When Jonathan Tarr first told me that one of my projects this summer would be to archive materials from the May 2008 HASTAC II conference, the first word that came to my mind was "color-coding". I envisioned flyers, maps, and presentation information neatly filed with those small colored tabs attached to each document according to category, colors that would be replicated in the master spreadsheet of all materials we had on physical file. I envisioned HASTAC leaders in 2050 thanking their lucky stars for the nameless intern who had so carefully archived conferences, and set up an entire infrastructure for doing so. That was not quite to be. The next directive I heard was from Cathy Davidson: "You can make it on the HASTAC website. And... use as many Flickr, Creative Commons-licensed photos as possible!" Website?! Ruh-roh.
So I went to work. With an office to myself that day (they treat me well here), I sat down on the floor with Jonathan and Cathy's folders from the conference and spread the materials out around me, making sure I had a complete packet. I did indeed get to use color-coding, but just in the list I made for myself. There was such a fanstastic diversity of projects and presentations, each with its own associated website or blog. I wanted to create a site that would give those unlucky enough not to attend a sense of the entire conference while also providing resources for attendees who couldn't remember the name of that one cool project or wanted to find out more about a keynote speaker. And I wanted it to be pretty. Unfortunately, my website ambitions surpassed my website abilities. Under the tutelage of Mark Olson and a variety of HTML-teaching sites, I learned basic coding and figured out how to manipulate the underlying site coding to a certain extent.
The site is an amalgam of materials handed out at the conference--including project descriptions written by the participants--and information I gathered afterwards--such as keynoters' bios, websites and blog posts related to the conference, and wonderful photos from the Flickr sites of Brett Walters, Anne Helmond, and Cathy Davidson. One of the potentially tedious jobs--double-checking hyperlinks--turned out to be fun and edifying. Having tried to link to every relevant site for each speaker and presentation, checking the links was a whirlwind tour of particpatory learning models, interactive art installations, and innovative development ideas. I highly recommend scrolling through the "Project Demonstrations, Poster Talks, and Lightning Talks" section and following the "Learn more" links for those that interest you, as well as looking at some of the amazing images (and several videos) from the Demos throughout the conference.
Whether you didn't know this conference ever took place or you were a participant, check out the site and learn a little bit more about what is going on both within HASTAC and within the myriad, exciting disciplines showcased at the conference. You can find it here; the URL is http://www.hastac.org/hastac08conference. Webcasts of the conference events should be added soon.