I am at the 72nd annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Raleigh, NC, this week.

My colleague Kate Wong will be covering the most interesting presentations from the meeting on the Observations blog, while I will do more impressionistic stuff here later in the week.

The Twitter hashtag is #2012SVP if you want to follow in real time (I livetweeted a couple of sessions today and will do more later).

So far it's great fun. Bumped into some old friends, and finally met some online friends in the real world. There is some fascinating research going on.

It is unfortunate that SVP did not push harder on the Raleigh Convention Center to allow them to bring in an external company to provide and boost wifi. No convention center has wifi with sufficient bandwidth for hundreds of people simultaneously tweeting, blogging, filing stories, uploading videos etc. And wifi has to be free at meetings - that is an essential requirement, just like having coffee at all times (you do not expect to have to pay extra for soap, hot water and towels once you paid for your hotel room, right?). The lack of free wifi (and really, is anyone in 2012 actually going to pay for it, especially when knowing it is crappy?) is probably the reason why most people just gave up, and only a few of us are bravely tweeting from our iPhones tapping into Raleigh's free downtown wifi and 4G.

More tomorrow...