"Is anyone there?": Using Discord to facilitate networking and discussion at virtual conferences [slides]

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jo Klein, Geospatial and Data Visualization Librarian and Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Slides from a lightning round presentation presented at the North Carolina Library Association's Un-Cancelled 2020 on July 17, 2020. As conferences are moved virtual in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, event planners are tasked with finding ways for attendees to engage in discussion and network with other attendees -- two important activities offered by face-to-face events which are often missing from their virtual counterparts. Workshops, panels, lightning rounds, posters and other conference content can be moved online using videoconferencing tools like Zoom and WebEx, which also offer limited chat and Q&A functions, but the essential conversations and discussions that occur during breaks between conference sessions are not easily conducted using these tools. Additionally, although individual institutions have had success using videoconferencing tools to conduct social hours, the awkward pauses and inability to hold multiple simultaneous conversations and move between different group discussions make it difficult to adapt these tools to events with higher attendance. Discord, a virtual communication platform that can be downloaded onto your computer or used in-browser, allows conference participants to network and converse through synchronous and asynchronous text, voice, and video and offers a variety of features that can be used to facilitate discussion, including channels, “coffee break” rooms, moderators, bots, and accessibility features. In this session Jo Klein, GIS and Data Visualization Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will present on the use of Discord for discussion and networking during virtual conferences and lessons learned while setting up a Discord server for the Southeast Data Librarian Symposium to be held in October 2020.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
virtual conferences, Discord, networking, communication platforms

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