What’s a relaxed digital conference

The principle of relaxed digital presentations is that you come as you are and do what you can in the current context.

  • Papers/presentations could take a different form – e.g., a PDF file of a paper; a PDF file with words, images, hyperlinks; a narrated PowerPoint presentation captured in the Zoom recording feature; a description of your project recorded on your smart phone or tablet; a webinar; a group Zoom/Skype call; a podcast.
  • Contributions may be shorter than the standard 20 minutes;
  • Contributions may be speculative, in progress;
  • Our thinking and language around digital conferences owes a lot to the Nearly Carbon-Neutral Conference Model White Paper / Practical Guide.

How to make a video presentation

  • Since we are proposing a relaxed performance format, we hope that participants don’t stress too much about creating professional-looking videos. We welcome everyone to contribute however they can. Your video can be as short or long as it needs to be.
  • Shoot your video in .mp4 or .mov format, with a resolution of at least 720p. Most webcams of newer laptops should at least have this resolution. You could also use your smartphones to film.
  • Some tips for recording a video:
    • If you are shooting a video of yourself, set up good lighting, frame the video from chest-up and maintain eye contact with the camera
    • Use an external camera and microphone if available. Even microphones on headphones can be preferable since they are closer to you when you record.
  • Some free options to edit/trim videos (from easy to hard) are:
    • Video editor built into the Photos app (Older versions of Windows 10)- instructions

How to make a video presentation with slides

How to record a podcast

  • The simplest way to record audio is to use built-in voice recording applications on your phone or computer. However, if you wish to create a more professional recording or edit your recording, Audacity is the best free program. For best results, record with an external microphone.
  • If you are a Mac user, you also have Garageband for free where you can edit audio- instructions
  • Platforms such as SoundCloud support a variety of audio file formats
    • WAV files are uncompressed and of the best quality, but the file size will be large
    • MP3 is a popular choice. For clear audio quality, keep the bitrate above 128Kbps
    • M4A is a Mac-centric format, and therefore is less universal than MP3

How to make your presentation more accessible

  • Live closed captioning is available on PowerPoint (Office 365 version)- instructions and on Google Slides- instructions
  • YouTube can generate automatic captions that may or may not be accurate. If you want to rely on automatic CC, please speak slowly and clearly
  • Subtitles can be manually added directly to YouTube by both the creator and community members- instructions
  • If you wish to create subtitles before submitting your video to us, you may:
    • Create an SRT file and submit it to us with your video- instructions
    • Make hard subtitles by editing text directly onto the video using editing software
  • There are also third-party apps on the App Store (iOS) and the Google Play Store (Android), but they may have limits to the length of the video
  • You can submit a text transcript of your presentation
  • If you are using images or diagrams in your video presentation, describe them out loud
  • Since the presentations will be available to the public, there may be many people who are not experts in your field who wish to watch and listen. If you wish for your content to reach a wider audience, it would be preferable to explain specialized terms and ideas in layman’s terms.

How to share your presentation with the conference

  • Please submit your files to the Partitionensemble Dropbox. You do not need a Dropbox account to do so. You will receive a file request by email – instructions
  • If this does not work for some reason, please contact us. We may ask you to upload your content to your own account (YouTube, SoundCloud, etc). We will embed or link your presentation to our website


The conference talks will be available at three separate places online. Why three? Each has its own advantages, especially as one of our goals is to make the conference as accessible as possible to a variety of variously abled individuals.

  1. The Conference Website will likely be the most convenient place to view the talks for most people, as the balance of the conference material will reside there along with the talks. Moreover, and importantly, the Q&A will only take place on the conference website.
  2. Youtube is our primary cloud repository for videos. The talks on the conference website will be streaming from this service. Because Youtube maintains a robust server network, this ensures uninterrupted viewing – even if a range of individuals across the globe are viewing the same talk at the same time. Finally, Youtube allows for closed captioning and automatic translation of videos.
  3. SoundCloud makes the talks available as audio podcasts, which makes it easy to listen to on the go. More importantly, our SoundCloud conference playlist will bring all of the talks together in one relatively convenient place for blind or visually impaired individuals. The SoundCloud podcasts will be available on their website, as well as through their free apps for mobile devices.

In sending us your video, you agree to have it posted to the above three places. We plan on leaving the talks up on the above sites, where they will be viewable by the public, with no plans on taking them down in the near future. In sending us your video, you agree to allow it to remain up on the above websites. Also note that, since the videos will be viewable by the public, you should have permission or rights to use any material that you show in your video.

How to log in

If you want to participate by commenting on the different session pages, you must first register.

To log in, you will need your username and password. On the site, scroll to the very bottom of any page and click on the “login” link.

Enter your credentials, and: voilà! You will know you are successfully logged in when you see a black bar at the top of the site with your name.

If you have issues registering or logging in, send an email to partitionensemble at gmail dot com.

Commenting: yes please do!

The comments section on session pages will be activated at the start of the conference and will be visible to all registered users after they log in.

Comments work much as you would expect on other blogs and media sites: simply type your message in the box and hit “Post Comment”.

Your comment should appear instantly in the thread. If it does not, try refreshing the page. If you still don’t see it, your comment may have been flagged for review by our moderators – in which case it will appear as soon as it has been cleared.

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