Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shhhh... This place might be blogged.

Went to an industry gathering last night about – Well, I can’t tell you what it was about, we were sworn to secrecy.

Because I can’t tell you what it was about got me thinking about something, and so I’ll blog about that instead.

When the panel began, the representative of the place hosting it reminded us that there was no recording or pictures taken allowed. Before she could finish; the moderator of the panel made the point that ‘blogging’ would not be allowed. Repeating, ‘please don’t blog’.

It made me realize just how much has changed in personal recording devices and how they’ve been implemented over the years.

When my mother was in college, she thought there had to be a way to better study the teacher’s lectures.

So one day she wrote to RCA suggesting they provide her with a portable audio recorder, saying it would be an ideal way to help students study the class lectures if they could listen to it over again. She suggested that if she could have one it would help promote sales to other students once they saw how it worked.

Realize that at the time, even though it was battery operated and considered ‘portable’ this was a reel-to-reel tape recorder that came in its own briefcase like carrier.

The kind people at RCA wrote her back, and plainly said ‘No’. They had no interest, or believe that their recorder could be used in a classroom situation.

My parents eventually did buy a similar reel-to-reel device they used on a vacation trip.

Decades pass and the cassette tape is born. Another battery operated device we could carry but even it was too large to have sitting on your classroom desk. And the placement of the microphone was never good. (I use to record the audio of TV shows with that, this was before we got a VCR.)

That, in turn, led to me getting a mini-cassette recorder, and here’s where we get back to the subject.

I once attempted to use my mini-recorder in a class, but the teacher wasn’t too happy with it. But it turned out that all he wanted was for me to ask ahead of time and not just start recording.

There are places for recorders to be used, and there are placed for them not to be used.

These mini-cassettes turned out to be useful as I went to work on the college newspaper for when I did interviews with subjects. I interviewed comic book artists Brian Murray (Young All-Star’s, Supreme) who had been a student at the college a few years earlier, and science fiction writer James P. Blaylock who was teaching a class that semester.

The mini-cassette eventually was replaced with a digital recorder. Did the job nicely, but came along a little too late.

Now practically everyone has a digital recorder in their pocket or strapped to their belt. It’s called their cell phone. Hey, not only can you record the audio of a teacher’s lecture, you can record the video of him droning on and on while the students fall asleep. Then put it up on Youtube not just for your own use and for other students to study by, but to be watched by the rest of the world as well.

We have so gotten away from the intent of my mother’s original idea of being able to have her teacher’s lecture at hand when she needed to study for the exam.

Now there is an expectation that there will be a recorder of some device in every gathering of more than two people.

Cellphones are ordered turned off not because of that terrible ring-tone you have, but because you might well be recording something.

Signs are put up everywhere with the order that all recording devices can not be used while in this building or listening to that speaker, or watching a clip of an as yet unreleased movie. Heck, when on a movie lot I have to leave my phone in the car because people are so paranoid that the smallest video clip will leak out. Not that they’re wrong in their thinking, but I would have liked to have had my phone. I never use the camera anyway, right.

But even with the order that we can’t use our recorders, things have gone even further than that now.

“Please no blogging.” Live blogging? How is that even possible? It’s hard enough for me to take notes during a panel discussion, let along put it all out in some coherent fashion on to the web, live.

But it does happen.

All you Mac fanatics I am certain were watching the streaming live blogs a few months back as Steve Jobs talked about the latest released of the iPhone, iPad, and MacTV. Remember how he attempted to show off the wireless feature of the camera feature on the iPhone? Remember how it didn’t work? Remember how he had to plead with the audience for everyone to stop Live Blogging because it was slowing down the wifi of the building and he couldn’t do his little presentation? There was so many bloggers there all writing about the exact same thing, that they became part of the story themselves.

So in our little secret panel discussion of last night the moderator was more concerned that secrets would be leaked out in a live blog than they would be through an audio or video recording off your iPhone.

That’s the world we live in now, everything (including this) ends up on a blog.

Beware the power you wield.

Shhhhh… the place maybe bugged – or is it blogged?

And there’s my blog for the week, it’s still Thursday on the West Coast.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

“Four Names of Creative Professionalism”

And not yet live-blogging.

No comments: