Submitted by StephenK on September 12, 2008 - 7:29pm
Sometimes it is appropriate to talk about the technology used in production. Why? Some days I would much rather serve as the pathfinder for others rather than have most in the profession engaged in the Sisephean task of reinventing the wheel.
Out of the production team, one member of the team is in Ohio on leave while two will be able to attend the conference. The production engineer is the only one with media credentials for the conference. In the lobby outside the south hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center is where I will hiding out as I have no badge.
I wish I could pull off a bit akin to "Blazing Saddles" to get in the door. For this, badges are quite needed. I will be in the background for this.
We're putting a non-librarian out on the floor. That was not my choice but I have to live with who had the successful badge application. I applied for badges for the whole team, it should be noted. While Blake and I can both advise the person on the show floor about possible topics we could use all the advice possible. The engineer cannot keep running off the fairly big floor to the areas outside to ask me what to do so any suggestions of inquiry areas will help.
Most, but not all, of the tools we are planning to take:
1. 2 laptops with their necessary accessory components
2. One ICD-P620 Sony voice recorder
3. One condenser microphone
4. Headset for reviewing audio recordings
5. Diagnostic & Repair tools as needed
We won't be ready or able to do video work. With only one person on the floor that isn't really feasible either. When Pixelcorps filmed at New Media Expo they had to have multiple crew members involved. While their most expensive piece of equipment was the portable LED-based light, it still was a two-person minimum matter.
We have the capacity for audio reports to be recorded on the floor. While our person on the floor is recording, I will be outside editing. As the recent techcrunch50+2 showed, banking on having usable WiFi is not necessarily a viable proposition. As such, we will have no way to receive feedback while at the show. This is why Blake's post noted that there is a deadline to get feedback before we have to go get media credentials. Once the show starts and we are there, it will be the engineer's judgment supplemented by my advice.
The information gathering strategy we have is something librarians might not be used to. The first round will involve having the engineer out on the floor without a voice recorder but with a writing utensil and a notebook observing. After that we'll review things against inquiry priorities that were established beforehand as well as any suggestions I may give.
Once that is done the engineer returns to the floor to make the rounds while occasionally bringing me back audio files to review. My purpose in reviewing the audio files would be to see if follow-ups were needed. On the second day such would also include hopefully getting started on editing work so that the podcast can be released on time.
BlogWorldExpo is a very rich environment full of vendors that offer things to libraries and librarians. With recent attempts at incarnating a Library 2.0 culture using such tools, representatives of the vendors libraries rely on will be available. These will not be vendors specific to the library profession by any stretch of imagination.
As libraries and librarians start to reach beyond our own little niche, though, we eventually do have to engage with the world around us. What we are trying to do is to produce something that meets the needs of librarians rather than general tech reporting offered by an outlet like CNET. CNET has a general audience and that has worked for them well enough to where they have been bought by CBS. LISTen really doesn't serve a general audience so it behooves us to focus on what the audience wants to learn. Who knows? Perhaps someone might suggest an area of inquiry that CNET would not follow up on?
While this may seem hideously complex, it really isn't. This is the way news-gathering and reporting happens. The only reason it seems to be complex is that we are trying to be open and transparent about such so that others can learn. Look at LISTen as being akin to a teaching hospital without a Dr. House rambling around the halls. If someone was really interested in doing so, this would be an easily adapted strategy for covering ALA Mid-Winter by folks other than LISTen perhaps.
Feel free to ping us as Blake describes