When Jason Scott began delivering his KansasFest 2009 keynote speech, Paul Zaleski leaned over to a committee member and asked, "Is anyone recording this?"
It was a simple and obvious question, but one that resulted in many foreheads being slapped. The quick deployment of a Flip camera captured Scott's keynote, but there was no other official effort made in that or previous years to create and publish a video record of KansasFest. The planning committee set out to make 2009 the last year this opportunity was overlooked.
The result: in 2010, nearly two dozen videos were captured and uploaded to Vimeo, all of them under Creative Commons, with the 2011 album currently under development. Although these videos are no substitute for actually attending KansasFest, they preserve the history and knowledge produced at the event and makes it accessible to those who, due to geographic, financial, or other reasons, cannot participate in KansasFest themselves.
In recent months, the committee has undertaken several changes to make this collection more discoverable. First, these files are now listed in our file archive; now you can find the audio and video of sessions right alongside the same handouts and presentation media the speakers used. (We've also broken the HackFest media out of this table and into its own.)
Second, we have begun duplicating our Vimeo library's contents to YouTube. Although Vimeo offers several benefits over YouTube, we believe the videos are more likely to be stumbled upon on Google's service. Choose whichever video channel you prefer!
Third, the Echoes of KFest audio podcast, which offers audio from past KansasFest sessions, is now complemented by the Echoes of KFest video podcast. With so many presentations dependent on visuals, you can now watch them as they were intended to be seen. These are the same video files that can be downloaded from Vimeo, except now you can conveniently subscribe via iTunes — although be prepared for some big downloads! Expect videos to be published regularly as we bring this channel up to date with our existing archives.
Finally, the best way to preserve any piece of history is to put it in as many hands as possible. It's insufficient for these videos to reside solely on KansasFest.org or even Vimeo.com. To correct that oversight, all KansasFest videos are now available from the Internet Archive, a non-profit library dedicated to the preservation of digital media.
KansasFest 2012 is already in the works, with the hope and intention for the event to continue for many years. Courtesy the above A/V efforts and repositories such as the Internet Archive, the record of KansasFest will exist for all to enjoy and reference for lifetimes to come.