Ethan Zuckerman blogged TEDGlobal 2007 (and several past TEDs). Every session. Every speaker (save a few). Every day for four days. His near-real-time blogging was a crucial record of this conference. Many comments were made about his ability to turn out fully formed, thoughtful posts almost instantly.
Just as important, his posts helped other TEDGlobal bloggers begin the conversations that have continued ever since. The roster of TEDGlobal bloggers, working together, told the story of this conference, as he writes in the excerpt below, taken (with his permission) from his post “The 5-4-3 Double Play, or the Art of Conference Blogging” — which offers his 10 keys to conference blogging.
“Hash,” writing about bloggers at the TEDGlobal conference in Arusha, used the Swahili term “harambee” to describe the ideal operation of a group of bloggers at a conference:
Harambee is a Swahili term that means “pulling together”. That mentality, the willingness to work together, was what made it possible to cover a busy event like TEDGlobal … Some of us decided to take pictures, some did interviews between sessions and others decided to summarize the day. Everyone who blogs has their own voice, and I think it showed in the coverage. What could have been an amalgamation of everyone saying the same thing turned into a fairly well-rounded coverarge of the event.
My goal in blogging a conference is not to be the sole, authoritative voice of the blogosphere. It’s to do what I enjoy doing: writing detailed summaries of each sessions. But that means I can’t take photos of the speakers on stage, can’t interview speakers between sessions, can’t monitor coverage of the conference in the blogosphere. At TED, we were able to split up the tasks, so that Hash and Andrew took photos, Ndesanjo blogged in Swahili, Juliana did interviews, June and Emily monitored blogosphere coverage, etc. It’s a whole lot more fun to blog these events in groups, even if that means sitting next to someone trying to liveblog at the same time as you are, arguing about how to spell a word the speaker has just uttered.
Watch for the first TEDTalks from this conference, premiering Wednesday, August 1, on TED.com.