I spent Thursday and Friday attending WebVisions here in beautiful Portland at the Oregon Convention Center.
I really enjoyed the event; it was a nice change of pace from the massive events I usually attend at Moscone Center in San Francisco. The content was just as good, but it had a more cozy feel. Very Portland, just like we like it.
I attended the following sessions and found them all useful. As with most conferences, the slide from the presentations are available online, and I’ve included links. So, you can review the content if you want.
- Best Practices for Permission-Based Email Communication (slides)
- Hacking the Enterprise with Social Media (slides)
- Design is in the Details (slides)
- User Experience Best Practices
- Going Fast on the Slow Mobile Web (slides)
- From Idea to Implementation and Beyond: Getting Started with Rails
- A River Runs Through the Digital Divide: Women Using Global Communications Technology to Shift the Balance of Power
One really interesting thing I noticed, at least from an enterprise perspective, reinforces what I saw at Web 2.0 Expo. Presentations from Web 2.0 people totally rock.
When I present, I usually have a boatload of content that I’m worried I’ll forget. So, I cram as many bullets into a slide as I can. Then, I proceed to read off the slides. Fail.
I’ve taken the classes, and I know this isn’t the optimal way to present. Still, I’m a lazy guy, and it’s nice to have slides “to talk to”; well, apparently, it’s better to talk to your audience.
The presentations I’ve seen at Web 2.0 Expo and WebVisions are awesome. They’re basically photo slideshows with some minimal captions for emphasis. This makes for a very different experience than a typical bullet-fest like I tend to produce.
Instead of speed-reading the bullets while the presenter talks, trying to absorb both simultaneously, these presentations show you an image with minimalist captions. Personally, I find this very effective. The “picture is worth a thousand words” aphorism combined with the presenter’s words is memorable and visually pleasing.
I’ll use Jason Grigsby as an example here, since he’s one of my Twitter pals. His presentation had some awesome information about the mobile web, e.g. there are 3.3. billion mobile phones on the planet, more than double the number of televisions, more than four times the number of cars, something Puneet has alluded to previously.
I highly recommend reviewing Jason’s preso, embedded below; nice segue into another point about Web 2.0 presenters. They all make their slides available online, most for sharing and embedding.
More importantly, the presentation of the information was interesting and visually stimulating. Plus, this is a great Web 2.0 case study, since many of the images used in these presentations are from Flickr and are available for use under Creative Commons. So, people who took sweet pictures get recognition in forums they never imagined.
On the other hand, most enterprise presentations are less visually interesting. For a hilarious parody of more classic business school presentations, check out Chicken Chicken Chicken by way of Billy Cripe.
From now on, I’m going to try to balance the corporate template with interesting content. I think my audiences will appreciate it; at least they’ll have something interesting to look at while I drone on and on about New Web.
Blah blah blah.