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Survey Result: What did you like least?

23. What did you like least about the computer conference?

In the discussions many people did not list the Paper # in the subject
line - with several lists going on for me at once this took extra
effort to connect the discussion with the conference

Especially in the trial session, some people seemed to be sending out
messages which were not particularly relevant, which was a bit of a
waste of time

I can't say much here. I must admit that the overflow of EMail
(especially after coming back from a 4-day absence) was overwhelming
but not intimidating to the point of driving me away from
participating. It would be nice to know what all of us look like; I
recall the same comment was made regarding the trial session in

technical glitches, clumsiness of getting materials


The confusion that sometimes devoloped due to the variety of responses
which showed up when the e-mail was downloaded.

domination of the discussion by a few people talking at each other

The large number of messages sometimes over-filled my email space.

As the summer progressed, I spent several weeks at workshops, vacation
and a conference. As a result, I got very behind on the discussions.
On returning to my office after these various commitments, my mailbox
was always full of numerous letters which I simply copied to my hard
disk to read at a later date. I became so overwhelmed by the volume
of it that I got a bit discouraged. In this regard, I found the
conference to be too long. While the organizational set up seemed to
make alot of sense to me (one paper to be discussed for several days
at a time), things dragged on so long that I sort of lost interest.
It also might not be such a good idea to have an education conference
in the summer. Again, initially I would have thought this would be a
good idea since many educators are less busy with day to day
responsibilities in the summer, but I'm sure others found themselves
in the position of being away from their computer for long stretches
of time during which they could neither keep up with nor participate
in the discussions.

Getting too many E-mail messages I wasn't interested in

The limited discussion time. I was also somewhat annoyed at the
overlap of discussion, since some people did not follow the guidelines
to the letter. This may be a result of the limited discussion time.
At least when your annoyed in an email conference, there's always the
delete key.

having to learn how to retrieve files. Wasting my time on messages
that were not intended for me. (sign on/offs, messages to manager,


The volume of mail to read! Seriously, it was not bad. Some posts
were lengthy, and certain people were "hyperactive" at times, but that
is to be expected. We are all human.

Since I got in late at the beginning (I learned about it from a
colleague), I was behind from the beginning, so I never found the time
to actually participate in the discussions. I was spending the time I
felt I could justify in reading the papers and keeping up on reading
the discussions. By the time I had formulated something useful to
share, we were on to another topic.

I wasn't as compelled to speak as frequently as I might at a face to
face meeting. (Easy to lurk)

the fact that no pointers were given as to the zip programs used for
the zipped files

Being dyslectic, I find e-mail very (frustrating) time consuming. My
vocabulary becomes severely limited. Written discussion is simply a
night)mare. This is not my preferred medium of communication.

Very long letters by some participants. E-mail is somewhere between
talking and writing, but in terms of 'hot air' it is worse than
talking. Fortunately it doesn't offend anyone if you delete their
message! By very long I mean more than a couple screens of full text
(excluding Archie info or summaries of what others had written).

having to fill out these forms

not enough time to get on line

Missed the pretty girls. The way some people dominate the discussion,
long answers.


in order to read all the papers and discussions a great deal of time
was involved.

My e-mail got cluttered very quickly; the system used here is not very
user friendly and this made things ackward at times.

Scheduling discussions etc. on weekends is not a good idea. Even
though that time is available for use, it should be in addition to
other times.

The time I had to spend just managing files and the copious amounts
information that exceeded my storage quota on the VAX. I did enjoy
learning how to deal with these problems, however.

The fact that I frequently got very behind with reading.... my fault
not yours.

Some participants are not very polite. Discussion can not as easily
managed as at a traditional meeting.

The time involved was huge. I spent one or two hours per day, every
day, reading, studying and thinking about the materials presented by
all of the participants. I am exhausted. I must admit you guys kept
me busy this summer.

It was possible to lose the thread and become confused when comments
overlapped and the authors did not take care to reference the paper or
topic. For the most part participants were very good at keeping the
thread, but some lapses did occur.

Nothing comes to mind. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Can't think of anything.

Too many of us did not participate. I am not complaining about those
who did, because they "made" the conference for me. I am curious how
many silent participants there were. (Silence does not mean lack of
interest! There are personality differences among teachers as well as
among students.)

I for one had to learn more than I previously knew about ftp, telnet,
gifs, etc., and this involved a good deal of time. . . you didn't
inquire how much time we spent on this kind of preparation!  Tell me
I'm lazy, tell me I'm slow, but what I really want is a network system
that's smart enough to just transfer and decode the gif files along
with the paper. As it is, it's just too much work! I assume that
future generations will look at this as the slide rule of networked

I'd say that the weakest part of this or any other electronic
conference is the lack of a necessary commitment to place and time.
To attend a traditional conference you must be in a specific location
during a specific time period, because that's were and when the
conference is held. It focuses the attention. With an electronic
conference there's a sense that you can do two things at the same
time: teach summer school, for example, and also attend the
conference. My schedule this past summer did not permit full
attention to the conference. Had it been a traditional conference I
would have had to skip it. Maybe the summer is just a bad time to
hold an electronic conference. I'd like to see one in the Spring
Semester, when there's presumably more time available.

I learned too much. :)...

Some flame mail. The repetition of some of the discussions

The timing

Discussion being cut off. at a real live conference if you wanted
to say more you left the room and talked to people over coffee
abandoning the next speaker. In the e-mail universe both the next
speaker and the previous discussion coexist -- especially given
listserv delays and holidays over the summer - & Chem. conf. is
interspersed with other lists, research and teaching e-mail -- its
not as if CHEMCONF was coming in pure to my e-mail -- it was about 40%
of my traffic on busy days.

Difficult to find the time to devote to the conferece when working on
normal duties.

The volume of notes I got on E-mail which were supposed to be sent to
an individual and were sent to everyone. I was unable to use much of
the technical information because of the very nature of the conference.

Toward the end, things piled up too much. In retrospect, I think that
ten papers is probably a more appropriate size.

Extraneous discussion that was clearly off subject.

I feel that the timing of the discussions and intervals between papers
was too short to allow full availability to all involved given that
people had other ongoing activities.

The lack of ability to network.

Filling up my E-mail; irrelevant messages; time it took to go through
so many messages.

The shear volume of mail. Luckily I figured out early that if I read
two or three comments about a paper and they didn't strike a chord
with me then I could erase all other messages with the same thread. I
probably missed some pearls of wisdom, but I kept my sanity. I was
impressed that there were not too many useless messages ("yeah, I
agree with Joe.")

too much time spent on utter trivia

flooded e-mail

I had trouble with the movies in Paper 3 - I think they messed up my
hard disk somewhat and I never could get them to run. I lost a bunch
of memory but finally got it back and stopped trying the programs.