Richard Wallis left Talis (my former employer) last month, and has set up as a consultant at DataLiberate. In this short podcast, Richard shares some of his thoughts on data, semantics, and ‘the power of the link.’

Our conversation is also an excuse for an experiment. I have been producing audio-only podcasts here and elsewhere for a number of years, but have always tended to avoid producing video. It’s more effort, it requires more bandwidth at both ends of the conversation, and I’ve never really been convinced that it adds very much to a conversation between two people. Anecdotal evidence would also suggest that my current podcasts are consumed in environments where video would not work; washing dishes, walking dogs, and sitting on buses.

However, rather than just continue to presume that my biases are correct, I’ve decided to give video a try. Richard kindly agreed to participate, and the result is available on YouTube and embedded here.

An audio-only version is also available for download if you prefer. The introductory remarks in this version are slightly different to those on the video, as they come straight from the original conversation.

It’s perhaps unfair to draw too many conclusions from this first attempt, but a few things are immediately apparent. The whole process takes an awful lot longer. The files are larger, so processing and uploading times increase 2-3 fold. Uploading a separate audio file also takes a bit of time. Simply dumping the Skype recording into iMovie worked just fine… but I’ve (so far) not managed to find any way to balance the audio levels. Garageband lets me do this with my audio-only podcasts, but iMovie doesn’t seem to, so Richard’s side of the conversation comes across as quite a bit louder than mine.

Having done one, I’m still not convinced that the video adds anything to the conversation. But what do you think? If you’ve listened to any of my podcasts, please take a moment to complete the short survey over at SurveyMonkey. Your responses will help me to decide where to go next.

Many thanks.