by Pam Greenberg
Each year at NCSL’s Legislative Summit, the various staff sections and committees independently select the topics that will be covered in the sessions they sponsor. Lately, it seems the technology-related sessions run in three’s. One year there were three sessions about e-mail and public records. This year it’s social media. Technology, of course, intersects with many different subject areas—criminal justice, health care, education—just to name a few. But technology now is also part of every session: our audience members have laptops, Blackberries, and smart devices. They are emailing, blogging and Facebooking and Twittering…during the sessions.
As someone who was brought up to listen politely and never interrupt, I’ve always been slightly uncomfortable when audience members talk during someone’s presentation, when someone gets up and walks out in the middle, or when a cell phone rings (and I’ve been guilty of each of these!). So I found danah boyd’s latest blog entry about how she uses various digital devices at conferences particularly interesting to read during the Legislative Summit.
danah boyd, a researcher at Microsoft Research New England and a Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society, is one of the most interesting people writing about social networks. She is outspoken and can be controversial, but if you are interested in social networking, read her dissertation, Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics, some of her papers, and her notes from talks she’s given, like this one about the "The Not-So-Hidden Politics of Class Online."
And as you attend Legislative Summit sessions, whether in person, via Twitter or by listening to audio and video recordings back home, go ahead and check your Blackberry…or maybe just doodle.