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June 30th, 2014

Something New for the SHOT Annual Meeting

Something New for the SHOT Annual Meeting

As part of the Annual Meeting program upcoming in Portland (11-14 October 2013), I invite you to read online the short texts provided by the participants in the opening plenary and various roundtables that will take place during the meeting. Even more, we solicit your comments, feedback and suggestions about the session topics and the individual papers through a blog feature – the first time SHOT has offered such an option tied to sessions and papers. Our goal is to stimulate a discussion among the Society's members about SHOT's intellectual directions and activities. I and the Executive Council strongly urge you to peruse the materials before the meeting, participate in the sessions once you are in Portland, and post your thoughts and ideas during and after the session. We seek to align the Society with exciting intellectual trends and also to help historians of technology make more visible contributions to the development of those trends. We also want to insure that SHOT is responsive to the needs and interests of its members. Thus for the first time, even if you cannot be in Portland, you can interact with this important discussion about SHOT's future. So please use this vehicle! We want to hear your ideas and comments.

Here's how it works. For posting materials and the creation of the blog sites, a familiar layout has been used, specifically a wordpress template customized with SHOT branding. Everyone who logs on can access the Plenary and Roundtables blog from the main "SHOT Talk" website (go to shot-talk.org) From the same page, you also will be able to access a conference blog once the meeting actually gets underway.

There will be two options for entering your comments. (1) Go to a particular panel (roundtable or plenary) to read and comment; or (2) enter comments at this top level. For example, you will find a notice about the Ad Hoc Membership committee report at this level – it is well worth reading. If you go to a particular panel, you'll see a short note about each paper followed by a "click here for more" button that will open the entire document. Readers may download or print files, or just read the text in your browser.

I hope many of you can find a few minutes to read the posted texts and join those offering comments and feedback. This is a new initiative for SHOT, one that has been advanced through the effort of many people, including the program committee, the roundtable and plenary participants, and the officers and Executive Council. But special recognition goes to Technology and Culture editor Suzanne Moon, who has coordinated the effort to make the materials accessible.

We look forward to a good meeting – but even those of you not in Portland can, thanks to the marvel of social media, offer your input and comments.

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