My RSS reader (Feedreader) recently delivered to me a post on the eFoundations blog in which Pete Johnston mentioned that a “nice overview of RDFa and its potential applications, mostly here looking at Javascript client-side stuff” was available as an hour-long video clip on YouTube.

Video of a talk on RDFa

The video was, I believe, of a researcher who was giving a talk at a conference. He had a message he wished to communicate (of the value of RDFa) and, as he wished to maximise the impact of his message, was apparently willing for a video of his talk to be taken and subsequently made freely available.

In a recent post I described how Slideshare can help to maximise the impact of a researcher’s ideas, and Andy Powell has described how Slideshare was helping him to reach a large audience for one of his recent talks on Web 2.0 and repositories. Andy suggested that recording an audio commentary to accompany the slides would be even better, but acknowledged that he probably didn’t have the time to do this.

But seeing the above video clip, makes me wonder whether we should be encouraging videoing of talks, rather than the audio. And rather than attempting to do this for oneself or expecting the organiser of an event to provide a videoing service, perhaps all that’s needed is a colleague in the audience with a lightweight video device. And a blog post from Matt Jukes alerted me recently to the Flip F260N-UK Video Ultra Series Digital Camcorder, available from Amazon for about £100.

The approach I’d like to take the next time I give a talk (or if I find a speaker who’d be willing to be recorded) would be for the friendly face in the audience to video the talk, and also to have a laptop with the slides with a screen recording application (such as Camtasia or Jing) running. The video can record the speaker (which would be advanced by the helper) and the audio, which would then be in sync with the slides.

Of course the speaker would need to agree to this (and I feel should have the option to veto subsequent reuse of the recording if things go wrong). But as we found at last year’s IWMW 2007 event, many plenary speakers are happy for their talks to be recorded. And providing access to both an audio commentary of he slides and a video of the speaker might provide a richer experience for the audience. Or is this just using the technologies for their own sake?