Sunday, May 27, 2007

So many laptops...so little analysis


So many laptops...
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks
I have been to several conferences recently where their has been liveblogging in the audience. I have read the blogs after the event and compared it with my own experiences. The postings fall into two types.

Some people "liveblog" supposedly so that someone who couldn't attend can follow the event (perhaps for free if its an invitation only event).

Others post a short comment or thought-piece some hours later.

The liveblog results are usually a huge disappointment for everyone. Firstly because although the webcam may produce a great picture, for the most part it produces God-awful sound. At Blognomics a few weeks back I sat next to a MacBook blogger who was trying to balance the laptop on his knees and zoom on the panelspeakers. Believe me, you don't want to watch the result. It does absolutely NO justice to the conversation they were trying to do on stage. You can put up with medicore video, but as a viewer you will not tolerate bad sound.

Then, there is the quality of the liveblogging posting. It's like trying to read someone else's shorthand. It's a sea of random thoughts and spelling mistakes, usually wrapped up in an apology that the reader should see through the typos. It doesn't add much value to anything. Why? Where is the urgency in what is being said on stage that I can't wait for the executive summary?

I some workshops recently I said that the presentation I was going to give would be up on Youtube by the end of the same day. People were welcome to write notes on their laptops, but that liveblogging from the event was banned. That wasn't to censor the contents - it was ensure that I had the audience's attention. The result? Some great and useful analysis went up at the end of the day when the bloggers had a chance to think and digest what I was saying. Oh, and also run the spelling checker!

I don't need a secretary! I want a conversation.
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