Forum on Education Abroad annual conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina and I'm sad to say that I am no longer able to attend. I have attended every Forum on Education Abroad conference and I was scheduled to present but due to a required meeting about my dissertation proposal that overlaps the conference I had to withdraw from my session. Now that I have a phone that is smarter than me I was planning on a heavy social media presence at the Forum conference that included posts to Twitter and IHEC Blog's Facebook page as well as video uploads (perhaps interviews) for IHEC Blog's YouTube channel. Additionally, I planned to blog frequently from the conference. I guess this will all happen at the upcoming NAFSA conference (more on this as the NAFSA conference approaches).
I encourage everyone who will be attending the Forum conference and who are using social media tools to actively use them to commnicate and inform others in attendance and those of us who are not in attendance. I've been following the "back channel" conversation of several recent and upcoming conferences on Twitter such as the Comparative and International Education Society (#CIES2010 on Twitter), NASPA (#NASPA2010 on Twitter), ACPA (#ACPA2010 on Twitter) and NAFSA (#nafsa10 on Twitter) as well as NAFSA's Advocacy Day (#nafsaAD) and I have found the dialogue to be quite interesting and informative. Will anyone be posting to Twitter from the Forum conference and if so do you have thoughts on a #hashtag to follow? Last week I started asking in various new media spaces on what the #hashtag should be for the Forum conference and some suggestions from colleagues have been: #FORUMX, #FEA10, #Forum2010 and #2010Forum. What are your thoughts? Last week I also argued (in 140 characters on Twitter) that conferences should set their own #hashtags for people to follow. Thanks @NAFSA for setting your own #hashtag for the 2010 annual conference a few weeks back and for making the Twitter feeds visible in the Conference Connection! Whatever the #hashtag used for the Forum conference I will be following from Chicago! All this #hashtag talk is probably confusing to most people because you may not be on Twitter and are thinking "What?" or you have seen me post to Twitter and other spaces about my dislike for the #hashtag! I like #hashtags with &purpose...but that is an entirely different conversation I'm having with some great colleagues!
If you plan to be using any new media tools from the Forum conference (aside from Twitter as we hopefully can all agree on a #hashtag to use), please let me know and I'll update this post to include links to your blog, YouTube channel, Facebook page or to all three! I do know that Missy Gluckman over at Melibee Global will be blogging frequently from the Forum conference. You can read more about Missy's plans here.
On a related note, I found the following two articles on social media use at conferences to be quite interesting and think that they can be very helpful for colleagues in field of international education to read:
“Conference Humiliation: They're Tweeting Behind Your Back” from the November 17, 2009 The Chronicle of Higher Education
“An Open Letter from the People with Cell Phones out (for a purpose) during Sessions” from the March 9, 2010 NASPA 2010 Annual Conference Blog