Saturday, March 12, 2011

Musings about this blog...

Are you there?

I have a suspicion that this is a place that I ramble on and on all to myself. That is fine since I treat this site as a place to think about music therapy, not for public consumption, but as a personal place to vent or process information.

Then, I attended the inaugural Online Conference for Music Therapy last weekend.

I was amazed to see and hear from music therapists who have used their online presences to build their businesses. They all have blogs, websites, accounts on Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter (same as me), but they have also made their online presences something to be viewed with awe.

I am learning. I am trying to launch a business online. This business is targeted towards music therapists and music therapy students, offering tools and materials. I have owned the domain name for 15 years, but have never been able to officially launch the site as a business. This is the year!

2011 is the year that my business starts.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

THE ONLINE CONFERENCE FOR MUSIC THERAPY

Forgive the capital letters, but this has been an exciting couple of days.

Way back many, many months ago, I answered a request for organizers for an online conference for music therapy. I thought, "Sure, I could help out with something like that. I would like to be on a committee to review presentations." Next thing I knew, I was the treasurer/financial contact on the ORGANIZING committee!

This was a bit of a shock.

I went from being a peripheral part of a conference (which I could see fitting in nicely with my available time and schedule) to being a part of all aspects of the conference, from beginning to end. Now, I did only as much as I could, often leaving decisions to the others, including the person who started the whole thing, John Lawrence.

We are now halfway through the conference.

We have had technical difficulties, multimedia presentations did not stream the way they needed to, people dropped in and out, we could only stream 6 webcams at any time, and the chat window was often moving too fast to read. Even with all of those incidents, I think the 40+ registrants have enjoyed the experience. The comments have been fun, we have learned some new things, and we have been swamped with encouragement throughout this conference.

Things I have learned...

  1. Redundancy is necessary. Redundancy is necessary. It is better to have too many copies of things than only one. When a person drops off the situation, there may need to be someone who can cover...
  2. We will need to cover the chat windows more carefully - there are lots of things that we like to say to each other. Chat has turned into note passing for the audience rather than questions and comments about the presentation - maybe a breakout chat room for note passing would work...hmmm.
  3. An online conference is definitely a feasible situation - as evidenced by the success of yesterday. It is less difficult to run (I think) than an on-site conference, but there are additional challenges.
  4. Learning styles and personalities make for challenges in communication.
Overall, I enjoyed this entire process with the occasional tantrums about various and sundry things. I will volunteer to do this again.