people are saying and showing as things go on. If we get a lot of live blogging participation then it will be like every attendee gets to go to every talk – no buyer’s remorse. Get in touch with us and we’ll link to yours right next to ours. If you use WordPress, here’s a great resource to get started live blogging on your site http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/live-blogging/.
And remember that if you blog about the event, share your slides, etc. then just let us know where to find your take on the conference and we’ll link to them and help get word out.
If you have any comments or questions not covered here, if you want to let us know about your blog or social media activity around the conference, or if there’s another beginners guide you’d like to see added here then leave a comment below or email Nicola, our Social Media Officer (email@example.com), and we’ll be very happy to help!