Since 2014, we’ve been running MicroSeminar, and we’re laying out the schedule well into 2018. What has happened?
- We grew. We’ve added organizers, gained Twitter and YouTube followers and some people have actually heard of us!
- We had growing pains. We tried to do a seminar at ASMCUE and it was great, but overall it didn’t go over that well with some conference attendees. Conferences are still a place to see people in person, and having someone piped in remotely isn’t the best. Just think of when people accept their Oscars by video feed, it just isn’t the same.
- We saved energy. Currently we’ve done 43 seminars. Let’s just say that folks had to fly to do them in person. I usually fly from PHL. We’ve had speakers from all over, even international – so to split the difference, let’s say the flight goes to SAN. Round trip, that’s 0.55 metric tons of CO2 emitted per flight. At 43 trips, that’s 23.65 metric tons of CO2 saved. That’s roughly an entire person’s CO2 footprint for a year. It’s getting to be significant.
- We are teaching. Apparently folks that know this happens are assigning students to watch certain lectures, or using the seminars as a lecture. If anyone would like to share a story regarding this – please let us know.
- We went international! Let’s keep expanding, folks, so tell your friends.
- We still have no financial backing. Keep your fingers crossed that the Google/YouTube/Wordpress model keeps up, as the hangout platform is constantly shifting.
- We had offspring! LimnoSeminar got started, after watching us and PhyloSeminar.
- We realized we had to pay attention. Sometimes we got on rolls where men were signing up but no women. We now look at the schedule headed out and make sure there is balance. Which sometimes means telling men no – that until we find women to present we are going to hold off scheduling men. The guys have been nothing but generous, helpful and understanding about this, and we are thankful that our community is awesome. We’ve learned this needs to be an entirely conscious decision, but it is an easy one to do! You should try it too!
What do we do now? For now we keep going. I guess we get older. We are always willing to hear from others and especially love to get volunteers. Thanks for tuning in!