Cool presentation, but what’s the point of conferences again?

First and most important, take a look at Daniel Anderson’s video of his presentation for the CCCC in San Francisco:

Mix and Mash Literacy from Daniel Anderson on Vimeo.

I’m not sure if this has happened already or if it is going to happen, but I thought it was well-done. Dan made some good points, which is pretty much all I ask out of a conference presentation. I passed it along as a link in my grad class, so maybe some of them will comment on Dan’s talk too.

But for me, it also raises the question I ask in the title of this post: what’s the point of conferences nowadays? Sure, it’s about networking, having meetings in person (always more efficient than meetings online, I will admit), getting “away” in the sense of a retreat, getting “away” in the sense of an opportunity to go out with friends, etc. It’s fun. But now that it is possible– even pretty easy– to put a presentation like this up on the web, I’m not sure if the pros of a face to face meet-up outweigh the cons of conferences– the costs of registration/lodging/food, the time away from work/family/friends/home, the damage to the earth resulting from air travel, the bad eating/drinking habits, etc.

Of course, maybe I’m just bitter for not being in San Francisco right now….

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