If you're still catching on to the online journal phenomenon, just type “Web log” or “blog” into your favorite search engine and see what pops up. Or visit www.blogger.com, where you too can sign on and start Web publishing your thoughts before the afternoon is out. Odds are it won't take more than a few clicks to find commentary on topics so arcane or personal that you'll be rolling your eyes and wondering what all the blogging fuss is about.
Could these online journals have any meaning for meetings?
Before you log off, I've got another Web search for you. Type in “CTIA blog” and search for Web logs that reference this issue's cover story subject, the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association. The association had its big Wireless 2002 conference in March, and a quick search yields some remarkable results.
Wireless industry pundit Alan Reiter, president of Wireless Internet and Mobile Computing, has a couple of blog sites. In a January entry from Alan A. Reiter's Radio Weblog, you'll find him encouraging readers to lobby CTIA for Wi-Fi service: “If you're attending the CTIA show and think Wi-Fi would be useful, perhaps you'd want to contact the association and tell them … .” (Indeed, CTIA offered attendees wireless access. Read our story on page 26.)
You'll find a blog from the CTIA show floor from San Jose Mercury News columnist Dan Gillmor: “I opened my Macintosh Titanium Powerbook G4 notebook, turned on the Airport software and immediately saw the wireless network that Boingo has set up … .” And there's commentary about CTIA in Glen Feishman's Weblog, 802.11b Networking News (http://80211b.weblogger.com). And that's just a quick search.
Blogging is a grassroots phenom — the ultimate peer-to-peer conversation. And technology shows are definitely a topic of conversation in blog land. Event marketers may hate it because they can't control it and can't measure it. But there's no denying it. Blogging makes your universe of potential reviewers a whole lot bigger — and imagine blogging crossed with a Wi-Fi-enabled audience. When anyone can post comments to a Web log while a speaker is still on stage, then receive e-mail about the postings, meetings could get a whole lot more interesting. Word is that's exactly what happened at the recent wireless-enabled PC Forum — I read about it on a blog (http://radio.weblogs.com/0001195/categories/wirelessBlogging).