Vijay Vazirani's recent post
about video submissions made me think about the obvious, noncontroversial things that we're not doing. I suggested we should start recording conference talks and put them on the web first, to which I got the reply that this was a "no-brainer." Well, then, it's all the more hard to understand why it isn't being done.
The majority of technical paper presentations are not
at conferences. Rather, they're given in small rooms of perhaps a dozen people at universities/corporations. However, a paper presented locally is by no means a worse presentation than one at a conference (in fact, it's often a lot better because you can't cover much in 20 minutes at a conference.) Why, then, aren't these talks published?
One answer is that corporations probably view talks as IP and therefore won't share them with the world; that's understandable. And universities can be behemoths when it comes to these things; setting up video equipped rooms and scheduling talks can take forever to get past the the red tape. So, why not take matters into our own hands
The incentive is there: a paper with an accompanying video is sure to get much greater visibility. The cost is pocket change: everyone and their dog has a webcam these days. The quality is going to be shitty, but what do you really need more than webcam quality for?
So here are my questions:
- Are there any CS departments where talks are routinely put on the web through official channels? (Kind of like MIT opencourseware for research talks.)
- Is there anyone doing it on their own?
- Do anyone know of publicly available software to integrate the video with the slideshow? I've listened to a talk in this manner and it's super-awesome: you can navigate based on either the slideshow or video and it stays in sync automatically.
Coincidentally, some commercial efforts targeting "cerebral" uses of online video have been in the news
recently. (For instance, fora.tv
.) These aren't crucial, since we all have access to good hosting bandwidth, but it's nice to know they exist; it probably suggests that online tech talk video is about to gain critical mass.