Your ONA12 Survival Guide

We’re just days away from ONA12, the sold-out 2012 Online News Association Conference and Online Journalism Awards Banquet, Sept. 20-22, at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco.

Prepare for a packed schedule, beautiful California weather, unparalleled networking and — of course — the best in digital journalism. Below are a few details to help you make the most of your experience.

ONA12 goes mobile
Download our ONA12 conference mobile app to take the schedule wherever you go:

For iPhone/iPad users, visit, press the share button and select “Add to Homescreen.”

For Android users, visit and bookmark the desired page from your phone’s default browser. On your home screen, press and hold where you want the icon to save. From “Add to Home Screen,” select “Shortcuts.” Press “Bookmark,” and select the mobile app.

While you’re there, check out all 140+ of our presenters, also posted on the ONA12 site.

Grab your badge and bag at the registration desk in the Hyatt’s Regency Room, starting Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 a.m. each day. Important note: Full conference badges are required for entry into all ONA12 meals, sessions and special events.

Like to see who’s attending?
If you’re planning to come to the Online Journalism Awards Banquet, please check your email for a 30-second survey from us. Take the survey and the attendee list is yours.

A very dim sum opening night
Join us at the Opening Night Reception Thursday, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m., at the historic Rincon Center, for an evening of geek delight, sponsored by NPR and Digital First Media. Bring your badge — you do need to be registered as a full-pass attendee. Map it here. Note: Enter at Spear Street, between Mission and Howard; all other entrances will be closed. If you’re unable to make it to the hotel to pick up your general pass before the opening night reception, volunteers will be able to check a list on site to let you in.

Hit the ATM for tees
You’ll find a colorful Stanford University-designed tee in each conference bag, and vintage conference tees will be available for $5 at a table near the registration desk.

Ask the Candidates: Send in your questions for Decision 2013
On Friday, Sept. 21, from 2:15-3:15 p.m., nearly all 15 candidates for the ONA Board of Directors will take the stage in Bayview AB to talk digital media issues, offer their vision for our organization, and take questions and tweets from the audience. Can’t make it to San Francisco? We’ll be livestreaming. Tweet your questions using the hashtag #ONAdecision, and Tweet Curator Steve Buttry will do his best to make sure they get asked.

ONA tribes, come together
Join your colleagues and ONA Local chairs for community get-togethers from 4:45-6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, in the Hospitality Room (Atrium level). (There’s a rumor that beer will be had.) Come hear about ONA’s open-source approach to community building at one mighty meetup. Immediately following will be an ONA Local happy hour.

Locate yourself and your peeps
ONA Social Media Maven Jen Mizgata once again will be acting as control tower on the @ONAConf Twitter account, directing you to session rooms and pointing you to discussions of note. The conference hashtag is #ONA12. If you plan to blog, vlog or otherwise report out, let Jen know by sending tweeting links to @ONAConf.

Navigating San Francisco

  • Find transportation to and from the Hyatt here
  • Directions from airports here

Get ready to unconference
Even a program as packed as ONA’s can leave something out. The ONA unconference is here to fill the gaps, created and hosted by you, the attendee, and we have four spots to fill on Saturday. You can submit sessions at ONA Unconference until the end of the Opening Night Reception Thursday, Sept. 20. We’ll post a voting form to the page the evening of Thursday, Sept. 20, and keep it open until Friday, Sept. 21, at 5 p.m. Winners will be announced before the Friday Night Keynote. Submit your session today!

Events, 24/7
The journalism — and partying — just keeps going

  • ONASF Welcome: On Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m., come kick off ONA12 with our Local group with a party sponsored by PBS MediaShift and CIR. Meet local journalists and discuss the projects created in the Tech Raking II design sprint. RSVP now so you can join us at Gallery 16, 501 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.
  • wjchat Social Journalism Meetup: For the second year running, the Social Journalism Facebook group and #wjchat Twitter chat will host a Friday night social gathering after the day’s official ONA events conclude. RSVP now and join us at Sens Restaurant, 4 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA 94111 (just across the street from the Hyatt Regency).
  • SoundCloud and Storyful present News from Noise: Discuss how startups are helping savvy publishers get social and enjoy some drinks at SoundCloud HQ San Francisco, 510 Treat Avenue, San Francisco, 94110. RSVP on Eventbrite.
  • ONA12 Karaoke: Return of the Sing: This year’s unofficial karaoke bash wil be held at Pandora Karaoke & Bar, 177 Eddy St., San Francisco, California 94102. RSVP on Facebook.
  • We’re posting more details as we get them on, so check back for more meetups.

Wireless access update

  • ONA12 will feature free wireless Internet access throughout the conference area, sponsored by ESPN. Look for the network ID: ONA12-ESPN.
  • Bonus! Wireless access in guests room comes free.

See you soon!

Pam Maples and Anthony Moor, ONA12 Chairs
Jane McDonnell, Executive Director