On virtual spaces (for scientific conferences)
The title is a bit broad. What I am going to write about is gather.town. I complained quite a bit re how recent conferences used the gather platform. Here I try to be more constructive, and explain why I think things were bad, and also how I think they can be improved (substantially).
I think gather.town is a fantastic interface, and I think it was mis-used or mal-used in some recent xACL conferences (EACL 2021, EMNLP 2020). It is really disappointing, as there is so much potential, which was not only left unfulfilled, but even in some cases was worse than not having gather at all. This post will try to explain what I think was bad, and how I think things can be improved.