[EuroPython] Presentations online

Nicolas Chauvat Nicolas.Chauvat@logilab.fr
Wed, 12 Jun 2002 13:03:57 +0200 (CEST)

On Wed, 12 Jun 2002, Dinu Gherman wrote:

> Nicolas Chauvat <Nicolas.Chauvat@logilab.fr>:
> > I think it would be nicer to link from the talks list... 
> > Any way to add an icon to the talk if its material is 
> > online then link from its description page ?
> > 
> > I agree it's far from being a top priority item...
> Maybe I'm too oldfashioned, and yes, I'm also inhabiting 
> cyberspace, but I wonder if it has already become common 
> practice to put conference slides online *before* the
> event? 
> I understand visitors could prepare much better to ask
> mean questions during presentations, or be better able 
> to chose which one to attend, but some might decide not
> to come at all. 
> And then, there would be a missing ritual final bang to 
> start sharing the content with people who where not so 
> lucky to attend, but were eagerly waiting.
> Well, as I said, maybe I'm too oldfashioned...

I'm all for debating that point and will happily remove the slides I put
online if we agree we shouldn't. Here is my opinion :

There are over 30 talks in two and a half days. Logilab will have three
people there and we already know we will miss most of them, even with
three pairs of eyeballs and three different rooms, for we will spend time
discussing with people and presenting stuff at our booth. 

If we miss most of them, what about the people that will come alone ?

If we have to wait for the end of the conference to read the slides online
and realize that we shouldn't have missed a chance to chat with that
person that just flew back to india or the states or that instead of
attending that talk that we actually knew most of the content beforehand
we had better spend more time on our booth, we can't "optimize" the time
spent at the conference.

E-mail is a narrowband medium compared to face-to-face chat. IMHO, the
main advantage of a conference is to actually meet people. You don't need
to go to a conf to get a glance at slides, but if you want to ask
questions to the author or bounce ideas around, you pretty much won't get
away without going :^). Moreover, on one hand slides are not papers and
are not meant to convey as much and as detailed information and on the
other hand, people reading interesting slides could say "I wasn't planning
on attending, but I need to meet this guy".

My conclusion: the value of the conference is not as much in the slides
and talks themselves, but in the meeting of people and the large sharing
of information and opinions which cannot be done online. In a sense, not
putting the slides on-line is like telling attendees "we're organizing a
great event, but can't tell you publicly about the program because you
wouldn't get as great an edge on people that don't attend and don't pay to
learn about stuff like you are about to do".

Nicolas Chauvat

http://www.logilab.com - "Mais oł est donc Ornicar ?" - LOGILAB, Paris (France)