• Written by: Marko Samastur
  • Published on:
  • Category: Catchall

I like going to conferences as I find them a really good way to get introduced to a bunch of topics I don't know enough about. For various reasons I only went to two this year. Instead I have collected links to talks I was interested in. However I really dislike watching presentations on my computer, so I haven't seen any of them until recently. I never get nearly as much out of them as when I listen in a dimly lit conference room.

Hence I recently tried to replicate conference experience at home. I have downloaded the talks1 and dedicated a full day to watching them. It was brilliant. I especially liked:

  • that I could focus very much as I can at conferences
  • it is cheap and comfortable as I don't need to travel farther than our living room
  • line-up perfectly matched my interests
  • I could skip uninteresting talks easily without wasting time
  • that speakers would wait for me in mid-sentence if necessary when I needed more time

However not everything is better and there are aspects I have missed:

  • not all interesting talks are publicly available
  • discussions about talks or ideas provoked by talks with other attendees
  • (ab)using power of pausing talks may interfere with your uptake as it can fragment talk's narrative
  • meeting new people (which as an introvert I don't do much anyway)

Of these I miss discussions the most. Fry recently came up with a cool idea of starting a (video) talk "book club". The idea, which obviously needs a better name, is to meet fortnightly or so and have a discussion around talk everyone agreed to listen beforehand. It seems like a well balanced proposal to me, but I am curious to hear what others think about. Who would be interested in?

  1. What's the benefit that couldn't be solved differently of publishing videos on public website but preventing their download?