Scripting News for 8/19/07

Pictures from BarCamp in Palo Alto 

In reverse-chronologic order…

Silona, hippie freak.

Newton Chan, professor, Foothill College.

Don Park, telling it like it is.

The house the HP garage is behind.

The famous HP garage.

Heather Harde, TechCrunch CEO.

Gaba Rivera, Techmeme.

Brian Salis.

Phil Wolff,

Meng Wong, VCs Suck.

Scott Beale & Lane Hartwell, schmoozing.

Chris Heuer.

Sarah Meyers, video journalist.

The beautiful Lane Hartwell.

Lane, objectified.

Brian Caldwell => Valleywag.

Andrew Baron of Rocketboom.

Dave Jacobs.

Ross Mayfield, SocialText.

Tara Hunt (Miss Rogue).

Blue Chalk Cafe.

Joyce Kim & Niall Kennedy.

Factory Joe on Open ID.

Why I don’t like all the video cameras 

In the past the ability to publish or be broadcast was prohibitively expensive, that’s why the publications and broadcasts of the past had to have business models, and that’s why those of us from the previous century always want to know how some blog or vlog or podcast is going to make money. We were trained to think that they had to, because they were so expensive to produce.

But today it’s nothing like that, and the everyday papparazzi are proving it. The video cameras are so cheap and so are Internet connections, we’re heading to a place where even the most casual of encounters may be captured and broadcast.

I want to live a more ordinary life, not one where I feel like a celebrity. People already expect too much of me, I never seem to live up to their expectations, that’s because they think I’m running for office or want them to buy my record or watch my TV show. I want none of that. Mostly I want to just be a normal schlub, sitting in the audience, maybe contributing something once in a while, and publishing my art on the Internet, for my own pleasure, and that of anyone who happens to be looking in.

Why mention this now? Why should you care? Because soon you’re going to have to decide whether you’re a celebrity or a schlub. And you may not have a choice but be a celebrity.

My request: If you point a camera at someone, ask for permission before you start recording, and if they say no, don’t turn it on, smile and say “No problem.”

8 responses to this post.

  1. Do you feel differently about photos than you do about video?


  2. Richard Feynman:

    And then I thought to myself, “You know, what they think of you is so fantastic, it’s impossible to live up to it. You have no responsibility to live up to it!”

    It was a brilliant idea: You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.


  3. Posted by Hanan Cohen on August 19, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    More questions following your post.

    “Celebrities” are people who are photographed and quoted just because they are famous. Non-celebrities are not.

    What will happen to celebrity-ness when everyone is photographed or quoted?

    What will happen to privacy?

    Are you entitled to privacy just because you are a non/celebrity?

    What will be the difference between celebrities and non-celebrities?

    Will there be a difference?


  4. It’s just common courtesy to ask someone if you can video them. I almost always do that, especially if I am going to interview someone.

    At PodCamp Boston all the attendees agree that by attending the conference they give their permission to be recorded. That works for general sessions where cameras are recording speakers and the audience.

    But if you have a video camera and want to go up and interview someone, you should at least introduce your self off camera and see if it’s ok with them.

    That’s what I do. As a matter of fact, at conferences, since everyone else is videotaping things, I usually do not shoot video.

    I usually take a lot of pictures.


  5. Posted by David Berger on August 20, 2007 at 4:54 am

    From a news perspective, there’s no difference between transcribing someone’s words in a public setting and publishing them (as a blog) and videotaping those same words in the same setting and publishing THAT… I really don’t see what Dave is driving at here. Can someone tell a print journalist – or blogger – “I didn’t speak very artfully; please don’t publish this?” Of course not.

    I guess the answer is, we’ll all have to buy better clothes and shave more often. : )


  6. I’m with David Berger on a rights basis.

    However, this does not disqualify social etiquette or convention.

    If someone makes it clear that they dislike being filmed, then it should also be clear to anyone filming them despite this that there may be social repercussions. All those who sympathise will mark down the reputations of the disrespectful, and mark up those who show respect.

    There is a difference between the actions that one should be prosecuted for and the actions that one may suffer opprobrium for.

    One may have minimal privacy in public, but that doesn’t sanction disrespect.


  7. Posted by ann greenberg on August 20, 2007 at 11:32 am

    What is captured in a video frame hardly represents “the truth.” Just as a pen can only attempt to capture truth…meaning is constructed within the confines of any particular medium. Those who are good at their medium understand that what they are representing only gestures at the truth, it cannot possibly ever convey it fully.

    Rating systems are just another silly attempt to “judge” others. I say embrace the fact of wide-spread proliferation of the video camera and connectivity being in the hands of the people is something that will cause us all to be more authentic (not self-censoring) at each moment in our lives, and much more forgiving of others — hopefully as users learn to ‘write’ video as well as they can ‘read’ it, the fact that someone else got ‘caught’ saying or doing something is not a big deal…afterall what falls outside of the frame is where the truth lies… (pun intended.)


  8. I can see you hosting “No Recording” parties. Blog from memory, but no audio, video or other-sense capture inside the front door.


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