Geek-Speak Observations

By this time tomorrow, I’ll be winging my way to the Bay Area for OpenWorld.

One of the first things I need to do tomorrow is race to the Unconference onsite signups in Moscone West and move my Essential Geek-Speak session to a better time, like say one that doesn’t overlap with Larry’s keynote.

You may recall I released the slides for that session a week ago, hoping to get some early commentary and feedback.

I uploaded them to SlideShare, and over last weekend, they were selected by the SlideShare team as one of the “Featured” presentations. W00t!. So, they ran on the SlideShare homepage for a bit and were seen by a lot more people than I expected.

For example, Amit Ranjan liked them and embedded them on his blog, Webyantra: Ground Zero for Indian Web 2.0.

Then another blog based in India, Indian Business Buzz, picked them up from Amit. Love the Intertubes.

Now, looking at the embed stats for my slides (a very cool feature of SlideShare), there have been more views generated by these two sites combinged than from the post I did here. Interesting.

So I got to thinking about why the content would be so popular in India, or maybe it was just a coincidence. Then I remembered a tweet from Eddie months ago asking what I meant by “FTW“, incidentally the most overused acronym on Twitter.

But Eddie’s a hardcore geek, so what gives?

My guess is that since geek-speak features heavy doses of American pop culture, a lot of it gets lost in translation.

This hadn’t occured to me previously, but it makes perfect sense. Taking FTW, or “for the win”, as an example, you have:

  • A lot of people who have no idea what it means at all.
  • A smaller group uses it.
  • A even smaller group knows what it stands for, as well as how it’s used.
  • A tiny group knows and/or remembers the phrase from Hollywood Squares.

Random thought: I should start using the sibling phrase from Hollywood Squares, FTB, “for the block”, as the anti-FTW.

This is my take on why the slides are popular in India. What do you think? One of the reasons I decided to do this Unconference session is to expose people to this sub-language that’s increasingly prominent thanks to the ‘tubes and other technologies like texting.

Another reason was to have a laugh, which I plan to do regardless.

Anyway, the slides are slim on bullets and explanation, since I’m not a fan of reading the bullets off slides. So, I plan to update them after the conference with some additional context for those who can’t make it to the live version.

Watch this space for an updated time for the session. I hope people will show up and add to the discussion, which isn’t really as trivial and fluffy as it appears on the surface.

As for next week, I’m hoping to blog a bit, but my schedule is pretty heavy. So, don’t be surprised if this space goes dark for the week. If you want to track me down at the conference, try Twitter (jkuramot), email, leave a comment here, light a beacon, throw up the AppsLab signal, etc.

Hope to see you there.




  1. When I did my unconference last year I ran up against Larry's keynote as well , didn't notice I had scheduled it that way till last second. Surprisingly had standing room only in the session so even if you get stuck with it it might not be that bad. Keynotes are all recorded as well so was able to catch up afterwords anyway.

  2. Maybe, but I'm not sure I have the drawing power of Mr. APEX 🙂 Plus, who knows if anyone who doesn't read here will see the title and find it interesting.

    Guess we'll find out Sunday-Sunday-Sunday.

  3. Ha!

    'Mr. APEX' need to get that on my business cards.
    Oh crap I need business cards to , wait OOW is green this year no business cards, yeah that's it I'm just being environmentally friendly 😉

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