Netcamp – And another gadget for your presentations

On tuesday I leave for Bucharest to speak at NetCamp. I like speaking at events like these, so I look forward to that, but I’ll also try to attend as much as possible of the rest of the conference. Including extremely interesting people like Hugh MacLeod of Gapingvoid and Rodrigo Sepulveda Schulz of vpod.tv

Depending on connectivity and available time I’ll try to post some updates during my trip.

And now. The gadget. An addition to the rest of the essential equipment for your presentations. The unbalanced stereo audio output on any laptop always provide you with a bit of noise. Enough to make it really annoying in big theatres with huge sound systems. You don’t want that noise in the speakers when presenting and unless the audio system at the venue filters it out it will be there as long as your laptop is connected.

This noise won’t go away if you turn down the volume or mute the laptop. As long as that unbalanced minijack is connected you’ll have the noise.

Now connect a small and very cheap external volume control. And you can pump up the volume to the max from your laptop and turn it down again on that external volume knob. Unless you need insane amount of volume you’ll be able to supress some of the noise with this method. The one in the image is from my favourite store in Oslo. Clas Ohlson. Geek store numero uno.

Netcamp – And another gadget for your presentations

Essential equipment for your presentation


I am doing a lot of presentations. For about 10 years running Powerpoint on Windows based laptops. And for the last 10 months running KeyNote on a MacBook Pro. First some words on “the switch”.

The experience with the Mac is simply much better. Period. And I am an advanced user that actually have been able to use Powerpoint to play videos, do transitions and behave quite well on all my windows boxes. But KeyNote is in general a better application than Powerpoint. The way it renders the slides, support for better graphics with proper shadows, effects, transitions, alpha channels and everything that simply makes your presentation look better.

And the Mac handles the projector with better stability and ease of use. The video always plays on the projector and the Mac always switch to the proper resolution when the projector is connected. When I save my presentation it is saved like a package that includes the media files. No more “can’t find the movie clip”.


But the best thing is that I always get both the current and the next slide on the screen in front of me while the projector shows the current slide. That makes it possible for me to do presentations with extremely fluent transitions and exact timing. Because I don’t have to memorize the presentation and remember what the next slide will be. I know that this is possible in Powerpoint as well. But my engineering degree has not been enough to make it possible for me to use that function with confidence on the laptops that I have used. On my Mac it simply works. Always.

But I have a couple of mandatory accessories to make the experience even better.


For my Mac I need to remember the converter from DVI to VGA. Apple have this tendency to ditch old technology a couple of years too early. About 1% of the conference halls I have been to support DVI directly. The fact that you need this connector is also the reason why Apple computers have this bad reputation regarding presentations. And personally I think it was a bad decision from Apple to ditch a proper VGA connector on their MacBooks. But let’s go on. I have learned to remember this connector along with my other three mandatory accessories.


My beloved remote. Covered in detail here.


The USB key. Always keep a backup of your presentation on one of these. The full KeyNote copy. In addition to a Powerpoint version and a PDF. Keep the USB key separated from the rest of your equipment. When your laptop gets stolen on your way to that important presentation it is very nice to have a backup in your pocket.


For the advanced users. You only need it in about one out of fifty presentations. But when you need it it is extremely valuable. The VGA amplifier. In some conference halls the cable to the projector is very long. This degrades the quality of the signal. This small device has done wonders a couple of times. Everything from making the image from my computer look way better than the person before me. To making me the only person actually getting an image on the projector.

Google “Extron P/2 DA1 Peaker” or something like that to find a shop near you selling this device. More details: “P/2 DA1 USB”. “Line Driver”. “P/N 60-319-03″. It was pretty expensive where I found it. About $200,-


And the last one. Some small loudspeakers. My experience is that most meeting rooms and conference halls have a projector that works. But the audio might be a problem. Especially in small hotels and meeting rooms. These speakers won’t help you in that large 500 people hall, but is very valuable in a small conference room.

But, as always the most important thing is your content. Start following Presentation Zen immediately. And some valuable advice from earlier eirikso articles here:
Working with one slide
How to avoid making boring presentations
Presenting Software

And my main guideline. Seth Godin’s “Really bad powerpoint“.

And comments are open. Do you have something to add? Something more you want to know about my presentations?

Essential equipment for your presentation

Speaking

Some of the events I will be presenting at this autumn:

IFA, Berlin (Sept 1.)
Presentation at the Consumer Electronics Trade Foundation press conference on Saturday

EBU Finance Assembly in Marrakesh (Sept 5. – 9.)
Economics of New Media

IT-Tinget, Tønsberg (Sept. 19.)
Your employers take control!

Nordic Sound Symposium (Sept 28.)
Audio production and new media

Social Media And User Generated Content, Stockholm (Oct. 18. – 19.)
Social media an professional broadcasting

Speaking

What is your dream presenter?

I have been asked to come up with names of speakers that would be excellent for presentations on the future of the media industry. At this point I can suggest people from the top of the line, then we’ll have to be more realistic regarding price and availability when we have our list of dream presenters.

I left out Steve Jobs because I guess he is totally and utterly out of reach… But I have suggested Chris Anderson, Cory Doctorow, Seth Godin, Joi Ito and Guy Kawasaki. And I am absolutely sure that I have left out huge amounts of interesting people.

Comments are open. What is your dream presenter for the subject of new media. And why?

What is your dream presenter?

Future of Web Apps 07 – Part 1

Ryan Carson Fowa07

Here is my first post in a series from the Future of Web Apps 07 conference in London last week. I am not going to go in detail on all the speakers. Here you’ll find some of the stuff that I found especially interesting. For detailed information head over to Ryan Carson and his list of coverage from around the web.

So we gather in London with great anticipation. Big names, interesting speakers. Ryan Carson open the show with bad news. No WIFI. I understand that he’s not to blame. He has the equipment and all, but there’s some serious trouble with the network. OK, full focus on the speakers then. We’ll have to manage with the crappy connection at the Copthorne Tara when we return to the hotel.

All the images in this post can be clicked for a better view.

Mike Arrington of TechCrunch was the first speaker. The hardest working man on the web. He had an interesting look at startups with case studies and hints on what’s working and what’s not.

Mike Arrington Fowa07

I think he is completely right on what he has to say about the buzz factor. If you are hard at work marketing Super Audio CD when all the buzz is happening around something called MP3 you should seriously rethink your product. Etc… Remember, stuff gets big when the usability is right and the functionality is crystal clear.

And what are the oportunities according to Mr. Arrington?

1. The combination of online and offline content. What will be possible with Adobe’s Apollo platform, Firefox 3.0 and interesting combinations of a file system and html/flash/Ajax.

2. Someone that solves the problem of DRM and music, movies and TV

3. Data and service portability. teqlo, ning and pipes was mentioned here.

4. Still lots of opportunities regarding mobile services.

Tara Hunt Fowa07

Tara Hunt of Citizen Agency had lots of information on social networks and is a big advocate for open systems with possibilities of sharing. The simple but rich API of Flickr is a good example. To get the word of mouth going you need to build in a variety of ways to share early on. Support blogs, rss and easy to copy and paste permanent urls.

Matthew Ogle And Anil Bawa Cavia Fowa07

Matthew Ogle and Anil Bawa Cavia of Last.fm shared lots of experience from their work on Last.fm. And as you can see from the slide above, some interesting numbers from their service. They where talking about how they go from a service to a platform. In this transition openness is the key. They also talked about all the attention data that Last.fm collects and how they plan to use it. Here are some bullets:

1. Microchunk it – Reduce the content to its simplest form
2. Free it – Put it out there without walls around it or strings on it
3. Syndicate it – Let anyone take it and run with it
4. Monetize it – Put the monetization and tracking systems into the microchunk

Lastfm Tag Cloud Moderation Fowa07 (1)

They also had an interesting case study on how they solved the problem of “tag cloud spam”. Lots of people tagging Paris Hilton with tags like “officially shit” etc… Of course you could agree on that, but the tag cloud is pretty useless. They solved this by combining the tag cloud data with the attention data. The tags that people that actually listen to Paris Hilton weighs more than the tags from people that simply tag it with “untalented” and never listen to her.

So, the most important tags for a band like U2 is from people that actually listen to U2 etc…

Check back to eirikso.com, sign up for an email update or add my feed. My next post from this conference will include some very interesting stuff from Bradley Horowitz from Yahoo! and Kevin Rose from Digg.com

Future of Web Apps 07 – Part 1

Siggraph 2006 – Boston

Siggraph 2006 Logo
I am heading for Boston and Siggraph 2006 in the end of July.

It’s a couple of years since the last time I visited Siggraph and I look forward to a week of inspiration and interesting presentations. The art gallery and the emerging technologies being two of the arrangements I look forward to. Check out the emerging technologies video preview here.

Of course I will bring my camera and my laptop and post to this site during the conference, but right now I just wanted to know if any of my readers are planning to go as well. Or, if I have any readers in the Boston area?

Please feel free to contact me.

Siggraph 2006 – Boston