On Friday 1st December 2006 I gave a talk on “Web 2.0: An Introduction” at a seminar organised by the CILIP UCRG (Yorkshire and Humberside Region). As I’ve been doing for the past couple of years my opening slide gave explicit permission for attendees to exploit networked application during my talk – for example, to Blog my talk, to discuss the talk with others using chat software or to record or broadcast my talk.
I was pleased when Sheila Webber, during her talk on Blogs and Blogging in Libraries, brought up her Blog page which showed that she had Blogged my talk. More accurately, I should probably say that I was pleased but slightly apprehensive! Sheila, however, said nothing in her Blog for me to be apprehensive about – but it did make me wonder about the etiquette of Blogging at events, and how possible conflicts should be addressed. From one point of view, if a WiFi network is available during an event, an attendee with a laptop or PDA would be inclined to make use of it to make notes, to follow up examples given during a talk, etc. To make notes on a Blog is, surely, not fundamentally different from making notes in MS Word. But I suspect from a legal perspective there may be differences. More importantly, though, is whether there will be felt to be differences from a cultural perspective. How will lecturers feel about students Blogging their talk? Will this become a frowned-upon activity, similar to using a mobile phone at an event?
I think I will continue to explicitly encourage openness by stating my views on the title slide of my talks. Is this something others seek to emulate, or am I in a minority?