Thursday, June 30, 2005

Overheard in the Tech Room...

"La Leche League Conferences are a lot like North Dakota: You can have eye contact with people you don't know."

NAK'ing* in the Tech Room

I'm sitting here in the lovely lively Tech Room, typing a blog post (obviously). But it's nap time, so my 3-year-old is latched on and dozing. It's LLL Online epitomized!

We're pretty much all set up and humming here. People are stopping by and taking the survey (and then entering the drawing for Sue Ann's lovely hand-knit bag!), our bloggers are dropping in to blog, our lovely and talented Podcasting diva is accosting interesting visitors for potential interviews, and the non-napping kids are blowing bubbles and making unique paper airplanes. You should stop by and say hi!!

* NAK = Nursing At Keyboard

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Technology Room--So Far So Good

Hello from the Caucus Room at the DC Hilton! We actually have network capability EARLY and it's working! And we have Norton Antivirus running, so we hope to stay this way. We have lovely 21" screens on the 8 main computers, and a beautiful 50" plasma screen to demo our chats, or the CN, or whatever we are showing in our pre-conference session. I will try to get some photos up really soon! We hope to get all the lovely "decor" items up tomorrow, and get the wireless network going then, too.

In other news, we all enjoyed the Administrators Resource Fair, where we got lots of handouts and also gave out lots as well. It was so nice to see so many friends from all over LLL--I am looking forward to meeting the new LLL Japan webmaster tomorrow--that should be neat! Well, we are quite fond of our technical dudes--they were really helpful, as well as the room set up people. Happy happy, joy joy.

Sue Ann

Our first in-person Technology Room staff meeting!

Well, after a couple of really late nights of getting ready to leave my husband and children in Grandma Kate's capable hands, I flew to Washington, D.C. early this morning. The Hilton hotel is really pretty. I took a walk around the DuPont Circle neighborhood, and found a wonderful used book store, and good food for lunch. Best of all, there is free wireless (wi fi) access in the lobby!

And here in the lobby, six of us from the Technology Room volunteer staff are having our first in-person meeting. Sue Ann (our webmistress), Sue R., Jennifer, Shelly, Nancy Jo and I are updating web pages, blogging, counting up how many surge-protecting power strips we need.... and talking via cell phone with Traci, who is driving down from New York after a trip to the office supply store. (Yay, Traci!)

Tomorrow morning we set up the Caucus Room, which is where the Technology Room will be housed during this Conference. Wish us luck that the network will come together without too many bumps!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Podcasting goodness

Great news! Two new podcasts are up at the Podcast page. We're also extremely pleased to be offering an RSS "feed" of all the podcasts from the Conference!

(Don't know what an RSS "feed" is? Read all about it!)

World Faire Guide

The unofficial, incomplete, but totally incredible "World Faire Guide" is on the Community Network (CN) and can be accessed there throughout the Conference. For those unable to access the CN, a hard copy will be available to view at the "Navigating the Conference" table. The guide will give you a teasing taste of the treasures to be found at the World Faire on Sunday, July 3rd.

Volunteering with the Alumnae Association

It's not too late! If you are interested in volunteering with the Alumnae Association, please stop by the "Navigating the Conference" Table outside the Cabinet Room and check our sign-up sheet. We welcome everyone -- you do not need to be an Alumnae Association member to volunteer. For those volunteering, there will be a brief Volunteer Meeting from 5:00 to 5:30 pm on Saturday, July 2nd in the Alumnae Suite, Room 801. Any questions? Check with Meg Sondey at the "Navigating the Conference" table.

Busy, productive podcasting day....

By the time blog readers wake up and check out this latest post (it's very, very late on Monday night, or very, very early Tuesday morning, depending on where you are) the computer infrastructure part of the LLL podcast project should be ready to go.

Today I recorded two short audio files ("podcasts"). Tne first podcast is an overview of what sorts of topics we'll be covering, and what sorts of guests we'll be interviewing for our podcasts. The other podcast is a discussion about what a podcast actually *is*, and how folks can listen to one.

Pretty soon we'll have some links up, and you can test them out for yourself. They're both pretty short (two mins., and six mins.) and simple.

My other big accomplishment today was figuring out how to write what's called an RSS feed. RSS stands for "really simple syndication," and even that is a big geeky way of saying that it's a file that subscribes your computer to interesting, frequently-updated information (like news, or someone's blog, or.... a podcast). If somebody likes the La Leche League podcast well enough that they want to hear all of them, and/or a listener just wants new podcasts to magically appear on a computer's hard drive, they can use the RSS feed to subscribe to the LLL Podcast. There'll be a little FAQ about that, too, in case you're interested.

Sandee is right -- you don't have to be a techie to hang out in the Tech Room. I'm an urban historian by training, and my computer skills withered when my oldest child (now 14) was born and I quit my paying IT job. But volunteering to do stuff in the Tech Room has sparked something in my old geeky heart, and, amazingly, this programming stuff is starting to make sense!

I really encourage you to come visit us in the Tech Room, and see what we're up to.

Monday, June 27, 2005

non-techies invited

I just have to say, in order to fulfill full disclosure rules, that in spite of the fact that I am on the Online Staff, I know very little about computers and how to do various functions on them.

Keeping that in mind, WOW the Technology Room Staff and other members of the LLL Online Team have outdone them/ourselves on this conference. We have 10--YES 10 volunteers to "blog" the conference (posting online journals that can be read and responded to at the conference and around the world). We have an amazing number of conference speakers who will be doing online chats that those who can not attend the conference can be involved in easily and without having to download a specific program. And a new feature this year are the pod casts--recorded interviews that you can listen to on any computer with internet access.

The best part of all of this for me is that *I* can do this stuff. I just listened to a sample pod cast, I am posting here on this blog, and I have chatted with conference speakers at the last two conferences. You do not need to have a teenager to do this stuff. Trust me, if I can do it, any one can. (And if by chance you have difficulities with any of these, you can easily get help by those talented co-workers of mine who know about computers.)

Anyway, for those of you attending the LLLI Conference in Washington D.C. come to the Technology Room and see us and participate. For those of you at home, log onto your computer and join in--and the best part of all for those of you at home, you do not even have to be dressed!


Another exciting opportunity

The Founders cordially invite you to visit them in the Founders' Parlor, located inside the Cabinet Room on the Concourse Level.

Attendance is limited and sign-up is at the Navigating the LLLI Conference table located across from the Cabinet Room.

Please consider joining Edwina, Marian, Viola, Betty, Mary, Mary Ann or Mary Ann for informal conversation sharing LLLLife stories, family pictures, memories from the past and dreams for LLL's future. The Parlor will be open on Sunday between 3 and 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., Monday between 9 and 11 a.m., and Tuesday between 10 a.m. and noon. Make this unique opportunity part of your conference experience by stopping by the Navigating table to choose your time.

See you in DC!
Edna Kelly
Coordinator, Founders' Parlor

Bloggers keep blogging along...

I'm pleased to announce that we now have ten different people blogging about their conference experiences for you!!

Notice of meeting possibilities with USWD staff!

Posted on behalf of Sue Scott:

Hello Conference Attendees:

Want to chat? Inquire? Dialogue? Just hang out? Share a meal or a laugh?

USWD staff-members will be available at various times/places to spend time with you, hear your concerns, learn about your Area needs, talk about our work, hear about about your work, and/or to share an informal gathering as Leaders. Available times will be posted at USWD staff suite, alumnae table or any staff member will also have a list with her. To find out where the staff suite is, please call any of us. The hotel will not give out room numbers but you can leave a message. You may want to arrange a meeting before arriving at conference. In that case, just email us in advance. Or you may take note of available times once there or you may ask a staff member while at the conference.


Barb Emanuel, Misty Dunn, Sue Scott, Rosetta Bartels, Wista Waldroop, Patricia Dubray, Laura Warren, Vicki Parnell, Lori Bryan, Sherryl Dombeck, Becky Hugh, Deirdre Knowles, Peggy Wiedmeyer, Kathryn Major

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Another exciting Conference opportunity!

Posted on behalf of Sue Scott:

Hello to LLLI International Conference attendees,

This is a notice that we are offering (outside of regularly scheduled conference sessions) these additional interactive practice sessions in communication skills. These skills are important in your work as Leaders and in your family and professional life. These skills will be taught by trained LLL facilitators and are FREE at this time as a service to you. Please take advantage!

July 3, Communication Skills 1, Listening from the Heart, 2:30-5:30 pm.

July 4, Communication Skills 2, Offering Information for Change, 2:30-5:30 pm

July 5, Communication Skills 3, Developing Skills for Harmony, 2:30-5:30 pm
(please note: this one might not be offered, depends on demand)

Please contact Sue Scott at for more information or to sign up. Contact me before June 28th at home or at the conference, leave a message in my hotel room.

Friday, June 24, 2005

I'm getting excited!

Ok, so I admit, I *am*! I went and listened to several podcasts today, and am thrilled that Elizabeth has gotten so many great speakers! She wrote about being star struck- lol- I agree. I remember during the last conference chat negotiations going back and forth with "Tom"- er, Dr. Hale. LOL. That was a bit unnerving, to say the least, but pretty cool!

This time around, I had a *lovely* phone conversation with Lu Hanessian, the host of Make Room for Baby (the Discovery Health Channel), for about a half an hour. I really wish I was going- she is going to be singing at the closing ceremony. She seems really grounded and very nice.

We've got SO many great folks coming and doing online chats- and many of them are also doing podcasts. Hmmmmm- I wonder if some of them would be interested in doing a chat too? (like Hilary Flowers)

I am hoping to get everyone signed up for helping. So far it is slow going. Last time, we didn't have many people signed up, but we had plenty of help, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm still hoping to get some other Leaders interested in helping out by greeting in the foyer of the chat software. So far, no takers, though.

I am also hoping that my whole family is not vomiting and ill this conference.

The chat schedule can be found here, btw:

Tallis :)

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Ready to Roll

Well, I am pretty excited--I have all my work done, I think. Handouts printed (thanks to Vernisha at the LLLI office!), poster session items all done, instructions all give, web pages as updated as I can get them...I am heading out of town Monday, to visit my father, who does NOT have Internet access at his house--oh, what is an Internet Director to do?? I hope, relax, knowing the Technology Room stuff is in the competent hands of the rest of the gang, who will keep adding chats and podcasts and posting right up until we get to DC!

I will post again soon, I hope! Safe travels to all who are traveling, and stay tuned to those of you staying here!

Sue Ann

Friday, June 17, 2005

Heading into the home stretch

I can hardly believe that in only 12 days, I'll be getting on the plane to go to Washington, D.C.! The last two weeks have been really full with preparing to podcast from the Conference. Many of the session presenters have agreed to come in to the Tech Room, to record a brief interview with me. The legal pad in my knitting bag that's serving as my "official" schedule is starting to really fill up with a roster of cool podcast visitors.

You can see the html version of that schedule here:

I have to confess, I am kind of star struck by the calibre of people who have said they'd like to do an interview -- my mind is brimming over wth questions I'd like to ask them. Let's hope that I don't turn from star struck to dumbstruck when I actually meet these amazing folks face to face!

Am interspersing podcast preparations with sneaky Fathers' Day running around..... and helping our 14 yo son for a trip to NY next week with his grandparents (lucky boy!).... and also getting ready for a work-related technology conference. When good things rain (and reign), it pours!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Survey Ready to Go!

Over the weekend, I finished working on our Technology Room survey for the conference. We hope to get your input on the LLLI Web site, the LLL Community Network, and other online LLL topics. Make sure you visit the Technology Room (Caucus Room) to take the survey at any time from IMS through the main conference. You will be eligible to win a lovely felted bag, hand knit by the LLLI Director of Web Services and Other Stuff!

Not coming to the conference? We do hope to have a survey on LLL and the Internet for the general public in the next few months as well--this one is a trial, so we need a smaller sample!

--Sue Ann Kendall

Extra Extra Read All About Us!

Starting with registration, the PR staff of LLLI puts out a free daily newsletter with information about the conference and fun things to do. The Technology room will have our updates and information about our activities in this handy resource. Look for us and items about the Community Network, Conference Blogs, Online Chats with Speakers, Podcasts and more.

Come to the Conference in your jammies!!

For those Leaders and Alumnae who are part of the LLL CN, we have created a new discussion called Virtual Conference. We're planning to use this discussion to provide many fun ways to participate and share in the International Conference experience from home. Coming soon: suggest questions for our online chats and podcast interviews, post greetings for friends at the Conference, and more!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Crunch time...

With less than 3 weeks left before we start setting up the Tech Room, we are all working hard on final preparations -- making lists, editing Wikis (Hi, my name is Jennifer and I'm a Wiki addict!), finalizing our handouts, getting together several times a week via IM to chat and brainstorm and ask each other over and over again: What are we forgetting?

This is fun!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Podcast Schedule Announced

Oh goody! We have started our listing of podcasts that will take place at the LLLI Conference!

We'll be adding lots and lots of fun conversations in the next few weeks! Stay tuned.

Sue Ann

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Conference Chat Schedule is available

Our online chats with speakers at LLLI Conferences have been one of the Technology Room's most popular enduring features. This year, once again, we will bring you a great line-up of speakers, ranging from LLL Founder, Edwina Froehlich, to parenting authors like Elizabeth Pantley and Lu Hanessian, to breastfeeding advocates like James Akre, to respected researchers such as Lawrence Gartner, Linda J. Smith, Diana West and Paula Meier.

The entire schedule is listed here:

We will add new chats as arrangements are made, so be sure to check back often and to join us during the conference, either in person or online, for interesting conversations.

Paper Products!

Even a computer room needs some paper products, and that's a lot of what we have been working on this week. Our handout wrangler is busily collecting some great information to share with Technology Room visitors, which we will also share at the Administrators' Resource Fair and the World Faire during the conference. We also plan a new feature--we're going to make our handouts available on CD, to save space and paper! We hope visitors will be willing to make a small donation to cover media costs for this convenient collection of documents.

We are also working hard on our poster session's illustrations and other content, and some informative posters that we will display in the Technology Room, about LLL Web sites around the world, the LLL Community Network, our online chats, the Help Form programs and much more!