Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Post-event blog-up: "Youtube and beyond" by Kevin Lim

I counted 60 people. My colleague counted 61.
Practically Full-house

Prior to the talk, Kevin said he'd be happy with 20. I said that's nothing. I'd expect nothing less than 50. His popularity was on the line. Guess he's got nothing to worry about now. :)

Four or five people showed up at 6pm. The rest streamed in by 6.50pm and by 7.15pm, the room was almost full.

Kevin explains his setup to the early birds
Kevin explains his setup to the early birds

Kevin's videocasting equipment (click on image to see notes)
Kevin's videocasting equipment

Siva doing his Skitch thang. I wonder what they were more interested -- the Skitch app he's showing, or curious to see what's on his Mac Book Pro desktop.
Siva doing his Skitch thang
But I digress. Skitch is a cool app. Siva's photoset has some mug-shots ala meet-up style, shot and annotated using the app. Boy, do I look ugly! (I bet that made you want to look, right? Since you're at it, check out the nicer looking librarian there, heh.)

Half the room was filled about five minutes before the talk started. You see some people raising their hands 'cos Kevin was doing a quick poll on the number of people who did videos, photos, and blogs.
5mins before the talk starts

The poll results: Videos (5 people, or 20% 4 people, or 16%); Photos (40%); Blogs (50%)
How many people...

Brennan the Video-boy! Brennan gamely helping Kevin record the event by putting on Kevin's Wearable Cam.
Brennan the Volunteer Videoman

Lots of videos being demo-ed. Here's one showing Ben. I couldn't help but take this shot, where it's almost like Ben and Kevin were singing a duet! LOL (click on image to see notes)
What's Ben doing?

Some librarians who turned up (click on image to see notes). It was nice to see colleagues attending the talk, on their own time after work.
The Librarians

One observation I had was the audience's profile. Most seemed to be in their late 20s to mid 30s. No teenagers as far as I could tell. That could be a reflection of the readership that Kevin has. Or that teens generally don't care about such topics. Where videos and photos are concerned, they just want to "shoot and scoot" rather than worry about what's out there.

The flow of Kevin's delivery was excellent, especially at the beginning. Between 7pm to 7.15pm, it felt like he'd covered almost an hour's worth of material but yet it didn't feel overwhelming.

But nearer to 8pm or so, I felt Kevin was dragging and going into "lecturer-mode". I was waiting for more things to be shown on screen but he seemed more intent on talking and reinforcing some point. I wanted to signal him to speed things up, but thought it might be rude to do so. Anyway, I tend to fall into that trap as well -- when you feel you're on a roll and you explain away, when actually brevity is best.

My colleague, Wai-"I look quite nice"-Ling, remarked that the technical section took too long, considering that not many were into video to fully appreciate the technicalities of video encoding. In those instances, I think the speaker really has to just sacrifice the minority's interest (just be prepared to incur Siva' wrath though!)

I thought the Creative Commons discussion was quite important and more time could be devoted to it. But at some point, the discussion got carried away and I think that lost the attention of some of the audience.

That part was perhaps the only thing I was "disappointed" with the talk -- that people still didn't leave with a clear understanding of what CC really is, and what it isn't.

At one point, the discussion seem to suggest that with CC, you were "giving up some of your rights". I wanted to jump in and say that wasn't necessarily true (contrary to some CC statements). I thought CC was more about informing your potential users what rights you were willing to accord to them, rather than the current implicit understanding that "All Rights Reserved" and you had to ask for permission by default.

Anyway I didn't jump in and offer my comment, since I'm not a CC or copyright expert. In any case, I doubt if more verbal deliberations would shed light on it, 'cos copyright might be poorly understood in the first place.

It might have been better to just show a video from the CC website. Like this one.

But I'm just niggling here. The flow was good, and the content was excellent. No complaints from me. There's enough new things being introduced, and in a non-technical way.

You can refer to Kevin's "presentation" here (it's a list of URLs). Watch this space for the webcast.

Oh, here's my favourite picture of the evening. A senior citizen (!) who plonked himself right at the front to listen to Kevin (click on image to see notes)
The oldest guy in the room (see top right)

Caption, anyone? : )


  1. Haha, thanks for the criticism... which helps me reinforce a point: One man's junk is another man's treasure.

    1. The Creative Commons discussion would have been a class on its own, so I left links for people to explore on their own.

    2. Siva and people I promised, loved the technical bits, while some might not be so into it.

    3. While 60 people might be one way to measure success, it also means having to be more broad than in-depth since I couldn't afford to focus too long on a specific topic.

    Thanks again for helping to host this. The talk was a personal birthday present for myself, where giving was the best gift I could receive.

  2. WaiLs1:09 am

    @Caption: Hmmm, did he just tell us to "Talk to the Hand"?!

  3. Hmm, we all forgot your birthday, would have been a great way to end, singing you a birthday song and getting thrown out of the library doing it.

    Should have told Ladybug, she'd have remembered! Happy belated birthday Kevin!

  4. The technical bits was so short!!!

    After polling that 4/60 post video, should have asked who intends to post video after this. Or have asked at end of the talk. I didn't think of that then.

    But yeah with 4/60, what you gave for the techy part was plenty. Enough for me to get an initial grasp. No to try out - I have some new and old video of dolphins from Southern Islands to work on!

  5. Yes, I also agree that Creative Commons is important. Is it possible to have another session just on Creative Commons?

  6. Anonymous4:23 pm

    Quoting "My colleague, Wai-"I look quite nice"-Ling"

    hm...I thought Wai Ling has always looked VERY nice? Cool looking with dyed hair, Ella (of SHE) lookalike, smart and articulate girl...Wai Ling is a bright librarian destined with a brighter future at NLB!!! hee hee...

    Hi Ivan, please send my regards to Wai Ling...we were classmates last semester.....looking forward to seeing her again when semester starts!!!

  7. I have missed quite a bit as I wasn't there that evening...Thanks for the overview of what happened that day.

    I will be more interested in knowing more about Creative Commons than other components in the talk.

  8. I agreed with Kevin... "The Creative Commons discussion would have been a class on its own"

    Maybe, you can invited the Business Law or Law librarian. They are more specailised in this. In fact, lawyer is better if they can come and join in.

    Well, keep me update, I will see what I can help and contribute from my knowledge.

  9. Hey Ivan - I'm sorry I missed the session. Urgent work came up at the last minute or else you would have had another senior citizen sitting in the front row too :) Anyway, Digital Life sent someone down to the talk. Did they run anything on it after that? I didn't check.

  10. Hi Vara, I'm not sure 'cos I didn't check the papers either. I don't think they did or else I'd be hearing about it.


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