Before the trip, I imagined that I'd get at least one short entry done each day, to document my progress through three different presentations in three different cities over the course of four days (topped off by a mini-Pigs gig). Didn't happen. I suppose a real blogger would have figured out how to steal a few minutes here and there, but I'm not at that point yet. Trying to get mentally energized for the next session, trying to stay on top of email, and just dealing with the travelling sucked up all the time.
The most interesting day was the Allen Press Seminar in DC, primarily because of the nature of the audience. I heard Guy say that there were over 150 registrants, and I suspect less than half a dozen of them were librarians. I was on the first panel, so I was able to get my butterflies out of the way early and enjoy the rest of the presentations, all of which were quite intriguing. Not unexpectedly, there was a certain amount of hostility from this audience to the NIH plan -- Betsy handled it extremely well. But there was also much more support for open access options among the group than I might have expected. It is very clear that even those publishers who wish they'd never heard the phrase were seeing the writing on the wall and looking harder at different economic models than they would have if they hadn't been pushed in that direction.
The most fun of the three was the "debate" with Rick Anderson on Thursday at the North Carolina Serials Conference. We'd done a little bit of preparation ahead of time via email, so we knew what the main points were that we'd each try to make. We kept it very informal and relaxed (somebody came up to me later and said it was like listening to people just sitting around a living room talking -- exactly the effect that we were after). Much as I enjoy doing the prepared parts of a presentation, it's always the questions and discussions that I like the best. And this format allowed us to cover a lot of the differing points of view about various aspects of open access. Although I've known of Rick for quite some time via his writing on the various lists, I'd never laid eyes on him before, and we turned out to be a very good match.
A pretty intense week, but extremely satisfying. Now I'm gearing up for the next round... Maybe I'll do a better job tracking it all with the blog.