I’ve just been sent this excellent selection of slightly dangerous science videos, as part of an effort by the Institute of Chemical Engineers to persuade science teachers that health and safety is no barrier to bangs and giggles in the classroom. Some of them are rather good.
My best advice for you is to watch those videos and ignore everything I am about to say. I don’t like to mischaracterise myself as someone with spare flesh to waggle (it’s my defective personality, that’s a medical problem, and you’re not allowed to criticise me for it) but I struggle with their webpage, and because I’m bored on the coach on my way to give a talk to some medical students in Oxford about the crimes of big pharma, I’m going to paste up the email I just sent to the PR guy at the IChE.
[you didn't need that bit]
these are ace
here is some unsolicited PR advice from a nerd:
1. i would definitely blog this if i could embed the videos and link back to you
2. wtf is a “WVX” file, and why does it take so long to play on my computer? stream! flash?
3. why not let me as a viewer download them? you dont want to dissuade people from copying your work, that’s exactly what you’ve made it for.
4. why do i have to watch the intro on every single one?
4a. especially when they are slow to load, in a weird format, and not downloadable?
5. with that annoying library music
sorry about that. but those are nice videos, and they could be widely seen. hopefully someone will remix or re-edit them, and make something fun and easy to watch, and hopefully you will be good spirited about that, because they will be doing you a favour.
I know it’s boring, but time and again I find people doing potentially great things, and then shooting themselves in the foot at the final furlong by being all 1860s about it, bending over backwards to stop their message from getting out. They’ll have Twitter splashed proudly across the page, because someone’s told them it’s all cool, but no RSS feed for new content, and so on.
Now obviously I’ve become slightly interested in intellectual property issues over the past couple of weeks (and specifically in the rather self destructive views that many content providers seem to have on them). But for my own part, people often ask if they can lift bits of my book for their teaching or lectures, all worried, and I say: “yes please.”
I want to be plagiarised, I want you to steal my ideas, that’s exactly what they’re here for, and the same goes, with some vague caveats, for mainstream media. I’d prefer you to say where the stuff came from, so that people can find more of the same if they like it, but to my mind that’s a matter of panache rather than law or money. I’m not worried about income, I’m worried about being ignored by a bad old world that’s close to being an excellent one, and in fact, while we’re on that subject, when mainstream media outlets have lifted my ideas and passed them off as their own, it’s mainly annoying to me because they’ve done them in a slightly crap way (and how annoying is that?).
Right, apologies, as you were etc, time to fire up Powerpoint, here’s some more procrastination material for you before I go, but do watch the science videos as well. If you can be bothered to sit through the intro. Ten times. While you wait for the WVX file to get itself together. “10% buffering…” Nostalgic!