Lanyrd.com, a social conference directory
I carry a generic black lanyard with me to conferences to hang my name tag from. I do not use it at every event, only those where severely crunched budgets force the conference to provide tacky vender-branded lanyards — or a piece of string. But I just discovered a new kind of lanyard, or Lanyrd(.com) that I can take with me to a conference, or use to attach myself to conferences I’m not even attending.
Some of you may remember a web site I created a number of years ago called Hitchikr, that aggregated blog posts, Twitter tweets, and Flickr photos associated (tagged) with various user-registered conferences. It died of neglect, but Lanyrd has risen to do much of the same think — and then much more.
Going to the site and registering with my Twitter login, I discovered 22 upcoming conferences that are being attended, or spoken at, by people I follow on Twitter — people I respect. In the coming week there’ll be the Interactive Local Media East conference, care of David Weinberger, the Mobile Learning conference in Bremen, Germany from Josie Fraser, and Cr8net, a creative industries conference from Richard Florida.
I registered ECIS IT, where I’ll be speaking later this week in Oberursel and identified myself as a speaker at June’s ISTE 2011 conference in Philadelphia. The site invited me to register sessions I’ll be presenting along with links to my online handouts. If the event is being covered by media in any way, then there are opportunities to link that in as well.
Providing access to conference speakers, attendees, and event-generated content seems to be the goal of Lanyrd. However, I see something else happening, an additional benefit. If taken seriously and currated by people associated with the conference, their Lanyrd site can become a portfolio of the event.
This got me to thinking about the electronic portfolios that are, thankfully, becoming part of the education conversation again. We talk about learner portfolios, but what if teachers were able to currate a classroom or course portfolio, by having student work, artifacts of their learning, aggregated into something that people can “follow.”