Wednesday, June 11, 2003

From the In Box: Weblog Business Strategies 2003

Saw your blog on the Jupiter blogging conference and I was blown away. I was there covering it for Econtent Magazine and took copious notes for two days when all I needed to do was go to your blog. Who knew?

What I want to know is how you were able to capture the exact content word for word? What did you use for a tool?

I take notes and record all my interviews. My goal has always been to tape and than translate the transcription into text and avoid the notes backup which interferes with my ability to listen and to carry on a coherent train of thought during the interview. Unfortunately, I've never been able to find decent speech recognition software to achieve this goal. They all require training, which I can do for myself but not for every different interview subject.

You seem to have found a way to capture the text verbatim. I know of no one who can type with this type of accuracy so I'm assuming you have a tool to capture and translate text on the fly. If you do, I would be grateful if you would share your toolset with me.
-- Ron Miller

I wish I could help! It's just that I type really, really fast. So fast, in fact, that I'm able to capture near-verbatim, real-time transcripts of conference sessions and talks. I call this confblogging, and my approach -- the almost-full transcription method -- resulted from some confblogging I did at South by Southwest earlier this year. I didn't want to compete with Cory Doctorow's more impressionistic, outline-oriented approach to note taking, and I decided to err on the side of more rather than less. People seem to appreciate it.

Anil Dash mentioned something interesting at the Weblog Business Strategies conference. There were a lot of people blogging the event, and in addition to people commenting on the conference as the days went on, folks such as Denise Howell and Donna Wentworth were also capturing relatively complete records of the proceedings. Anil said that for the most part, Denise and I were neck to neck in the earlier portions of presentations and panels -- and that as talks progressed, it was intriguing to see where our attentions waxed and waned. I haven't compared our reports, but for a more complete picture of what went down, you might want to read Media Diet, Denise, and Donna in parallel. My guess is that together, we produced an almost-verbatim record of the event.

While I have no idea how fast I type, even, I'm quite enamored by the idea of confblogging. It creates a valuable archive of speeches and conversations that would be lost otherwise, and it seems to provide a valuable service to people who couldn't make it to a conference. I received several emails from people who were following the event from afar solely by refreshing their page view of Media Diet. That's pretty darn cool. And it's a nice bit of egoboo for this B-list blogger.

Media Dieticians might also be interested in my confblog of Fast Company's recent RealTime gathering.

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