Some discussion recently came up when the SLCC organizer announced their media and community rules. Now the most discussion was actually about the community rules which are of course more or less common sense. The only thing I worry about is that if there’s a reason to print them out there might be something wrong with the audience. It’s the same problem I have with places where there are lots of CCTVs – instead of feeling secure I feel more insecure because there seems to be a reason why you need them.
IMHO a simple friendly reminder that people should be respectful in whom they make photos of might have been enough. It should be clear to everybody anyway that they should not damage any property and that the organizers have the right to remove people from the conference if they misbehave.
The rules for journalists
Now what worries me more are the rules about doing media coverage. Any recording of the panels and tracks is prohibited and only Phreak Radio has an exclusive contract to record and rebroadcast these.. Now I am very very very unhappy about that.
I couldn’t attend SLCC last year and thus was sitting at home in front of my computer in Second Life and watching it there with some friends at Timeless’ house. Of course not everything was streamed and the stream wasn’t always on but you had at least an idea of what was happening there, could see some people on the stage and so on. Still I though some more coverage might be nice.
So this year I am attending and thought about making all better, help with filming the panels, try to get as much footage out of it as possible to share with those not being able to attend. I also thought about doing a ustream.tv or blogtv.com coverage attempt if bandwidth and time allows (as there isn’t an official video stream this year).
But with the recent announcements I can forget that. That’s very sad indeed as I usually want to share the cool stuff I see with others and hopefulle discuss it with them. In this case I think it’s even more important for those not being able to attend. Additionally it spreads the word about Second Life and what it is all about. So IMHO the door for people who want to jump in should be as wide open as possible and not closed.
And there is another point. Jennifur Peregrine says in this comment that “some track leaders have expressly stated that they do not want their panels or tracks videotaped”.
Now I wonder what sense does that make? Do you have something to say? Do you want to reach the biggest possible number of people or not? I think you should! And I think people would want to listen. And they want to attend as much as possible even if they are not able to make it.
Summarizin I think if this is a community convention and the word “community” does not only mean those 400 attending but the whole SL community (not everybody has the money to come nor is there space for all of them), then media coverage should be as open as possible.
This stuff needs to be shared on every possible channel by every possible person in their respective communities. Make it findable on YouTube, on flickr, on blip.tv, on ustream.tv etc. Moreover this does not really fit into these YouTube/Creative Commons/Open Source times..
As Nicholaz Beresford notes here: “Well, being an cc/open-source/tekkie type I’m sure not thrilled by these kinds of rules. But trying to gain control over content is Zeitgeist, but I think it is an uphill battle and the problem will solve itself.”
Unfortunately we have to wait for that a bit more.
There are also some questions which I still would like to know more about:
- Will the sessions be videotaped at all? (If so I hope they have a camera person who also zooms in sometimes. Would make it more useful)
- Will the footage be released? (of course without the “forbidden” footage)
- Why actually is there an exclusive contract with Phreak Media? Why not let everybody help spreading the word?
- What are these union regulations all about? Are people not allowed to film what they want at their own conference? Why doo other conferences do not have these problems?
I also think that video is important btw. It gives a better feeling if what was going on there. MP3 is also ok but more as additional medium maybe.
All in all Second Life stands for me as extension of Web2.0 but it seems at least the convention is not really in that tradition. To me it sounds a bit too much regulated and more like “commercial” but not like “community”.
Now I don’t want to make the surely big amount of work of the organizer not bad or so just this regulations don’t feel that open to me as Second Life feels. Maybe I am also not used to such restrictions. I usually visit Barcamps and Open Source conferences such as EuroPython, Plone Conference, Sprints etc. and media coverage was never a problem. In the case of barcamps it’s even part of the whole thing. So maybe it’s just my expectation that the SLCC is sort of the same thing and this was wrong.. Certainly it’s not the future of media.
Update: Jennifur commented on Pownce that some negotiation with Phreak Radio might take place tonight. Will keep you posted.