There’s no wireless here. When I whispered last night in an analogue backchannel to the performances (beer glass in hand but the room dully turned towards the stage and the tiny screens, no one sharing their experiences) a man turned to hush us and asks us to leave. With no keys to press, my annoyance fills my body until easy lunchtime conversation and after coffee, a keyboard. I want to try a moving, discussing hive of a conference, maybe an openspace conference, a conference of productive lunchtime conversations.

10 thoughts on “disconnected

  1. Espen

    The cobbler’s children have no shoes – and an Internet Writing conference has no Internet connection. Makes sense to me…..

  2. Jill

    There are lots of people doing interesting work but not one laptop in the auditorium, so perhaps I’m the only one who misses it. I’d gotten SO used to laptops in the auditorium. I’ve not even been bringing my own laptop actually, kind of saddened about the lack of wireless. Oh well.

  3. Scott

    I did miss the wireless as well, though I always put conference spread at the top of the list, and the food was pretty good in Nottingham. And there was a lot of meatspace talking going on, which may have been facilitated by the lack of wireless.

  4. Jill

    You’re right, Scott, the food was excellent, and after writing my grouch about the lack of wireless I had lots of good conversations, too, and even saw a few powerbooks and ibooks around. Unconnected but present.

  5. Simon


    Good to see you and Scott at Incubation. A very nice reading of Kind of Blue – thanks.

    They’re currently testing the wireless here at Nottingham Trent. Hopefully they’ll have it in place for the next Incubation.

    all the best


  6. Jill

    Cool, Simon! I’ve got to admit, most of my university is wireless-less, too…

  7. Sue Thomas

    Espen commented: “an Internet Writing conference has no Internet connection”

    In fairness to the fantastic tech team at Incubation I must point out that Espen is entirely misinformed. There were two computer resource rooms available for the delegates to use and our IT people set up special passwords so they could access the web. The demonstration rooms had excellent connections and enormous screes, and the entire first day was streamed live on the web.

    True, there was no live wireless connection at Incubation, but then I have only ever been to one conference which did have this, and that was at AOIR at the Hilton in Toronto — where access was also very expensive.


  8. Jill

    Sue, yes, I was unbalanced indeed to leave out the easily accessible and large room of computers – I’ve gotten spoilt by having happened to visit people and conferences with wireless recently and it is SO NICE, and almost a surprise now to suddenly see my computer not finding a signal… I enjoyed Incubation a lot, though I was kind of grouchy-feeling when I wrote this. Homesick, probably, for the web – I felt a lot better after using the computers in the lab!

  9. Sue Thomas

    I forgive you! Am curious about the wireless though. Is it good in Norway or were you thinking more of other countries?

  10. Jill

    Well, it’s gaining in Norway, though there’s still only sections of the university that are covered by it, not including my office or where I teach – though I can sit outside and work. I still haven’t tried using wireless with a guest at our university so it’s quite possible they’d be very stickly about it, I don’t know.

    I’ve been spending time in the States though, and each of the five or six homes I’ve visited has had an open, or easily opened, wireless network. It’s been so nice to be able to open my computer after a journey and instantly be at home, my friends online, my email there, my websites easily accessible. I’ve used ichat to voice and videochat instead of using the phone. Very convenient.

    I had a long gap with no conferences between this year and last, but the Media Ecology conference I was at in Rochester, NY last month was wirelessed, and DAC in Melbourne in May 2003 was too, though back then I didn’t have a wireless card in my laptop. The conference made me get one, though! I was so jealous of all the other attendees discussing the presentations in the IRC backchannels and blogging live! Actually the two librarians and archivists conferences I’ve spoken at in Norway the last few months have had wireless too – at hotels, so if I hadn’t been getting my feed free as a speaker I’d probably not have paid the 300 kroner (about US$50) a day or whatever it was to get it. I’ve paid 40 kroner (about US$6) for an hour at airports a few times, though.

    I like the idea of really using this technology in a conference, I mean, REALLY using it, augmenting the already good f2f stuff that happens, but I’m not entirely sure how that might be done.

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