In TKF, Unconference Book

Learning is a lot more fun when you enjoy what you are doing. Yesterday was a classic case in point. I wanted to have a conversation about the unconference book, especially what its all about and its progress and capture it on video and audio. It was an excellent lesson on video podcasting.

The Unconference book is seeing a slow but steady progress. Actually, a lot slower. But hey, none of us are pro authors or publishers. It’s hard enough coming to a decision with 5 folks in a single room. Now, imagine about 80 people from 10 different countries involved in the project. You get the picture. But its an awesome experiment and we are hell bent on finishing this project successfully. After all, it will indeed be the first ever book about unconferences and that’s a good thing to be a part of.

Now, back to talking about the fun recording.

I called up Sudhir Syal who has now taken on the baton of leading the book project from The Knowledge Foundation’s side. Sudhir is a nice conversationalist and a nice guy to be discussing the book project with. I also called up Kausik Ram, a super enthu fella who has a keen interest in video podcasting, especially on the technical side of things.

So, late last night, we hauled ourselves to Sudhir’s sprawling bungalow in one of Chennai’s poshest locales. After energizing ourselves with a refreshing lemonade, we got about setting the equipments in place. Nothing fancy. A Sony handycam erected on a tripod. For audio, I had my Edirol voice recorder on. We spent a few minutes finalizing the lighting, camera angles and chair positions.

That’s Sudhir on the left and me on the right. We are seen brainstorming about the unconference book. Sudhir is a pretty energetic chap who has shown interest in driving the book project. It was nice to find someone who is keenly interested in the project. There are many enthusiastic folks in the team but you need someone to hold the torch and lead the way. Sudhir with a strong journalistic background (Economic Times & The Hindu) and bountiful enthusiasm was a real good fit. It’s not easy but it sure as hell will be a great learning experience.

That’s Sudhir working on the notes and laying out the flow of conversation before we started recording it.

A view of points written by Sudhir. The handwriting was worse than a doctor’s and hence I had to ask Sudhir to write it neatly in caps for my reference.

We decided that instead of an interview, we will have a casual conversation about the book and each of us will ask relevant questions to drive the show along. The conversation went off very well. What was meant to be a 10 minute conversation extended to about 22 minutes , without us realizing how fast the time went by. We were quite engrossed. The conversation was quite high spirited. We were all quite happy with the way it turned out.

Kausik was an excellent sport. He played the patient cameraman capturing the conversation. We had just one camera but he made sure to get enough variety. He did good within the limitations.

The looks on the faces says it all. That’s Sudhir and Kausik rewinding the interview and checking out the video. It has come out decently well. The video still needs to get processed and edited. It’s going to take a few days time before the video and audio is going to be available. Will make sure to link it up from here when its ready.