Live At Streaming Media West

I don’t talk too much about my day job here, but some of you may have gleaned that I work in media production at the University of Illinois. I’d say my specialty is digital production and streaming. I’m lucky enough to have my bosses send me to the Streaming Media West conference in San Jose, CA.

It is an industry conference, but pretty low key (it’s no NAB). I’m here to catch up with what’s “state of the art,” and maybe see some interesting technologies first-hand. I’ll also be presenting on a panel about streaming in education.

Education folks typically go to education conferences, which is cool, but often light on the tech and big on the hype. That is, you hear from educators who are all really excited about the technology of the moment, like podcasting, but they’re often not tech savvy enough to say anything deep, and not critical enough to cut through the hype. Like all disciplines, there’s a real herd mentality to educational technology.

Now, I don’t expect SM West to be hype or herd-free, just different hype and herds. But it seems like a pretty diverse crowd–diverse in terms of the companies and institutions represented–so that may dilute the hype some.

There’s only a few education folks here, and I think most are on my panel. None are from big universities, so that should provide some relief from the big research university attitude and may reveal some more practical approaches.

After the conference I’m sticking around the Bay Area for a few days to catch up with friends and relax in a climate just a little nicer than Central Illinois.

BTW, one mini-rant. Why do expensive business hotels have to charge $10 a day for shitty-ass “broadband” access? Greedy bastards. Good thing the conference has free wi-fi set up (and it’s faster than the lo-fi $10 crap at the hotel).







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