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Survey Result: Compare with normal conference.

25. Compare this Conference with the usual conference.


Much easier to take notes of what people are saying! Also, in
general, easier to know who it is that is making a particular comment.

There are doubtless advantages and disadvantages of this format
compared to "the usual conference". Because everything is in print,
I didn't miss out on any of the presentations or discussion. I was
able to carry out most of my other duties/responsibilities while
still participating in the conference and I won't have the usual
deluge of mail, etc waiting for me when I "get back". The computer
format also provided a strong incentive to learn more about the
capabilities of the computer in my office and the mail
hardware/software (also developed a better rapport with our VAX
facility -- and we all know how *valuable* those connections are). I
may be wrong here, but I feel that the inertia barrier to developing
*and maintaining* new contacts is easier with the EMail format: you
start up an EMail conversation because you want more information and
the connection stays open. There are some disadvantages -- and I'll
refrain from passing judgement here. There is something exciting
about going to a new city or different part of the country
(especially if it means a break from the current weather pattern).
At the "usual conference" we talk with our college "face to face" and
know a few other quirks (nothing to stop idle side-line "chit chat"
over EMail). My overall feeling is that some of each is in order --
to whatever extent it is possible.

The availability of the software and the extensive directions
for obtaining this is an excellent aspect of the conference. Like
others who participated in the trial session in January, I toyed with
obtaining software from the sites listed; guess that if I was a
well-seasoned INTERNET user, this might not have been as difficult. I
liked the format used to make the papers, logs and other messages
available to the conferees.


I rarely attend actual conferences so it gave me a chance to read and
respond. I think it was well done and enjoyed it.

I enjoyed the great variety of respondents.

CHEMCONF is more convenient, less costly, and more time efficient. I
think the QUALITY of questioning and discussion is improved, along
with the quantity. Questioning and discussion are little more than
formalities at most formal conferences. CHEMCONF, with its emphasis
on author-listener interaction, allows a deeper and more detailed
examination of the work. It is more of an educational experience,
with a kind of tutorial character. Later, the audience can digest and
extend the topic with a much larger group of interested participants
than would be physically possible.

Disadvatages-no personal interaction (ie, face-to-face)
Advantages-can "attend" all presentations at an e-mail conference.
At the usual conference, it is often difficult to choose between
simultaneous presentations. Also, at an e-mail conference, you
automatically get a "copy" of all talks and discussion which you can
save for subsequent perusal.

Better. I dislike the disruption of travel. Also, this format made it
easier to access participants' thoughts and ideas

I learned more and contributed more. I didn't miss anything I
wanted to see. I didn't eat as well, or see any interesting places
(definitly no perq's). All and all I much prefer this type of

There is more time to get involved with discussions, and more time to
"listen" to participants. I enjoyed the discussions more than the
original papers. I miss the personal contact; knowing who these
people are.


I liked having copies of the papers to read before the discussion.
The econference is more convenient. Of course, there is less
"personal" contact.

Although there was more time to think about what was being discussed,
it took more time to formulate and type out questions, etc.,
(compared to speaking out at usual conferences)! And you have to
check your spelling first! I never quite got the activation energy
up to do this. This was my first listserv-er and navigating through
Gopher so maybe I will get the hang of it next time.

A comparison is difficult. I relish the opportunity to conference
without the absolute constraints placed by airfare, instructional
commitments. The electronic conference in MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better
than nothing. In many ways, it is superior to a usual conference, if
for no other reason that one can have two (or) more days to formulate
questions, comments, suggestions. I perceived a much larger than
"normal" level of discussion among MANY people.

Now that I am more familiar with accessing documents and figures, I
feel that this type of conference has several advantages in terms of
fitting into the busy schedules with which most of us are faced. I
miss, however, the face-to-face contact with others and long
discussions that might have resulted.

Because we participated in a very personal way, I received a lot more
than from just listening to 15 papers. Also, I would never have had
the opportunity to spend so much time with the authors of papers at a
regular convention. I also have a written record of the convention
-- an added bonus!

It was nice to participate from home when I could find the time.

One thing that I really look forward to in a conference is making
contacts with colleagues - perhaps just discussing a topic of mutual
interest, or even collaborating. I did not expect to make many
contacts through the conference, but was surprised that it was easy
to do. Perhaps the best thing about a computer conference is that you
don't have to worry that you're going to miss one great talk while
you're sitting in another one. On the other hand, part of what makes
a great talk is the presentation by the speaker, which is essentially
lost in text format.

Waste far less time!

Great to do discussion at 2 am from home, but no time to share beer
with colleagues

I wonder what had happened if there had been more active
participants in the discussion periods. The written discussion is
more coherent than spoken - but also much more slow.

No social, but many contacts that could develop into sabatical


I believe both formats should continue, miss the socialization
aspects of a regular conference and also at a usual conference, I am
not doing as many other regular activities and sandwiching the
conference into free moments as I have done this summer.

I miss the personal interaction that occurs at the usual conference,
but there's a permanent record of activities available in this
format, and one can store the info and look at it at a later time.

It's like comparing filet mignon with a hot dog. This was vastly
superior, especially as a learning experience.

I thought it was much better. I got a lot more out of this
conference than the usual ones I attend at meetings. It is cheaper,
excuse me I mean more inexpensive, than the usual conference. There
are many more particpants than in the usual conference. While the
discussion may not be more profound, it is certainly more in depth
and more extended and gives the particpants more time to reflect on
it. "heard" everything that was going on, not just a few
peoples opinions as is usually the case at conferences... missed the
social side though 8-).

The author of a paper generally plays a less central role in the
discussion. Discussion is more interesting and informative.

There was more time for in-depth analysis and discussion of a topic.
It was allot of hard work and it really let me sharpen my skills.

The extended time period allowed for much more reflection than is
true in the usual short meeting.

Just as good, but different. Both have their place, but you can't
beat this one for the price.

This conference brought people together who would not otherwise have
attented an international conference on Chemical Education.

In some ways I do miss the personal interactions, and the use of
inflections to convey meanings, relative importance of points, etc.
But I think it is made up for by factors mentioned in Q. 22.

Much more discussion than when there is limited time between talks at
at a conference. Also, comments that I found of particular interest I
could easily save for future reference.

The face to face contact is lost, but for someone who is new to
teaching it provided remarkable access to discussion. At a usual
conference I would not have known who to introduce myself to and
who's conversations to evesdrop on.

I honestly believe that I got a lot more out of this conference than
is possible at the usual conference, since I could select and save
those comments that were most relevant.

In some ways it is better in that I get the opinions of many more
people. Not being face to face does make discussion a little labored.

Better than most -- discussion worth more than the papers on the

The personnal interaction at a regular conference has its place and
was missed. However, this format is a valuable new tool for learning
and exchanging information.

In one word "excellent". I just had more time to participate. The
cost was very low.

I missed the informal "networking" that takes place outside the
conference sessions at other conferences, but it was a decent trade-
off to be able to attend without having to kill a week in travel to
another site.

You can plan your own time. Even if your on vacation you can learn
from the contributions. Costs (for someone from europe to go to USA).

The best thing about this format is that you can be assured you don't
miss an papers you want to "attend". Also, you can choose the time
you want to attend.

More dialog from more participants with more differing viewpoints
than the usual conference

In many ways it was better. There was a permanent record of
suggestions and ideas. I could easily file useful information, like
names and locations of programs that I could investigate later. I
"met" some people, too. I sent personal messages to people that
seemed to have similar interests or ideas to mine. I made some good
professional connections during this meeting, which is one of the
*main* reasons that I go to traditional conferences. I missed
drinking a beer with my new friends, but it was a most efficient way
to learn about other peoples' ideas. I was frustrated by viewing
figures, so I guess I prefer an in-person conference when I will be
learning from data presented visually. In this conference I learned
from the discussion, not the papers. So viewing figures was not that
critical for me. I wish I had more time to work that out.

still get nonsensical chatter, but no travel expense

The flexibility and ease of accessing papers, questions and comments was
the conference's biggest asset.

Because of my poor keyboarding, it was a little hard to communicate as
naturally as speaking to a person; however I communicated in depth with a
lot more people and made more contacts than I probably would at a

Positives - There is more time to digest the presented information
at convenient times. A record of the entire discussion is immediately
available. Considerably less expensive - in both money and travel time.
Little interference with teaching schedule.
Negatives - The opportunity for more personal interaction is missing.
Body language and vocal intonations by presenters and participants in
discussions are not observable.