The good, the better, and the awesome of #psGranada16

The Granada meeting has drawn to a close after an intense and action-filled three days, and a very brief recap of the highlights seems in order, especially for the social (media) aspects.

I think most attendees would agree with me that the meeting was organized to a nearly mind-boggling degree of perfection. With more than a thousand people in attendance, I expected a few glitches along the way: Before arriving I was slightly worried whether the additional dinner and Alhambra tickets for my wife would be waiting for me (they were) and whether the uploading of talks ahead of time would really put them in the right place (yes, not only were they in the right place but there was a tech guy at every session who helped out and even put a clock on the slides at the beginning of each talk). I probably worried about a few other things as well, but I cannot recall any of them because I quickly learned to assume that everything was just awesome and would work out perfectly. It did.

For all this the Society owes a big “thank-you” to Prof Teresa Bajo of the University of Granada and the Psychonomics Governing Board and all their dedicated helpers.

Concerning social events, the Flamenco performance on the opening night was spectacular:

Those who stayed around to the end were rewarded with an impromptu jam session where the singers took turns dancing to the cheers of the dancers. The night visit to the Alhambra was as memorable as one could expect it to be: Washington Irving, Salman Rushdie, Frederico Garcia Lorca and George Bernard Shaw obviously knew what they were talking about when they celebrated the Alhambra in their writings:

Fortunately we returned the next evening for a conference dinner in the Alhambra gardens, overlooking the city of Granada. By that time, having dinner at 9pm seemed unusually early and so many of us dragged it out till around midnight in order to have dessert at a fashionably-Spanish time.

Turning to social media, there was standing room only at the social media event on Thursday and attendees provided many interesting suggestions for future initiatives that I will summarize and report in the near future.

For those who missed the social-media meeting here are a few statistics that may be of interest.

  • We have now had nearly 44,000 page views of the featured content site since commencing publication about 18 months ago.The 5-month period since the last annual meeting in Chicago (November 2015 – March 2016) has seen an average of 3,600 page views a month for our featured content. This represents an 80% increase compared to the average of the preceding 12 months.
  • Our public echo has also been quite promising, with a recent article that examined people’s use of—and addition to—mobile phones which I blogged about here being picked up by media outlets around the world nearly 80 times.

#psGranada16 also witnessed another social-media innovation, namely the use of Periscope. Periscope is a smartphone app that turns your phone into a live TV camera: launch periscope, point your phone and start transmitting to anyone who wants to watch you—and if you tweet your broadcast as it starts, then all your Twitter followers (and the followers of those who retweet it) can watch it live as it unfolds.

One of our digital team members, Richard Morey, periscoped a few sessions including a symposium on open data and transparency on Saturday evening. Although Periscope is a live-transmission device, it is possible to capture the video afterwards (for a little while) and upload it to YouTube.

Which is what Richard did with the entire open data symposium with talks by Richard Morey, Wolf Vanpaemel, Rolf A. Zwaan, and  Stephan Lewandowsky:

This was a pilot project but I think it is something we should aim to ramp up for the annual meeting in Boston in November: Anyone can turn into a videographer and preserve a conference talk for posterity—provided you get the speaker’s permission to do so. (All of the speakers in the open data symposium consented and made their slides available at the links provided at the bottom of the video).

So stay tuned for more information about periscoping ahead of the annual meeting in November in Boston.

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