Talking with Sir Tim Berners-Lee for iiNet

Still from video interview with Sir Tim Berners-Lee: click for the videoEarly this month I recorded a video interview with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, for internet service provider iiNet as part of their sponsorship of his TBL Down Under tour. That interview was published this week — and here it is.

Joining Berners-Lee and myself are Simon Hackett, founder of ISP Internode and all-round geek, and British actor, writer and comedian Robert Llewellyn, best known for playing the mechanoid Kryten in the TV science fiction comedy Red Dwarf.

We discussed Berners-Lee’s childhood trainspotting hobby, the NeXT computer on which he created the web, the politics of open standards and open data, the semantic web, the future of computer interfaces and why 3D interfaces didn’t take off — amongst many other things.

On a personal note, I found it interesting being involved in a corporate video rather than one for news media. Up front, there was a lot more stress (by others) about what my questions would be. Afterwards the edit, which I wasn’t involved with, had to be approved by Berners-Lee’s agents in London as well as iiNet. That presumably explains the long turnaround. Around 40 minutes of recorded material was trimmed back to a 20-minute interview.

In the news media, especially on a daily news cycle, I’d have prepared the interview questions the day of the interview. Then, once it was recorded, we’d have done a quick edit and it would’ve been online the next day.

Thank you, Pia Waugh, for recommending me for this gig. And, before anyone whinges, I haven’t embedded the video here because the videos on iiNet’s Freezone aren’t embeddable.

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