[EuroPython] Videography

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Wed Apr 2 02:13:48 CEST 2008

Just wanted to say I really appreciate the effort that
was put in to getting these Chicago Pycon talks
archived to digital media in that high bandwidth file
format we call MPEG, MOV, WMV or whatever we
call it.  A typical 30 minute talk yields a file of over
7 gigabytes on this hotel venue's equipment.

I know this added dimension is a huge logistical
undertaking, and having experienced Vilnius on
the ground (loved it) would have to say POV has
a lot on its plate already, so why not contract with
a professional videography company (VOV?).

Not saying that's in the budget, just saying it takes
a lot of equipment and labor and isn't something for
just volunteers, even if you get volunteers to help.
Or maybe I'm wrong.  If enough people bring their
own video cameras and tripods, it could all happen
spontaneously?  Let's just say I'm skeptical.

Here's another idea though:  if video is impractical,
go for good audio uptake, which you need anyway
if you have big rooms and want decent projection,
i.e. you'll need a mic anyway, so definitely grab
the audio.  Then let individual speakers take their
voice tracks and go back to add video themselves,
using whatever open (or closed) source magic.

Given geek talks so often involve diagrams, source
code, flow charts, comical interjections, it's not
really a distance shot of the podium, some speaker
pacing back and forth, that's most informative anyway.
That being said, sometimes the physical delivery
*is* a big part of it, so don't let my bias in favor of
"cartoons" overly interfere (I call where I live "Toon-
Town" and consider cartoons a primary medium).

I'm very appreciative of the Pycon2008 channel
on YouTube and the opportunity it affords me to
(a) develop a larger audience for my own talk
(session 53) and (b) catch up on talks that I
missed, many of which had content of great
interest to me, but I could only get to so many
in such a viciously parallel environment (someday
we should try a conference with only one track
-- only keynotes -- everything else Open Space
ala BarCamp (self-organizing -- or not).

Anyway, I'm selfishly interested in Vilnius getting
media coverage, simply because I'm an avid fan
of EuroPythonistas and their multifarious (nefarious?)
activities.  Vicarious Vilnius is better than no Vilnius.

Plus even if I'm there, I like seeing the experience
shared with a wider audience.  We talk a lot about
wanting a more diverse group of attenders, gender-
wise, agewise or whatever.  Well, chances are a lot
of wouldbes and/or wannabes will make up their
minds based on what's on YouTube or whatever,
just as they do re other "tourist destinations".  For
this reason, it's good to have all that Flickr fallout
after every event.  Those savvy enough to follow in
this way are among those we'd like to recruit as
new Pythoneers, why not.

Just today I discovered the holdenweb lookback
at the 2007 Pycon in Texas, which I missed, and
found myself admiring what a difference videography
might make, when it comes to attracting more people
to open source in general, not just Python.


Also, I've been chatting with Julie at O'Reilly about
a subscriber service that'd help geeks with their
home office screencasting (mathcasting a subtype).
Why reinvent the same wheels over and over?
Think clipart.


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