Experiments in Lifelogging, Part 9: Announcing it
I realise it's been a while since I wrote about my lifelogging experiments, so let me assure you that I'm still doing it. My defective Narrative Clip was swiftly replaced (thanks for the smooth handling, Narrative!). I've only "lost" a week and putting on the Clip whenever I leave the house has become second nature. I get a lot of routine shots, e.g. of the way to work, and the occasional remarkable one. The most interesting photos usually come from non-usual events.
A little over a week ago, I attended the annual ACCU conference in Bristol, UK. This is a 4-day conference for software developers that I've been going to for the last 12 years or so. In other words, it's a familiar audience. So I thought I'd see how they react to me announcing that I'm wearing a camera.
The conference has an evening slot for lightning talks, so I went ahead and prepared a very short (4 minutes) talk about it. It's available from Slideshare (with a transcript) and embedded below:
Now this was a "techie" audience, so, as expected, the general reaction of the about 400 attendees was more one of curiosity than rejection. Quite a few people came up to me on the following days (I gave the talk at the end of the second day, so there were two more days to go) and asked about technical details, but also what I was doing with the photos. Actually, what I do is find the occasional remarkable shot and save it (on my computer) or post it on Flickr (if it seems okay to do so) - and the rest, I never look at again.
(This photo, btw, was taken by the Narrative Clip while I was up on stage. It only shows the ceiling lights, unfortunately, so you can't see the audience's reaction.)
Overall, the reaction was friendly or at least neutral. I haven't had anyone complain or openly avoid me, as far as I can tell. Oh, and I gave another longer talk on the last day of the conference, during which I was, of course, wearing the camera. Nobody seemed to mind. I only got more of the curious questions.
I've posted some more snapshots from the conference over on Google+.
Not welcome here
That isn't to say that reactions are always this friendly. This weekend, I'm attending quite a different conference here in Stuttgart, where I live. It's organised by Germany's Chaos Computer Club and when I turned up at the pre-conference event wearing my Narrative Clip, it was immediately spotted and identified as a camera and I was told in friendly but stern terms that wearing it during this event isn't considered appropriate. So of course I'm not going to wear it.