At ALA Midwinter 2009, Jason Griffey and the LITA folks took advantage of the conference center's wireless network to provide quick and easy access to the Top Tech Trends panel for those of us that couldn't be there in person. The low-bandwidth option was a CoverItLive live-blogging feed of comments from attending that also included photos by Cindi Trainor, and a feed of twitters from attendees. The high-bandwidth option was a live (and recorded) video stream of the event that Jason captured using the webcam built into his laptop.
Aside from the LITA planned events, the fact that we could all sit in meant that there were lots of virtual conversations in chat rooms and other forums that sprung up as people joined in from afar. Unfortunately, because my Sunday morning is filled with laundry and other domestic pleasures, I wasn't able to join in on the "live" chatter going on in parallel with the video or livebloggin.
Owing to funding constraints and my own priorities, my participation at ALA is limited. I've been to LITA Forum once, and might go again, but I focus more on the OLA other regional events. This virtual option from LITA let me get a peek at what's going on and hear what the "big thinkers" at LITA have to say. I hope they can keep it up, and will definitely be talking to local folks about how we might be able to emulate LITA in our own events.