Science. Communication. Community.
ScienceOnline Together got started today. If you’re not there, you virtually can be. Learn more here about what SciO really is and why you might consider attending next year.
Today begins the official start of ScienceOnline Together 2014, or more appropriately, #scio14.
If you don’t know about SciO, you’re probably new to science communication. Or you’ve been living under a rock. Either way, welcome to the world.
Every year – usually the end of January – scientists, journalists, science writers, PIOs, bloggers, book authors, techie people and anyone else interested in the intersection of science, the web and communication converge in Raleigh, North Carolina for three days (give or take) of what can only be described as magic.
Seriously, I’m not quite sure how it’s all pulled off. Major credit goes to the event’s organizers, some of whom have changed this year due to circumstances revealed last Fall. I don’t want to harp on this point, but if you want the background, start here, here, here or here.
What SciO isn’t: a “conference,” a meeting of professionals sharing their work, an I-talk-you-listen forum, a place to be a show-off or a downright jerk.
What SciO IS: an “unconference,” where sessions are topics pitched by attendees and moderated by people who can help facilitate conversation and meaningful discussion; a place to meet the people whose bylines you see in the most respected science publications and websites around and actually talk to them, or have a beer with them, or dance with them and a lemur, Gangnam style; a place to network and incubate new ideas and make connections that lead to impactful opportunities in your personal and professional life.
SciO is a lot of things and has given rise to many smaller get-togethers throughout the year. It really can be whatever you want it to be.
It’s going on right now and if you’re reading this, chances are good you’re not there. You wouldn’t have the time to be here between hiking in underground tunnels and playing geeky games; participating in vigorous discussions about big science and big business, online parasitism or reporting incremental science in a big headline world; making plans to eat at any number of tasty downtown restaurants or grabbing drinks at the hotel bar. You should probably stop reading right now, if you are there, and at least go catch a nap in the quiet room.
But you’re probably not there. The good news is, you can be. Virtually. ScienceOnline Together live broadcasts each of the major Converge sessions and many places around the country are hosting live Watch Parties, so you can at least FEEL like you’re there. If you miss something, sessions are archived. And most importantly, you can “watch” and participate all day long on Twitter using #scio14 (each session has it’s own unique hashtag, too, easily found on the sessions page).
Now, we’re back to where we started.