In case your invitation to the exclusive World Economic Forum got lost in the mail, you can stop feeling so down about it. The closed-doors event in Davos, Switzerland, has loosened up a bit, thanks to the Web and the whole "transparency" thing that's been trendy for the past few years.
Besides, you can bet a few people will be blogging photos from their iPhones anyway.
This year, the World Economic Forum, which runs Wednesday through Sunday, has chosen to take advantage of just about every kind of social-media app you can imagine.
Broadcasts of many of the forum's panels and discussions are being streamed live on the Web by video start-up Mogulus, with an official Twitter account providing alerts and updates as to which global luminaries are talking at what times.
Plus, there are live broadcasts from CNN.com.
Two formally sanctioned "citizen reporters" have been chosen to attend through social networks. One won a MySpace/Wall Street Journal contest, and one won a "Davos Debates" video contest sponsored by YouTube. The MySpace delegate, Rebecca McQuigg of Los Angeles, is blogging at the MySpace Journal site, as well as on a Wall Street Journal blog. YouTube videos from the summit will come from contest winner Pablo Camacho, a Bogota, Colombia-based writer and singer.
Many of the notable attendees are on Twitter, and you can track them with a Twitter search for the hash tag #davos. That'll bring you to a flood of updates, breaking news stories, and general observations on the first Davos gathering since the markets crashed in the fall.
"Here there is a smaller crowd, even more techies than usual, rampant fear and pessimism, and much talk of social responsibility," journalist David Kirkpatrick posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday.