Social Networking for Conferences

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= tools for sustaining networks around conferences

Description

George Siemens et al. for Educause Review:

"Social networking is vital to effective conferences—whether held online or face-to-face. EventVue (http://www.eventvue.com/), according to CrunchBase, "builds online communities for conferences in order to improve conference networking amongst individuals. EventVue lets you see other attendees, search for others based on mutual interests, and also connect before the conference." Confabb (http://www.confabb.com/) provides a similar service by offering a central place to publicize conferences, connect with friends/colleagues, and broaden the social experience. Other tools, not exclusively focused on conferences, include Elgg, Twitter, or tools that are under the control of participants (e.g., personal blogs) but that utilize conference tags in order to connect with others.

Social network analysis—the exploration of connections between people, with the exploration often represented visually in map form—is frequently cited as important in understanding how information transfer and communication occur within organizations. Once network connections have been represented in a map, individuals can seek key nodes (or nodes of personal interest). In a conference, for example, through the use of introNetworks (http://intronetworks.com/), participants can actively seek out individuals with shared interests, in related fields, or with similar social connections. In online conferences, similar networking can occur through the use of attendr (http://attendr.com)." (http://connect.educause.edu/Library/EDUCAUSE+Review/ConferenceConnectionsRewi/46312)