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Live! Worldwide! Free! Java Mobile & Embedded Developer Days broadcast

Posted by terrencebarr on January 17, 2008 at 5:45 PM PST

One of my personal goals for the Java Mobile & Embedded Developer Days was to make this conference different from your average developer conference. Different with regard to the focus (deep mobile & embedded Java content), different with regard to the cost (very reasonable), and different with regard to way it is organized (by the community).

Another big different for me was the worldwide aspect of the community.  It is my strong belief that  any gathering that targets a worldwide audience must attempt to include remote participants. But strangely, most conferences today really only cater to local attendees. The folks around the world who don't have the time or money (or visa ...) to travel somewhere are basically shut out. As someone who works remotely I am painfully aware of that.

So from the start I wanted to break some new ground here. But how do you not only allow remote participants to passively view what's happening but go a step further and merge local and remote participants to allow interaction across the boundaries between the physical and the online world?

For months we've been experimenting with different approaches and technologies to achieve at least some degree of remote participation in a simple and effective manner. Today, I am very excited to announce that we've decided to broadcast the entire Java Mobile & Embedded Developer Days conference live, worldwide, and for free. Yep, that's right. Free. And not only will remote participants be able to view the live video streams of presentations, talks, and discussions but they can also interact among another and with the live sessions.

The technology that makes this possible is provided by ustream is extremely cost effective (free), very scalable (thousands of users), and provides additional tools to allow viewers to participate in an event in a meaningful manner via chat rooms, polls, and other ways. Instructions for viewing the conference are listed on the conference wiki.

This is going to be exciting - and it is a first for us. Now here's the caveat: We've had good experiences with the technology so far but using it in a live conference setting over two days is probably going uncover flaws and glitches. We'll give it a try and see how it goes - I think its worth it. If it works as planned it opens a whole new dimension of ways to bring together people. But please be aware that we are providing the service on a best-effort basis. Things will go wrong and we'll try to fix them but please be understanding. After all, it's the world of the continuous Beta, right? ;-)

Try ustream today and make sure your set-up is working so that you are ready to go on Wednesday.

See you next week - in person or online!

-- Terrence

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thanks for the video stream, I think it worked out quite nicely, and with a lot less effort from my side than sun's real video streams. ;)