NAVIGATING THE NEBULA CONFERENCE ONLINE
Thanks for joining us on this leg of our voyage aboard the Airship Nebula. This document is intended to help answer questions about how to find your way around the event and make the most of your experience this weekend. Use the menu below to learn more about each module.
All information regarding events, panels, features, and policies can be found at events.sfwa.org. To access much of it, you must be logged in to your account. If you are not logged in when you first land on a page, you’ll need to go back to that page after logging in, as logging in takes you to your profile.
MAIN NAVIGATION MENU
- Find information about SFWA’s event staff and policies.
- The answers to commonly asked questions.
- Information about upcoming events, lists of panels, panelist bios, office hours, and mentorship programs.
- Access to the Hopkinson Grand Master Suite, Nebulas Slack, and information about our shared reality here aboard the Airship Nebula.
WATCH THE NEBULAS
- The public access page with information on how and where to watch this year’s Nebula Award Ceremony.
Links to the SFWA main website, store website, and Nebula history website, as well as the schedule and terms of service.
REQUEST HELP BUTTON
While logged in, a blue help button appears at the bottom of the screen. Tap it to find instructions on how to get help with a technical issue or report an incident that violates our policies.
The full listing of panels at this year’s conference can be found at Schedule >> Upcoming Events in the main navigation menu. You must be logged in to access this page. To view your personal events list go to My Account >>My Events.
Once you find a panel you’re interested in attending, you can add it to your personal itinerary by clicking the “Add to List” button that appears alongside the panel title, circled in red below:
Tapping the panel title will take you directly to the page where you can watch the panel. Tapping a panelist name will take you to the page where you can learn more about that panelist and see a full list of the panels on which they will be taking part. Tapping “Track” or any item under “Tags” will take you to the full list of programming items within the same track or with the same tags. For instance, if you’re particularly interested in programming featuring Indie Writers, you could click “Indie Writers” in the panel’s tag and see a complete list of panels featuring indie writers.
THE HOPKINSON GRANDMASTER SUITE
The majority of the conference’s social activities take place within the Hopkinson Grand Master Suite, a series of Zoom breakout rooms functioning as conversation spaces on a broad range of topics. You must be logged in to access the suite. You can find the link to enter the suite in the Hopkinson submenu beneath “SOCIAL” on the website’s main navigation.
Note: Please make sure your Zoom user name matches with what you registered for the conference before hitting “Join the Room” or this may delay your entry into the suite. Names will be checked against the registration database.
HOW IT WORKS
- When you arrive, you’ll be in the Suite’s “waiting room” which you can think of as knocking on the door. It may take the host a minute to get to the door, especially if there’s a line, but they’ll welcome you in.
- Inside, you’ll be in the “transporter room” where a member of our Flight Crew team will grant you access to the interior of the suite. Hint: We recommend thinking of these as small conversational groups rather than rooms.
- If you have downloaded the newest version of Zoom, you will be able to see the breakout rooms button at the bottom of your screen right away.
- Click “breakout rooms” after you’ve been granted access or as soon as you enter the Transporter Room, if you have the capability, and you’ll see the list of available rooms.
– If on a PC, click “join” to jump to any location.
– If on a Mac, hover over the number and then click “join” to jump to any location.
- If you cannot see the list of rooms, that means you have not downloaded the newest version of Zoom. Please log out and update your Zoom client. Once you log back in, and Flight Crew will help you into the breakout rooms.
Feel free to circulate between breakrooms, just like at a regular party. If you want to go somewhere specific, you can either select another room by looking at your Breakout Room menu again or “Leave Breakout Room” to teleport back to the Transporter Room and the Flight Crew will help you find another part of the party to visit.
HOW DO THE BARS WORK?
When open, we have live bartenders at the New Moon’s Arm and the Mojo Room bars who will guide you through mixing a beverage at home. They can help with zero-proof drinks, too. Tip: These bars are just another breakout room in the Hopkinson Suite.
If you can make a simple syrup and have a citrus juice, like lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit, it will dramatically increase the range of offerings available.
HOW DO DANCE PARTIES WORK?
When we host parties, the Peacock Lounge breakout room transforms into a dance hall. When you go in, mute your microphone and dance in the comfort of your own home. If you have song requests, type them into the chat.
Note: If you are using a tablet or a phone, the only person you’ll be able to see easily will be the host . We STRONGLY SUGGEST downloading the desktop app.
ETIQUETTE AND CONDUCT
A note on etiquette: It gets hard to have a conversation if there’s more than six people in a room so try to circulate to keep the numbers balanced.
Please try to keep your mouth visible while talking. It helps attendees who lip read.
People have mentioned feeling awkward leaving a conversation online because we’re used to using video conferencing for structured meetings. Shift to thinking about being at a party, where you can wander freely. Try one of these options:
- Say “I’m going to circulate” or “I’m heading to the potted plant.”
- Just leave and don’t announce it.
- Mention it in the chat window, instead of with your voice.
The Hopkinson Suite, like all SFWA spaces, is subject to the harassment policy. To report an incident:
- From the Nebulas 2021 Slack: enter your inquiry in the #askforhelp channel.
- If you are unable to log in or access the Slack, send an email to email@example.com.
In addition, while in the Hopkinson Suite:
- Do not take screenshots without permission.
- Do not record without permission.
THE SLACK SPACE
The Nebula Conference also hosts a conversation space on Slack. You can access it here.
The 2021 Nebula Award Conference Online is designed to be accessible for all members. This includes:
- Live closed captioning for all panels, talks, and the Awards ceremony.
- Simultaneous AI Spanish translation (yes, that means, Artificial Intelligence. It’s the FUTURE!).
- A text reader-friendly website.
- Alt-text for images.
- Audio-only engagement.
- Low-sensory virtual rooms.
- Recordings of panels and presentations with closed-captioning, for review at the participant’s leisure.
- Social opportunities that do not require cameras, microphones, or speakers.
You can view the conference Accessibility FAQ here.
TURNING CAPTIONS ON AND OFF ON THE EVENTS WEBSITE AND YOUTUBE
If you are watching the panels or awards through the Nebula Events website, there will be an embedded widget below the video that can be expanded or collapsed.
When using YouTube for the awards ceremony, there is an icon in the lower right corner of the video panel that says “CC”.
Here’s a video on the exact location and how to change the subtitle language:
ADJUSTING FONT SIZE OF CAPTIONS
If using the event site to watch panels and the awards ceremony, Recapd has a widget embedded into the website. On the widget, users can:
- Resize the captioning window.
- Resize the font.
- Open and close the widget in a separate tab.
- Access the widget on a mobile device.
A quick guide on how to do this with pictures can be found here: https://www.recapd.com/features/live-event-captions#embeddable_widget
ADDING ALT-TEXT FOR PHOTOS
Adding alt-text for images posted on Twitter and websites help low visibility users and/or users with sensory processing issues with photos online. This is also helpful when a tweet or website does not load properly.
There are two ways to do this on Twitter. When tweeting from Twitter’s website:
- Create new tweet and add the picture.
- Click “Add description” from the below the picture.
- Enter description text and hit “Save”.
- Publish tweet.
When using Twitter’s mobile app:
- Create new tweet and add picture.
- Tap “+ALT” on the bottom right corner of the picture.
- Add description text and hit “Save”.
- Publish tweet.
Some good practices for writing good alt text:
- Be short and specific.
- Don’t include “Image of” or “Picture of”.
- Don’t repeat yourself.
- Include any text that is in the image, i.e., writing on T-shirts or banners.
At the end of this article there are some examples of good and bad alt texts.
HOW TO ACCESS PANELS AFTER THE CONFERENCE
Because of the nature of virtual cons, we realize that not all members will be able to attend all the panels because of health, family demands, time zones, etc. However, the panels will be recorded and accessible to all members through April 2022. Simply come back to events.sfwa.org and view them when you’re able!
QUIET/LOW SENSORY VIRTUAL ROOMS
There are several virtual places in the Nebula 2021 Slack channel and the Hopkinson Suite for text-only discussions or voice-only discussions. Ask the Flight Crew on staff and they will be able to direct you to these spaces.
If you have an accessibility question or concern at any point during the conference, please reach out to Aliza Greenblatt (DM on Twitter at @AtGreenblatt) or email the Events Team (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Nebula Conference employs a number of policies to guide behavior of our staff and guests, and to ensure the safety and enjoyment of everyone aboard the Airship. If at any point you encounter a violation of these policies or are made to feel unsafe during your time with us, you may notify your moderators in Slack, Flight Crew in the Hopkinson Suite, or email Community@sfwa.org to have the issue addressed.