Welcome to the blog for the 2014 Charleston Conference! As in the past several years, I will be bringing you news of the conference as it happens (well, maybe not instantly, but within a short time).
In this initial article, I will explore some of the wonders of the conference schedule, which is now available here. You can also access the schedule easily on your phone or tablet! Bookmark the mobile here. For step-by-step instructions on how to bookmark the site and add it to the home screen on your iPhone or Android, click here.
As usual, the schedule is overwhelming, and there are many choices, so you need to begin looking at it now and planning which sessions are of interest to you. You will certainly have to make some hard choices (and if you have figured out how to be in several places at once, please let me know!).
The task of planning your time has been vastly improved this year over past years, when all that was available was a printed program book similar to those given to myriads of conference attendees for many years. This year’s Charleston online program is a truly interactive and user friendly experience that will significantly help you in your planning. You can view, sort, and filter the program in almost any way you can think of. Each of the categories of presentations is easily distinguished from the others using colors. And once you have your schedule planned to your liking, a single click allows you to download it to your personal schedule. After you have finished planning your schedule, you can download it to the device of your choice. You always know when the events are scheduled because a timeline runs down the left side of each page.
When you open the program, you see the schedule in Simple view which lists events in chronological order.
- The Expanded view gives complete information on the event, including an abstract, speaker bio, and location (not only the room in the hotel, but the hotel’s address on which you can click to bring up a Google Map of its location).
- The Grid view presents the events pictorially and is especially useful when you want to choose a session in a time slot when several concurrent sessions are occurring. Hovering the mouse over an event brings up a popup window showing the Expanded view of that event which is very useful when your decision is difficult. That’s a very nice touch—no more flipping back and forth between the grid view and the listing of abstracts in a printed book.
- The Venue view lists the events sorted by venue, which is useful when (like me) you want to stay in the same hotel (or even the same room in a hotel) during the day. Over the years, the Charleston Conference has greatly expanded, with events being held in several hotels and rooms at the College of Charleston, and it can take considerable time to get from one to the other, especially during the day when the city is busy.
When you are looking at the schedule in one view, you can always to back up to the top of the page and click on Schedule to return to the opening Simple view.
Next to the Schedule link on the opening page, you will see a hyperlink taking you to an alphabetical list of the speakers.
Want to see where each speaker will appear? Just click on their name and you will see his/her bio and the list of events. For example, here is the list for Rick Anderson, Associate Dean for Scholarly Resources and Collections, University of Utah. (With 4 presentations, he will be busy!)
The list of speakers is broken up into page-sized segments for easy viewing. Six numbered buttons at the bottom of each page permit moving from one page to another. Suggestion for next year: Instead of numbering the buttons, label them with the alphabetical segment they point to.
At the right of the opening page, you will see a list of 10 pre-defined categories. Click on one to filter the schedule by that category. If you hover your mouse over any item in the list, you can choose a sub-category from a popup list. The number of events in the category also pops up. Here are those numbers—this conference is a busy one indeed!
An 11th category, Popular, brings up a list of such events (there is no indication of how “Popular” was defined).
Each event is color coded to indicate the category in which it has been placed, and the colors appear throughout the schedule. Events are placed in only one category.
Finally, there is a capability to search for an item and display it directly when you know something about it. Just enter your search term in the box above the list of categories.
Personalizing Your Schedule
Several options are available for creating a personal schedule. Check out the excellent video tour; click here or on the link at the bottom of every page of the schedule.
New Conference Features
Conferences are always changing, and the Charleston Conference is no exception. A number of new innovations have been introduced this year. I will describe them in a forthcoming article—stay tuned.
The conference organizers deserve kudos and congratulations for their interactive schedule. Other conferences would do well to emulate it.
Don Hawkins blogs about conferences for Information Today and Against The Grain. He also maintains the Conference Calendar on the Information Today website and is the Editor of Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage, published by Information Today in 2013, and Co-Editor of Public Knowledge: Access and Benefits, published by Information Today in 2016. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked in the information industry for over 45 years.