The time is nigh. This weekend, professionals and academics alike will converge on Austin for the 11th International Symposium on Online Journalism. As you prepare to travel to our fair city, here some frequently asked questions about the event, with appropriate answers. If you have more questions, feel free to tweet at me, Rosental Alves, Joseph Vavrus, or simply use the hashtag #ISOJ to put your question out there.


Is there a dress code for the symposium? What should I wear?

There is no official dress code for symposium attendee, and clothing will range from full suits to jeans and a polo to t-shirts. All we ask is that you dress in what you feel is appropriate for such an event, but remember: the symposium is about the issues, not the clothes.

How do I network with other professionals or academics at the symposium?

This is the great thing about the symposium. There isn’t any specific method or channel you need to use to contact and talk with other attendees, it’s all about interacting in a casual, friendly atmosphere. If you love someone’s presentation, go up to them during a coffee break and tell them. If they aren’t receptive to your interaction, try not to anger them, but go for it!

Will I be interviewed by any news outlets while I’m there?

Most of the time, symposium events are covered primarily by individuals on their own personal blogs, and so you may be asked to give a few comments. One thing that will be happening for sure is that students in Rosental Alves’ multimedia journalism class will be producing short videos for this website. Chances are high that you will be asked to sit down for a brief interview at some point during the symposium. Please be open to these requests and help the students out; we’re training future journalists here!

Should I flexible with my schedule?

YES! While we will make every attempt to keep things running smoothly and on time, the importance of the issues and the passion and intensity with which they will be discussed, panels may run over their alloted time, forcing small changes in scheduling. It won’t be anything significant, but keep this in mind while you’re at the symposium.

What should I bring?

Technically, you don’t have to bring anything but a desire to discuss the issues, but it would probably behoove you to bring your laptop, cell phone or anything you can use to tweet, Facebook, blog or interact with others.

How do I talk about the symposium?

There are plenty of ways to keep up with the symposium and talk about it with other attendees. Follow this page for updates and student-produced videos, keep up with the symposium Twitter list, follow the hashtag, or find people Facebooking and blogging. There are plenty of ways to stay abreast of everything.

One final note: if you’re going to be blogging about the symposium on your personal website or for another organization, please keep me informed so that I can post summaries and feeds of your coverage on the website. You can e-mail me now if you already know you’re planning to cover the event, or during the symposium as well, as I’ll be there the whole time. My e-mail address is

Get excited, folks. We’ll see this weekend!