Monday, July 16, 2007

Open Source Conferences

Last Thursday I found out via Jonathan Eisen's blog that there was a live stream of the Metagenomics 2007 conference. I tuned in over the next couple of days and got a chance to listen to some great presentations. Although, I didn't have any questions I had a couple of offers from people I knew attending that were willing to ask for me. How cool is that?!

I hope that more conferences start webcasting proceedings and/or making the recorded presentations freely available on the internet.

Regardless, there are a few things that are necessary to make a good webcast:
1) All presenters AND questioners must use microphones (this is a good idea regardless of webcasting)
2) High resolution video so that details of the presentation slides can be seen (this is usually a major problem)
3) A nice cross platform streaming media (no windows streaming media)
4) Good encoding so that the majority of internet users have enough bandwidth


Benjamin Good said...

Yep. With half the audience carrying laptops with embedded video cameras and an expectation of wirless connectivity at most conferences, it seems like there should be a way to webcast nearly every major presentation given.

Live and interactive is nice, but I actually think a more permanent record - a la a utube video - would have more lasting value, facilitating a longer term discussion.

If you agree and you're not too shy, why not get into practice by webcasting (or utubing) your presentations at lab meetings etc. ?

Like a blog, the worst case is that you get your own personal set of recorded thoughts. Best case, you get stimulating feedback from total strangers.

Jonathan Eisen said...

So - what about streaming live the other parts of the meeting. Like lunch and dinner, etc. Do you think it would be better to embed oneself and maybe even broadcast this in Second Life or to just stick with the presentations themselves?

Benjamin Good said...

A lot of the more interesting things happen at the eating and drinking times than during the presentations...

I think utubing presentations is likely a good career move (for people that can speak well I suppose). Broadcasting your dinner/pub conversations is really quite a different thing though. I think the possibilities of sharing your physical presence with a virtual audience are really interesting, but I think that is still a bit too much of a hassle right now - when we can ~affordably stream from our phones, things will be different. At most a year from now...

Benjamin Good said...

Hey Morgan,

Check this multimedia science site out. Seems to provide a much more polished version of what I was talking about regardin utubing your presentations - making them more sutibable for a less expert audience.

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