It is quite difficult to be private: we leave traces everywhere. What we spend, who we speak to on the phone, where we live, our credit history: it all goes into the record.
I have just spoken at the very congenial Access 2005 conference, in Edmonton. The conference had active blogger participation (aggregated at Planet Access), and the presentations will be podcast. I think this is marvellous; I find it enormously useful seeing a commentary or record of presentations.
It did set up a particular dynamic as I was speaking though. Usually, during a conference presentation I have a sense of being 'off record': so one might make the odd aside that would not be included in a written article, for example, or have that not not quite validated detail in a presentation knowing that it was not going to go beyond the room.
Now, however, everthing is going into the record: one is always on record. One might rely on the discretion of bloggers, but it is all there in the podcast ... The private, public conference space is becoming a public, public space ;-)
Mmm... Update: a colleague points out that videos of presentations at last year's VALA are available. I never knew!