Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Microsoft Begins Posting "Proceedings" Docs for PDC Sessions

Microsoft has started posting an accompanying document for each 2008 PDC session, containing a detailed content summary, links, and indexes (into the video stream) for demos.

These docs, called "proceedings," had been part of the plan to publish the PDC content this year, and it's nice to see them showing up alongside the slide decks and full-length session video streams that had already been posted.

While not full transcripts, or even detailed outlines, the information value of these docs is far higher than the full-length videos (per minute of attention investment), so I highly recommend them if you have interest in any of the newest Microsoft technology.

Docs, transcripts, and outlines seem to be a more efficient way to present content for multicast consumption than live video. While full-length web video is cheap and easy to produce, it wastes an enormous amount of time on the viewer side. Instead of reading/scanning the content as fast as the reader likes, he or she must sit through the lower-information-density spoken content and -- what's worse -- is forced to do so in a linear fashion. The time loss is then multiplied by all of the viewers ...

If an employer is paying for your time watching videos -- whether they be technical sessions, product demo videos (all the rage now), or so-called webinars -- then perhaps it's nice to sit back, have a cup of tea, and go into watcher mode.

But if you're investing your own time/resource/productivity into acquiring some knowledge, it's nice to (1) be able to do it at your own reading pace and (2) be able to skim/scan sections of less value at high speed and pop out into 'careful reading mode' as necessary.


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