I’m not really very good about blogging my own talks, and people seem rarely to take notes of what I say at conferences, so I’m going to attempt to reverse the trend, starting with my FOWA slides.
I would strongly suggest that you go and read Steph Booth’s excellent notes of my talk alongside the slides – it’ll give you a bit more of an insight into what I said. I believe there will be, at the least, audio being produced from the talks, so if I ever get hold of that I’ll do a slidecast of the whole thing.
I decided a while back that it might be fun to have a 100% LOLcat slide deck, and it seemed that FOWA would be the ideal place to do it. I experimented with a few LOLcats in a presentation I did a couple of weeks ago (which I need also need to put up online soon) to some HR execs, and they seemed to go down ok. So I spent Monday and Tuesday looking at hundreds, possibly a couple of thousand, of cat pictures on Flickr. Sounds like a chore, but there are so many cute ones that I actually found it very soothing and enjoyable. I then used Big Huge Labs’ LOLcat creator to actually make the slides.
(I would really like to see a better LOLcat creator that gives you the ability to scale the photo, adjust the position of the photo in relationship to the text, and give you a bit more control over text size. Other creators I looked at also insisted that you upload the photo first, whereas Big Huge Labs’ gives you more ways to access the photo, including pulling in from an URL. Some of the LOLcats I ended up with weren’t quite as spot on as I would have liked, but I didn’t have time to sit and use Photoshop or something to do a better job. Hm, maybe a job for Moo… then they could let you do your own LOLcat fridge magnets too. I would so totally buy those.)
Giving the talk was slightly strange, because Carsonified, who organise FOWA, had completely the wrong talk title in all their literature, and I hadn’t realised that until the end of last week. I’d spent the last couple of months thinking through stuff about the adoption of social software in business, and to suddenly discover that everyone was expecting a talk on “the future of blogging” was a little worrying. Indeed, I think that a few people at least were disappointed that I didn’t talk about the future of blogging: From the stage, I couldn’t see the whole room, just the front half, and what seemed like a lot of people got up and left in the middle of my talk. That’s disconcerting, to say the least.
That said, I got a pretty good reaction from the people I spoke to afterwards, so that’s encouraging. I had a particularly good chat with Dennis Howlett about how things really haven’t changed much since the mid-90s, when “the ‘new’ was treated with suspicion and where finding champions was a devil’s own job”. In a way, that’s quite depressing, because it means that I am simply re-inventing the wheel. Still, I hope that the people who stayed did get something useful out of my talk, even if it was only axle grease.