On a few occasions in recent years, talks I gave at a conference or workshop were recorded. I would have preferred not to be recorded, but I didn't mind enough to refuse to be recorded, and I knew in advance that I would be recorded. I could have opted out via a webpage form, but I did not do so.
At least one of the recordings was of a talk that turned out well, so I don't mind that this video exists. But somewhere out there on the internet is a video of me standing at a podium and reacting to the news that my talk does not exist in the symposium computer system. Somewhere out there on the internet in the same video there is a dramatic scene in which a tall scientist from a Slavic country stands up and loudly proclaims that he knows for a fact that my talk was uploaded to the system the day before. Then there is an action scene in which I rush to the place where I had left a briefcase containing a memory stick, which I then give to the A/V person to upload (again). Then I start giving the talk without any images until they miraculously appear and eventually I get caught up. For some reason I have never wanted to watch this video. The actual memory is still quite vivid enough for me.
In any case, I am OK with certain talks and lectures being preserved for educational purposes or for logistically necessary reasons, but for routine talks, I'd rather the experience be a fleeting one for both the audience and me. If someone wants to know more about anything I present, wants a copy of a slide, wants a reference or a pdf, they can let me know.
And now I have some questions for my readers about the general topic of being recorded while giving a professional talk.
Have you ever been recorded (video and audio) when giving:
- a conference presentation (either an invited one or a regular contribution);
- an invited talk at a university or college; and/or
- an interview talk?
If so, did you know about the recording well in advance? (i.e., not 5-10 minutes before you started talking, as happened to one of my correspondents).
What happened to the video of your talk? Was it put on the internet to reside forever for all to see, was it put on the internet so that a specified group of people could view it (e.g., members of a professional society, registrants at a conference), or was it for the private and temporary use of (for example) hiring committee members who could not be present for an interview talk?
Was it OK with you to be recorded? Were you asked permission? If you did not want to be recorded, did you feel comfortable about saying no? (Did you say no?)
2 months ago