The International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media is using its ICWSM blog in an interesting and potentially useful way. Each paper has a post with an abstract, picture and link to the full content. The chronological aspect of blogs are exploited as posts are added as the papers are presented. Conference participants, or any blog visitors, can ask questions, give feedback or add notes via the post’s comments. Here’s a paper chosen at random, On the Structure, Properties and Utility of Internal Corporate Blogs, that illustrates how it works.
We had used a blog, AAAI-05 Blog, to highlight how students experienced the AAAI 2005 conference. One of our goals was to demonstrate to AI students the benefits of joining AAAI and attending the conference.
I think the ICWSM model is a good one for small to medium workshops and conferences. For large conferences, with 100s of papers, the model may have to be modified. I am sure there are new ideas that can be explored to see how blogs can be used to support conferences an workshops, before, during and after they take place.