The conference began on the third Friday in February and ran for two weeks (that being ‘the conference’). Those presenters who allow it have their papers posted online at least a week before the conference begins so that people can read as many papers, in as much detail, as they choose beforehand to enhance and deepen discussion. During this two weeks discussion takes place in the comments section of each session (i.e. each post). It is much like blogging, only during a specific two week period. As such it can be done from anywhere at any time! After the conference the comments section will be closed (unless requested to be left open by author). Presentations, videos, papers, etc and discussion are left for people to view (unless the presenter requests otherwise) but no new comments are approved. The best way to get a feel for what goes on here is to browse previous conferences by going to the program for that year and clicking on the title of the talk you want to “attend”.
Participation in the conference can mean many different things. In general, I like to think that, just as with a more standard conference, how much one participates is up to the individual conference goer. Some conference goers check into the conference when they have the time, setting aside certain days to engage in online discussion, others subscribe to the rss feed of sessions they are interested in or ask for an email to be sent every time there is a comment in the session they are interested in (you must make a comment first unfortunately) and so are involved multiple times per day. Some participants engage with one or two sessions, others engage with many of the sessions, still others read exchanges but do not contribute. My hope is that people enjoy the conference and participate to the extent that they desire!
Participants often provide some kind of audio/video material to be posted along with their papers. This can be anything from a recording of the talk given somewhere else (I think it is analogous to giving the same talk at two different conferences, which is normal), a new recording of a talk, a home made video of the presenter reading the paper, an edited presentation involving video, powerpoint slides and music, a narrated powerpoint presentation, or an audio recording of the presenter reading the paper. I encourage these innovations but I do not require them. Just as with a more conventional conference, how one chooses to present the material is up to the presenter. If one prefers to just have one’s paper posted, that is fine as well.
After the comments section is closed the author may, if they wish, write a final comment addressing any remaining points, comments/criticisms, etc or summing up the main points made.
Oh, and the conference is completely free of charge.
For more information, or any questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org