Staff Picks: Six things I’m looking forward to at ONA16 – Meghan Murphy

As ONA’s newest staff addition, this will be my first ONA conference, and I’ve been hard at work setting up my must-see schedule. Here are six things I’m most excited to do in Denver:

  1. Since I work in community building, you may not be surprised to hear that I’m passionate about audience engagement. I can’t wait to hear an update from the Coral Project and how we can better design journalism for conversations. And you know I’ll be following a Table Talk on audience engagement.
  2. I’m podcast obsessed. I listen to them first thing in the morning, when I’m making dinner, cleaning the house, in the car, on a run. My friends will tell you I’m forever making them podcast recommendations, and I can’t wait for the future of social audio to just get here already.
  3. I spend all my time thinking about our ONA Local communities, but I haven’t met many of you in person yet. Let’s change that. We’re hosting an Open House where you can meet other ONA types in your city or find out how you can start your own ONA meetup group when you get home. It’s free for anyone to attend, but please RSVP so we know to expect you!
  4. Attending a conference like ONA as a student can be a unique experience. You’re probably getting to know our wider community for the first time, learning about cutting-edge technology you can use after graduation, and discovering networking strategies that will help you get your next job or internship. We’re pulling together a student meetup to talk about the ONA student experience, ask those questions you may be a little nervous to bring up in the wider arena, and talk to recent graduates about transitioning into the workforce. It’ll be informal, and there’s no RSVP required — just show up!
  5. ONA Rocky Mountains and Hacks/Hackers Colorado are partnering up to host a welcome meetup for ONA16 attendees following the Opening Night Reception. RSVP to join us at the Denver Press Club!
  6. Finally, I’m looking forward to catching several ONA Local group organizers in the schedule. Go see Kim Fox talk audience development, Julie Westfall and David Cohn on learning from failure, Kim Bui on distributed content, Robert Hernandez on virtual reality (and join him for a VR town hall) and Fergus Bell on social newsgathering ethics.