You cofounded Cadmore three years ago. What was the impetus? What factored into your decision to focus on streaming media?
I’ve been working with societies for many years in my role as a consultant and I’m always impressed by the concentration of the greatest minds in a subject area that a society can represent. Societies today need to find new mediums for communication that will allow them to diversify their income and significantly improve their global reach, connecting those scientists around the world. It struck me a few years ago me that video and audio content can achieve both of those goals in various ways, and societies have a unique access to their community which allows them to create the very best of resources. Video is still new in scholarly communication, and while some of the very largest organisations can create video products themselves, that leaves thousands of others who could do with a helping hand.
And now you’re focusing more on Cadmore, with the closure of your consultancy, Renew. What areas of the business are you hoping to expand? Will consulting be a part of the offerings?
I’ve always seen myself as a product inventor and creator, and what makes me happiest is sitting down with clients and working with them to invent something! At the outset you never really know where a conversation is going to take you; there are so many variables around mission, audience, needs, and money that no two conversations are ever the same. Going through a consultative process with a client to work out how we can help and if we are the right fit for what they need is something I certainly intend to do more of in the future.
What are some trends you’re seeing across the board with streaming media in this space?
For the great majority of societies, we are at the experimental phase of using streaming media in communication and learning, but one thing that most have in common is that all of a sudden, they possess a large body of video content via online events. Some societies are using that content as a means to extend conference engagement and some are building archives of the content to sell and reach new markets. With Covid occurring at the same time as an increasing urgency to tackle climate change, it’s hard to imagine that events will ever go back to solely in-person events on the same scale as before. Virtual events clearly have a long-term future. This opens up several new opportunities in scientific communication, where perhaps conference presentations of new science become the new rapid communications model, and where events can have a truly global audience. There are a growing number of societies that are recognizing this.
What is a common misunderstanding or mistake societies make when approaching streaming media?
As I said, I’m a product inventor, and although not a mistake as such, some organisations see streaming media as a means only to enhance existing products instead of embracing a wider agenda for streaming media, and the new opportunities and products that can be created using the technology.
What will 2022 and beyond look like for Cadmore?
Cadmore is an exciting organization to work for, rapidly developing new services, solutions, and features and growing a client base with diverse and interesting applications. I can only imagine continued rapid growth! Events are big for us, certainly, but we are also adding clients who are creating valuable video training and education databases. There are just so many applications where things are better demonstrated than described.
What are you doing when you’re not working?
I have always liked to be busy! Not just with work – I’m almost always doing something, and that’s how I relax! The pandemic has limited all those more sociable activities and travel of course, but some years ago I decided to buy myself a woodland, and I can frequently be found there armed with chainsaw and axe, keeping the 8,000 or so trees in some kind of order. That and perhaps cooking on a campfire with a suitable beverage in hand. The woodland is called Cadmore (or Cadmoor depending on what map you look on) and Violaine thought that seemed like a pretty unique name for a company too!