Sunday, February 18, 2007

Convergence and conferences

I noticed an odd item in the latest Convergence Newsletter...a list of upcoming conferences that included the following:
Creating Communication: Content, Control and Critique
57th Annual Conference of the International Communication Assn.
San Francisco, CA, May 24-28, 2007
It struck me that anyone who still thinks it's possible to "control" content hasn't been paying attention to current trends in the media. I clicked on the link to check it out...and here's what came up in my browser window:

Obviously, the ICA conference web site has a few problems. The red and black color scheme is just lurid, and it appears that the graphics aren't showing. Worse, clicking on a link opens up the page in a new window...but there's no "back" button or link to take you back to the original page.

This may work in browsers like Explorer, where you just pile up open browser windows, but for browsers like Firefox with tabbed browsing, it's really dysfunctional.

Overall, I don't get the impression it's a forward-looking organization.

The ICA conference does list keynotes on the significance of social media and the democratic potential of blogging, so maybe it's more tuned in than the web site suggests. We'll hope so...otherwise, it looks like a bust. And that's too bad because it's practically in my backyard.

A little further afield but more promising is the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) conference in Las Vegas this April 18-21. With sessions like "Journalism Values in a Multimedia World" and "The Future of News" -- a session reporting on a new study of the public and TV news directors on the future of news, new technology and business -- it appears to be more on target.

If I was gonna pick one, I'd bet on the BEA.

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