Online Conferences: Pros, Cons, Tips
“I am about to be involved in organizing an online conference and I am interested in how the group mind of philosophy thinks about it,” writes a regular Daily Nous reader in an email. Reasons to make your conference an online conference? Reasons not to? Reports on how they’ve gone from both organizer and participant points of view? Technical suggestions? Organizing advice? Problems? Solutions? Questions?
(art: detail of photo by Varun Thota)
Unless the conference involves heavy use of realtime, face to face technology (which can be done but needs major investment in good product and tech support), the conference would probably function similarly to the way that posted paper discussions go on blogs. Which is to say that, among other things, the time given to conference members to respond has to be fairly regimented, with commitments from participants to “get to” the papers and their own thoughts and feedback about them within alloted windows of discussion. Otherwise, a conference online might feel much less successful. The same goes for open comments/questions/feedback venues for registered but not invited participants. In online interaction for philosophy papers in general, in my six years of experience administering a blog, discussions can run in binge and fast cycles if participation isn’t regimented. Hope that helps.Report
All I know is that I think there need to be many, many more online conferences in philosophy. We are organizing one right now at the Brains blog (shameless plug: submissions are due in just five days! — see http://philosophyofbrains.com/minds-online-2015-submissions for details), and while I know it’s going to be a lot of work, we’re doing it because it’s really important as a way to open the profession to people with limited (or no) research budgets and other circumstances (family responsibilities, disability, etc.) that make it hard to do a lot of traveling.Report
For anyone interested, the Minds Online conference, mentioned by John (above) has begun. You can check it out at http://www.mindsonline.philosophyofbrains.comReport