Realtime Notes vs. Tweeter Stream in Learning Design Summer Camp 2009

| 1 Comment
Since LDSC information center is heavily based on Wiki, I put my personal notes from the conference here so the community can easily find it.

As a side note, I find taking real time notes has its benefits, albeit their raw tendency.  For example, a few other attendees of the conference told me that these notes help them write their reflection.

The notes I'm taking are put into one single page.  In a sense, it's equivalent to the aggregation of people's tweets during the conference, i.e. as if we pull all the tweets that are tagged #LDSC09 chronologically.  However, there are some fundamental differences.

The most obvious difference is the carrier of the information. The ideas of presenters/panelists are written down by me in my notes, or the group in the tweeter stream.  Therefore, there will be difference in the points of view.  In my notes, as opposed to a word-for-word transcription, I choose what interest me the most and I use my own words to paraphrase it.  In the tweeter stream, we get each individual's view.  The likelihood of my missing some important information and my omitting something that I prioritize less is higher than the group's.

Another difference comes from the nature of such type of unorganized collaboration.  The group's (un-)collective tweets may contain a lot of duplicated information that makes it very laborious to read through the whole thing.  The twetter culture, at least from what I observe, is realtime (we care about what's tweeted just now more than anything in the past), one time (we rarely revisited anything we read before; if we forget something, we are likely to tweet again and ask somebody), tweeting more than listening (when I tweet, I don't really mind saying something that's also being said; I don't even bother to check), and optional (if I miss hudnreds of tweets because I wasn't online or I was working on something else, I skip them).  This is very close to the nature of news, where tweeter really shines.  I remember listening to a talk on Facebook's architecture and they said only the most recent feeds are stored in the memory because older feeds are rarely accessed.

One person's note is likely to be more concise and organized, thus more suitable for us to go back.  However, keeping notes throughout the whole conference, while trying to interact through tweeter or question tools, was definitely not an easy task for one person.

Is there any way for a group to efficiently take collective notes without heavy post-editing?  I think real-time collaborative editor has good potential if there can be a mechanism to solve duplication problem (for example, the timestamp records when the first keystroke is pressed, i.e. the moment the typer decides to react; and there can be some kind of queue, say, round-robin, to decide who to actually finish it.  The real-time subtitle on TV is probably done in this manner; I imagine there are probably two or three people taking turns transcribing).  Another compromised solution can be a feed reader that pulls out the tweeter stream with accurate timestamps, and then perhaps an interface to group them chronologically and let the editor easily pick/delete/merge individual tweets.

Here I am trying to find ways to capture what's happened in a conference.  But what about transcription from video or audio recording, by event participants, right after the event?  It seems to be the most complete and accurate way, but word-for-word transcription is too costly for both transcribers and readers.  Very few people find it necessary to attend the exact same conference more than once (by spending exactly the same time watching the whole thing on video again; or perhaps speeding up a little bit and listen to Donald Duck talking).  The transcription or the recordings are helpful for people who did not attend the event.  The idea behind such conference, however, is for a large group of people to meet, exchange ideas, and network for future collaboration.  People get what they need during the conference by active participation.  If they miss something and need it again, it's the time to use the network they build during the conference.

Now I come back to the more fundamental question: communication has its cost (we are distracted during the conference so we miss what's being said on stage; we forget what was said so what was said is in vain; etc.).  However, the process of making communication more efficient has its cost (post-editing, consolidation of ideas, or even typing organized notes without tons of typos), too.  This is actually the problem we are facing every day -- do we spend time to organize our desktop so we can (proabaly) work more efficiently?


1 Comment

Cole posted a very cool twitter annotation tool for video:
Basically it pulls twitter stream and transform it into a subtitle file and then embed the subtitle into video.

It actually adds value to a live recording since the viewers of the video not only see the presentation itself but also other participants' responses.

Leave a comment

Subscribe to receive notifications of follow up comments via email.
We are processing your request. If you don't see any confirmation within 30 seconds, please reload your page.

Search This Blog

Full Text  Tag

Recent Entries

Moving to Sites.PSU.EDU
I'm in the process of moving all contents to . All new contents will only be found there.…
Visualize PSU Blogger Behavior
I'm presenting the contents in LDSC 12 poster session. 11:50 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: "Gallery opening" in Zoller Gallery in the Visual…
Open Source Bridge 2012
Attending Open Source Bridge 2012 (OSB) was an experience beyond my original expectation. Besides learning about new technologies and the…