The Microsoft plane

I must admit that I didn’t like the commercial on the plane I boarded this morning on my flight from Frankfurt to Vienna. I’m sorry, but my experience with Microsoft products doesn’t give me a sense of security and reliability. I know Microsoft want me to think of such values, but I don’t. And I really, really want to think of security and reliability when I board a plane.

Think twice when you place commercials. Without this one you wouldn’t have reminded me of the bad parts of my experience with your products. You end up paying to hurt your reputation.

The Microsoft plane

Speaking

Seems like May is the month for conferences. I have a pretty tight schedule, but if you’re in the area then drop me a line. This is my international presentations for the next couple of weeks:

Vienna, April 25 - 11th Roundtable Presentation & On-Air Promotion
Lucerne, May 8 - EBU Connect (link to PDF program)
Amsterdam, May 19 - THE 124th AES CONVENTION
Amsterdam, May 29 - EMBRACING NEW MEDIA IN YOUR PUBLIC RELATIONS AND CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY

Speaking

Facebook and Twitter and friends

People keeps comparing those services. I don’t get it. They’re completely different. Twitter is an open conversation and a place where you meet new friends. Facebook is a closed conversation and a place where you meet old friends.

I just did a quick count. On twitter I follow 299 people. And 37 of them are friends to the level that I would have said hello if I met them on the street. On Facebook 151 of my 200 friends are at the same level.

That said. Currently I rarely visit Facebook. And I use Twitter all day long.

Facebook and Twitter and friends

To share or not to share

I’m sharing a lot of my knowledge here at eirikso.com. I’m sharing images on flickr and SmugMug, quick thoughts on twitter and presentations on Slideshare.net. The internet is fantastic for sharing content and I think sharing is a very good idea. It’s simple – if you share, people share back. I learn a lot by structuring my thoughts enough to be able to communicate them. And I learn a lot by having an intelligent community out there that is ready to help me out by sharing their knowledge back.

But when you share information people can take it and use it without giving you credit!

Yes they can. And recently I got an email from a person that attended one of my presentations a couple of weeks ago. This person attended another conference with other people speaking the next week. One of them using content that was clearly borrowed from my presentations. And without giving any credit.

So should I stop sharing? Stop sending out PDF files of my presentations? I don’t think so. The value of sharing content is bigger than the problem of someone using your ideas without giving you credit. Such use is of course irritating. And not very polite. For the people in the audience that know where your content comes from you simply look like a jerk if you don’t give credit.

I remember an old interview with the photoshop guru Kai Krause. He was sharing all his knowledge in a series called Kai’s Power Tips. And he was asked why he shared all his knowledge. “You’re giving away your best asset”. He answered that he wasn’t. He was giving away yesterday’s knowledge. He was already working on something new. (And what’s he doing now? Living and working in a 1000 year old castle. With a priceless view and lots of space.)

Kai Krause’s statement is bold, arrogant and full of confidence. And I love it. So for me another important reason to share is the fact that I push myself forward. And that’s why you shouldn’t be afraid of people borrowing your thoughts. They’re borrowing old thoughts. Go ahead, use it. I’m on my way further down the road anyway.

To share or not to share

Another important gadget for your presentations

All the laptops I have owned have had some degree of noise on the audio out. Not annoying for regular listening, but when doing presentations the noise can be quite disturbing. It is due to the fact that the conversion from digital to analog audio is done inside the computer. Together with all kinds of electronics that produce noise. After posting an article about a very cheap external volume control and audio switch I had some comments about replacing that one with an external USB based audio card.

The theory is that when doing the conversion from digital to analog outside of the laptop itself you would get rid of some of the noise. So a while ago I received my Creative Xmod. Now I’ve had the possibility to test it at some venues. And it works very well. In some cases I went from horrible noises when connecting the internal audio to no noise and crisp audio when switching to the Creative Xmod.

The Xmod has lots of stupid so called enhancement effects as well. The X-fi crystalizer is supposed to clean up some compression artifacts in MP3 audio and might actually clean up the sound a bit, but the fake 3D effect that you also can add is not my favorite.

Regardless of the effects, my conclusion so far is that this gadget now is nicely placed in my box of essential presentation equipment.

Another important gadget for your presentations

Different seasons in one image

If you have been following this blog for a long time you know that I did an experiment snapping images out of my window for a year. I made a video that was hugely popular and my images have been used in several interesting projects.

At that point I snapped the images with a Sony compact camera. After buying a digital SLR I decided to do the same thing. But this time in better quality and not shooting the images through my window.

I still have a couple of months before the next year of images are captured, but I have enough to do some experiments. Mainly because I want some feedback. This time I’m shooting three exposures each time. Giving me the possibility of putting them together using HDR software.

The following video is a horrible rough cut of the images so far. The black levels are completely off, the HDR effect too strong and the video is way too long for this kind of viewing.

The audio is actual audio captured at the same spot that the images are taken, but not at all synced with the images.

Still, it would be valuable to get some feedback and ideas. That will make it easier for me to make the final video perfect when I have all the images at some point late this summer.

Seasons – testvideo from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

Go ahead. Post your ideas and thoughts!

Different seasons in one image

Memory problem

You’ve just returned home after a good day of work. You’re outside your house with two hungry kids and a horrible weather. When you’re about to unlock your door you don’t find your keys. And suddenly you remember where they are.

Safely placed at the back of a computer at work. Always remembering your USB key because it is placed on your key chain = a good idea. Forgetting your keys at work because they are securely fastened to your USB key = bad idea.

Memory problem