Ed Bilodeau

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This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Reflections on IA Summit 2005 : Rather then give you a detailed account of the weekend, I thought I would write a few general thoughts and impressions on the conference. Overall, it was a great conference, one of the better ones I've been to. The reason for that, I think, has to do with the fact that I made an effort to socialize with the other attendees. It isn't often that I'm in a room with a bunch of people who are passionate about IA and web development!

That's not to say that the talks were not excellent as well. Although there were a few rough spots in the talks I attended, those had more to do with me not agreeing with the presenter's take on something then on the quality of the actual presentation itself.

Karl has provided what to me is probably the best way of measuring the quality of a conference, at least on a personal level:
J'ai un indicateur pour savoir si une conférence a été bénéfique pour moi ou pas. C'est le nombre d'idées qui me vient en écoutant les différentes interventions.

In almost every talk I found myself coming up with new ideas (and questions) directly or tangentally related to the subject being presented. It was hard sometimes to not run off and start working or researching some topic or idea right away! Instead, I filled many pages of my notebook with ideas and "to-do/lookup" notes. I also found myself feeling more entergetic and interested in my work and research then I had in a long time. In other words, it was an excellent conference.

I few more general notes. Upon being there, I was disappointed that there wasn't a larger turnout from GSLIS. The school doesn't have an IA track, but there was a lot going on in relation to IR, so I would have expected more interest. Students at least would have gotten a lot out of the conference, although the $200 entrance fee would keep most of them away. Ideally, the school could have somehow arranged to fund a few students, especially with it being a local conference and all. I guess you would need to have a IA faculty member to make something like that happen.

This brings to mind another topic which got a fair bit of discussion at the conference, which is the role of practitioners and academics and the university in the emerging field of information architecture. However, I think I'll leave that for another time.