The traditional Slideshare 's "World's Best Presentation Of The Year" contest has been launched.
Here's my favorite prezo so far. It's about something many whatever designers should think about: simplicity.here.
The traditional Slideshare 's "World's Best Presentation Of The Year" contest has been launched.
Here's my favorite prezo so far. It's about something many whatever designers should think about: simplicity.here.
I recently changed my personal "business" card for a mini-card made by the folks at Moo.com. After a few weeks giving it away here and there at conferences or meetings, I can tell: it makes the difference.
People really look at it, asking me questions such as "Where is this ?", "Who made it ?", "Aren't you afraid people going to lose it?". The thing is, no matter the question, this mini-card helps engaging the conversation. It does the in-grouping per itself.
For instance, the photo is a snapshot from the landscape as one can enjoy from the Boulevard des Pyrénées in Pau; however, lots of people start by claiming "hum, looks like [this place]", the place being one they obviously went before - I've heard Tunisia, Florida, California. I then let them enumerate other possible locations, to finally tell them the answer: "it's Pau, France". Most of the guys are surprised, offering me the opportunity to explain the beauty of the Pau Broadband Country.
The lesson of this is well known on the other side of the Ocean since years, however it's quite nice to experiment it on a daily basis: to stand out of the crowd, be different.
Just for fun: since 2003, I used three different formats and styles for my personal business cards. See the picture - the U.I. card is obsolete - I no longer have a foot in San Fran or Dubai, yet I still like its design (self-made, thanks ;-)
The beauty of Dipity is that you can display any type of content in a chronological order (Timeline view), on a carousel (Flipbook view), or on a map (Map view, surprisingly ;-). For teachers and instructors of all kind, what a nice tool to keep your audience up and running.
As any true Web 2.0 app, Dipity is UGC : User Generated Content. In this case, it means that teachers and instructors can call for help to create a better content - think Wikipedia.
Well, Dear FiberGeneration Readers, I'm therefore calling on you ! I'll continue to edit the current timeline, for instance adding the missing locations, photos, URLs, etc. What I'm asking you is to add relevant content. For instance, as you can see the timeline ends in 1996. As some of you may have notice, quite a few interesting events occured between then and now in the Optical Communications arena. Those are typically the things you can contribute to, shall you have the relevant experience, knowledge, or insight ;-) Major milestones, breakthrough technologies, interesting field trials : please feel free to add !
Just drop me a line at : marc[dot]duchesne[at]mac[dot]com, and i'll set you as editor for this History of Fiber Optics. Thank you.
post-scriptum : for those of you who are not familiar with Fiber Optics, Jeff is publishing the "Understanding Fiber Optics" series since almost two decades now. The fifth edition was released in 2005. It's available here at Amazon.com. Enjoy the ride !
A New Yorker artist and scientist, Harris is leading an outstanding project : "We Feel Fine".
It's all about people' s feelings. Amazingly captivating. Just this little warning : it's so captivating that you may end up spending the whole day exploring the Web through Harris and his team' s eyes. Quite a nice way to forget the rude reality of the daily life at the office ;-)
I just received my iPhone 3G this morning. Setting up the whole thing was a matter of minutes, thanks to iTunes and... MobileMe, which worked quite well for once.
Now, the question is : what am I going to do with the "old" one ? Simple : I will use my 1st gen. iPhone as a portable device, for presentation and training events. Actually, it turns out that an iPhone without its SIM card is... an iPod Touch (with a camera ;-).
You can then use this 1st gen. iPhone to display photos and videos, listen to podcasts, etc. Connect it to a TV or a video projector, and boom, you get the ultimate presentation gear. Which you can even leave to your customer after the show *. Bonus : if you come close enough to a WiFi hotspot, you gain access to the Internet and all your favorite Web 2.0 apps...
That is the beauty with everything Infinite Loop : you never throw an Apple-branded device away. You can always recycle it for a different usage. I mean, not as Michael Arrington does with his Mac Mini...
* This is a wonderful sales trick I've learned at Agilent Technologies. Each time we were demoing our flagship product - the Mini-OTDR - to a new prospect, we were offering a free loan right on the spot : "we can leave it to you right now, so you can test it by yourself", and that was it. We knew this "try & buy" proposal was a killer.
Since I came back in the training business a year ago or so, I decided to drop the traditional slideware stuff * for a more 21st Century stylish method : use the Web 2.0 gear such as YouTube for tutorial videos, Picasa for real world photos, and more recently Facebook for post-training social and collaborative networking (note : all free apps, as I want to keep the learning materials costs as low as possible for the customers).
However, whilst going whole online digital is nice because it's hype, I still need a paper board to explain a lot of things, which a video clip will never replace (except perhaps those made by the folks at CommonCraft).
I love paperboards : it forces you to go crisp & clear, splitting your explanations into simple/one-page explanations - as Twitter forces you to write a message in less than 160 characters. Over the last 15 years that I was delivering training courses and sales seminars, I've collected lots of my paper rolls, for me to keep record of the interesting discussions with the attendees.
Of course, bringing a paperboard roll back home works fine when you travel by car, but it's a bit more tricky when you fly. Thanks to Apple, this issue is over. I now capture all the relevant stuff with my iPhone, and upload it on the MacBook right away. That makes the paperboard digital ;-)
* note : I'm thinking of using cartoons such as this one to explain and share complex stuff in the next future.
So-derle, the Green Fiber Evangelist' video collection got a huge success last week at the training I was delivering to a french telco. For the second time since a quarter of century, I haven't used a single slide as my fiber optics training materials but a web page.
The first time I used a navigator instead of M$ PowerPoint was back in 1996, when my friend Didier Boucher and myself were touring France to evangelize installers and end-users. By then, Netscape Navigator was our best companion, displaying the html pages I created with GoLive and the likes.
Last week, Firefox 3.0 beta and the amazing add-on PicLens were on the party. Thanks to the Internet. Means, thanks to the connection to the Internet. Because, unlike 12 years ago when all the html and jpeg files forming my presentations were on my Mac's hard-disk, today the whole stuff is... on the Cloud. YouTube, Picasaweb, Facebook, etc. : they're all online.
That's the bad thing when you're a connected guy like myself : you do rely a lot on the Internet. It strucked me the hard way this morning, when I was to go on the Green Fiber Evangelist blog to start the training session I'm delivering this week at a large install company : got no LAN connection to start with, hence no Internet connection, hence no online videos, hence no *live* training materials.
Then, the IT guy came to the rescue after lunch, to give me the IP address, DNS servers, proxy settings things to help my Mac go online. It worked, except for one little tiny detail : this company forbids some websites, among which... YouTube. Bye-bye the Green Fiber Evangelist blog (at least for the rest of the week here ;-)
This is kind of weird : a 6,000 employees firm who wants to penetrate the optical networks installation & maintenance business don't authorize ubiquitous access to the Net. By the way, only 600 (six hundred) people out of those 6,000 have an email address. 10%. Who don't even get access to the most popular websites in the world. As my dear former boss Robert is used to say : "there is room for improvement" !
Anyway, Accor hotels do provide free WiFi to their guests. So, thanks to Accor (and Orange), I'm posting this text from my hotel room. After an hour or so spent on downloading all the Green Fiber Evangelist videos on my Mac, with TubeTV.
That's the lesson of the day : never rely too much on the Net. Download vids and pics and copy them on a USB key before going to the customer. And start evangelize people : you need an internet connection to get on the Cloud ;-)
Why spend time on training course slides and notes design and edition, when everything you need is available on the Net ? Provided that people better remind images rather than text, YouTube is one of the new companions of the teachers, trainers, and instructors of all kind, together with Wikipedia and a few other Web 2.0 tools.
Here's a collection of videos I've put together for fiber optics training - most are in english, some are in french. Enjoy, and feel free to use. The playlist is available here.
I've revamped the Fiber On Demand blog. Was a matter of a few clicks only, thanks to Yahoo!Pipes (see the features in the previous post). Aggregating content from different sources onto a single web page has never been so easy.
Just missing a 3D/whirling/magnifying carousel, which will be available in a next release I guess.
Luckily enough, more and more people go to the "About Me" section of this blog. Unfortunately, the more I read it myself, the more I think it's not appealing enough. Too much of a light resume.
The fact is, the people who go to the "About Me" page of a blog want to know who's the author, his background for sure, but mainly his current activities, hobbies, passion, or whatever make him write this blog.
Nothing people get when reading my own stuff. At least not in a proper "elevator-pitch" manner...
That's why I'm to rewrite this section sometime over the week-end. Easter is supposed to be a new start, isn't it ?
This are my running notes of Bob Metcalfe' s keynote speech at the opening plenary session here at OFCNFOEC'08, San Diego, California. Posted after the speech, for misspelling corrections and irrelevant stuff deletion.
I'll comment some of them later on, in a further post. Just this personal note : Mr Metcalfe himself confirms that good times are ahead for the the Fiber industry. Should she wants to reinvent herself.
Running notes :
- BM has no ppt slides.
- uses instead 3 cards stacks, today will use 5 packs - reads the cards either on the table or hand held.
- the agenda of the day is to get the answer to two questions : "why should we be Terabit Ethernet ?", and then "how ?".
- 20 years between the first optical Ethernet in 1978 and the real commercial one.
- BM has a new project : create the Ether-Net, to solve energy crisis.
- SONET vs Ethernet : Ethernet won because of prices slash on cost per bit.
- BM prefers the terminology "telephon television and data" vs "voice video and data".
- the Internet is now carrying video, mobile, and embedded apps.
- Internet was not designed for none of them.
- Bubblephobia : people still afraid of traffic growth after the 2000 burst.
- expects growing traffic on embedded apps : first were mainframes then mini-computers then PCs then laptops then palmtops, so what's next ? : embedded.
- "alien wavelengths" : fiber people don't allow computer people to send their own wavelengths on the fiber.
- Ethernet technology will continue to ramp-up on a 10x slope, not 4x : 10G, then 100G, then 1T.
- Terabit Ethernet needs break out the existing infrastructure, otherwise it will be chaos.
- chaotic infrastructure because of too many levels, pieces, components - too much complexity.
- BM to the audience : "it's good news for you : it's gonna be fun". invent new stuff. means new business.
- BM lists some directions : new fibers : maybe carbon fibers ? how about no fibers at all ? how about free space mesh ? OOO (no more OEO conversion) ? etc ?
- we will never hear the word "OC3072" because of Ethernet 100G.
- Intel Sales & Marketing VP says TbE will not happen on terminal devices - it will be WiMax instead.
- when Tim Berners Lee invented the WWW, he never thought there will be a Google.
- today we have 4 layers, no more the 7 of the OSI model : at the bottom : Ethernet, then Internet, then WWW, then on top : Google.
- we need to re architect Ethernet because online video : download needs bandwidth, streaming needs QoS, interactive needs low-latency : Ethernet never been good at that.
- re-architect Ethernet : routing, switching, etc.
- meet people needs for lower energy consumption.
- Ethernet will help reducing transportation needs etc.
- BM asks the audience : "you fiber communications people are you ready to help solve the energy crisis ?"
Short biography of Dr. Robert M. Metcalfe: MIT engineer, Harvard mathematician, Internet developer, Xerox scientist, Ethernet inventor, Stanford professor, 3Com founder, Cambridge fellow, InfoWorld pundit, and now Polaris partner.
Read the OFCNFOEC plenary session program here.
See Bob Metcalfe' s recent interview by Light Reading here, and read more here.
Get the clear picture on why online video naturally changes the World here.
Last but not least, the legend of Bob Metcalfe is here, by Wired.
As a presenter who like to travel light - I'm a bit tired of opening up my laptop at each and every security check in the airports (even if it's a MacBook), I'm currently testing a new way to rehearse and do presentations whilst on the road (or in the air).
Here's the 7-steps process :
1. with Apple' Keynote, create the simplest slides set possible, following Guy Kawasaki' s 10/20/30 rule and Garr Reynolds' s Zen approach,
2. export the Keynote file to both Powerpoint and Acrobat file formats,
3. upload the three files onto Zoho Projects,
4. import the PPT file into Zoho Show,
5. send the PDF file to myself on my .Mac account,
6. copy the three files on my favorite USB key,
7. check the availability and integrity of all those files (takes a few minutes only).
Then, I can :
a) access the slides from anywhere in the World, thanks to the Web 2.0.
b) download the PDF onto any PC or Mac once on site.
c) review the slides on my iPhone.
The latest proves to be the most interesting part of the experiment. For instance, I can rehearse my presentation in the airplane, without needing to grab my MacBook. Also, I don't fear intrusive eyes from the guy next seat, see what I mean ?
* " in the air ", not : " on the Air " ;-)
When you think about it, Fiber-To-The-Home is the ultimate experience for outside plant technicians. For the first time ever, those folks are working right in front of the end-user.
That implies a lot of new behavior for the OSP people, as they are kind of the front-desk of the service provider. To make it short : the guy who's installing the fiber at the subscriber' s place is also the ISP' s sales rep.
Hence the need for coaching the OSP technicians to customer-facing situations. Be the best sales rep. That's quite an interesting challenge, for both the trainers and the installers themselves. Have a look at this video, and you'll understand why.
The CES big circus has just started. If you can't make it to Las Vegas, you can still attend the show and get the whole flavor of it... on the Web.
See here, here, and here. Lesson : WebTV is the future. And the present, too, should you have a broadband access.
Ed. note : for a full coverage of CES'08, Robert Scoble has the list.
Post-Scriptum : I wonder if the folks at the Optical Society Of America are going to offer the live coverage of the forthcoming OFC-NFOEC exhibition in San Diego next month.
Thanks to the weekly delivery of my YouTube' subscriptions, just discovered this video from the Electric Power Board, a.k.a. EPB, of the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
A Chattanooga' s public utility, EBP launched a Fiber To The Home initiative back in August this year. In the official announcement, Harold DePriest, EPB’s President and CEO said : ”A Fiber to the Home infrastructure will help ensure a growing supply of jobs for our children – and our grandchildren. Fiber to the Home will be as critical to Chattanooga’s quality of life as electric power was in the 1930s or the Interstate system was in the 1950s. On top of that, it will help make electricity in our area even more reliable and affordable.”
What makes this initiative an interesting case study for the cities and local collectivities wondering if a FTTH network is worth the investments : it's a 160,000 inhabitants town, with a local economy that includes a diversified mix of manufacturing and service industries, four colleges, and several preparatory schools. According to Wikipedia : Chattanooga is the corporate headquarters of many mid-sized firms including bicycle manufacturer Litespeed (looking for a titanium bike ? there you go ;-) and sustainable design company Tricycle Inc.. Many businesses in the banking and insurance industries run their operations from Chattanooga. The city is also home of large branch offices of AT&T and UBS. In summary, Chattanooga is pretty similar to lots of european cities, take many Germany, UK, and France for instance, which might benefit from Fiber-To-The-Home too...
Back to DePriest announcement :
“A recent study by a group of professors at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Tennessee State University suggests these economic and social benefits alone could top $600 million for Chattanooga over ten years.
Another study, verified by the Electric Power Research Institute, indicates that Fiber to the Home will also allow EPB to make significant improvements to its electric power distribution system. The infrastructure can help the company locate problems earlier, restore outages more quickly and gain efficiencies that are not currently available. It will also allow EPB to provide more tools to help customers reduce their power usage and cost.
The value to electric power customers in the form of reduced outages, energy conservation and other efficiencies is estimated at roughly $300 million over ten years, bringing Fiber to the Home’s total value to the community to nearly $1 billion over the course of ten years.”
Quite an interesting ROI, right ?...
See the video - and much much more - directly on EPB' s website here.
Read why the such an initiative always generates FUD here and here.
More on the lovely city of Chattanooga here. Among many other key factors to make a city a nice place to live in, this : "The city supports a downtown shuttle fleet of zero-emission electric buses - manufactured here in Chattanooga - for commuters and visitors wishing to park-and-ride."
During a recent business meeting, I had to explain what's a wiki to novices. I did it in 30 seconds. Here is a more detailled explanation, yet even more entertaining and efficient.
[updated 09.14.07 @ 8:22PM CET]
Please welcome the new member of the Fibergeneration family : FiberNews !
FiberNews is a GoogleMap mashup, displaying FTTH Fiber-To-The-Home related news per their respective location.
See the previous post here.
Created with Yahoo!Pipes and GoogleMaps, of course.
The process is very simple :
1. get news feeds from different online news websites,
2. filter them on specific items, extract the location out of the press release or information,
3. get the corresponding output file as a KML file,
4. open it with GoogleMaps,
5. get the HTML code,
6. embed it in a blog post.
Next steps : a) add more news feeds - for the time being, that's only Fiber Optics Online and The New York Times, b) add a Yahoo!Maps display, to compare with Google's, c) test new ways to show information, as on Babelcast for instance.
You can see, use, and copy the fibernews pipe here.
FiberNews webpage is here.
The image I've used in the former post is grabbed from the famous yet extraordinary Web Trend Map of iA.
See the clickable version (warning : it don't work under Opera 9) here - SnapShots at its best.
To understand why thinking out of the box often leads to outstanding outcomes, read this excerpt from the original announcement by Oliver Reichenstein of Information Architects :
Less Japanese Jokes
There are less insider jokes about the different stations and more consistency within the connections and the neighborhood of the different sites. People who know Tokyo will still find lots of little hints and sarcastic comments hidden in there.
- Google has moved from Shibuya, a humming place for young people, to Shinjuku, a suspicious, messy, Yakuza-controlled, but still a pretty cool place to hang out (Golden Gaya).
- Youtube has conquered Shibuya.
- Microsoft has moved to Ikebukuro, if you know what I mean.
- Yahoo is in Ueno, a nice place but nothing going on there.
- Wikipedia now is in Shimbashi, the place for the square and hard-headed Salaryman, like the Wikipedia watchdogs.
- The Chinese line runs parallel to the “share line” which starts with the main pirates…
- Paper info designer Tufte is right below the Federated Media, right before joining with the interactive information design circle in a 90 degree angle.
- “You” are in the Emperor’s palace, in the center of the network.
More Revealing Coincidences
- The main Japanese sites are all on the money line. I never notice before, but most big Japanese sites are financially successful.
- The northern part of the Yamanote line (”main sites”) is a boring unknown territory (just as in real Tokyo).
- Ze Frank ended up close to the German carousel.
- iA ended up close to the pirates.
- Adobe moved from Ginza (high class) to Tokyo station (anonymous, lots of money there), which is pointing at the fact that they continue to move towards the center of gravity without being too loud about it.
- Skype has conquered a place that doesn’t exist.
Insider Circle and Your Palace
There is a new insider circle with the tech trend scouts, the tech bloggers and You, occupying the Emperor’s palace.
Thanks to Master Guy Kawazaki (and the Magic of the Blogosphere), I discovered the recently published article in Smashing Magazine : Data Visualization: Modern Approaches. For all of you manipulating data to be presented to end-users, customers, or managers, this article (and the related comments, full of links too) is a must-read. It's a given that the web sites and tools mentionned are must-bookmark ;-)
Thanks to the endless sources of distraction offered by the Blogosphere, here is the map structure of this weblog.
What do the colors mean ?
blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags
Searching for information on the Global Information Grid, I found this awesome/mind-opening/think-out-of-the-box article : "Network Maps, Energy Diagrams : Structure and Agency in the Global System", by Brian Holmes.
Holmes describes current researches aimed at mapping networks of all kinds, from the obvious Internet to illegal sea-going immigration routes to pedestrians' s everyday itineraries in Amsterdam.
To document its very detailed yet comprehensive explanations of the background and applications, Holmes links to lots of websites which are worth the visit. Among all those sites, you may check this one : Each frame of this movie-map is a snapshot of Internet usage across the world during a few hours time; five different images were compiled every two days, over a period of some eighteen months. The result is an extraordinary visual experience. The ISPs turn green and advance toward the center as their connectivity increases; the link lines shift as the routing structure reconfigures to meet the moment’s demands. We watch the diurnal flux of the Internet, and feel the complex, disjunctive rhythm of the global information machine. It’s like the pulsing of a hive, a planetary brain: the cognitive and imaginary activity of untold millions of individuals, establishing far-flung connections.
To give you the flavor, here's the introduction :
The Internet is the vector of a new geography – not only because it conjures up virtual realities, but because it shapes our lives in society, and shifts our perceptions along with the ground beneath our feet. Networks have become the dominant structures of cultural, economic and military power. Yet that power remains largely invisible. How can the networked society be represented? And how can it be navigated, appropriated, reshaped in its turn?
Reflecting in the early 1980s on the spatial chaos that technological and financial developments had impressed upon contemporary cities, Fredric Jameson pointed to the need for “an aesthetics of cognitive mapping” to resolve “the incapacity of our minds, at least at present, to map the great global multinational and decentered communicational network in which we find ourselves caught as individual subjects.” He conceived this cartographic aesthetics as a collective pedagogy, whose challenge would be to correlate the abstract knowledge of global realities with the imaginary figures that orient our daily experience. Epistemological shifts, pushed forward by the use of sophisticated technical instruments, would need to be paralleled by the deployment of radically new visual vocabularies, in order to produce a clearer understanding of contemporary symbolic relations (social roles, class divides, hierarchies) and a fresh capacity for political intervention in the postmodern world. Only by inventing “some as yet unimaginable new mode of representing” could we “again begin to grasp our positioning as individual and collective subjects and regain a capacity to act and struggle which is at present neutralized by our spatial as well as our social confusion.”1
Twenty years later, what has become of the mapping impulse? What new forms of cartography have arisen to chart the virtual/real spaces of the present? What kinds of agency do they permit? What modes of social organization do they foster? Can critical and dissenting maps be distinguished among the established and dominant ones?
Full article and much more, here.
Andy Hanselman has posted a must-have presentation on Slideshare. With this "practical guide to creating competitive advantage and improving business performance", Andy goes right to the point : the only way for any business to be successful on the long run is to get what he call " devoted customers " (ed. note : i prefer using the terminology " loyal customers ", as I am myself devoted to their own success ;-)
post-scriptum : Slideshare seems to become more business-oriented those days. A very good news.
Watch this video, created by the FTTH Council in the US. Straight to the point : is the Internet as we know it today ready for the new huge amount of data that is coming out from all those new online applications. Such as video, for instance...
I recently discovered Newsmap, a Google News aggregator of a new kind.
Similar in its concept to the " What's Hot " feature on C|Net, Newsmap " provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognizable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe ".
As stated as well in the " About " page on Newsmap' website :
Newsmap does not pretend to replace the googlenews aggregator. Its objective is to simply demonstrate visually the relationships between data and the unseen patterns in news media. It is not thought to display an unbiased view of the news; on the contrary, it is thought to ironically accentuate the bias of it.
I am convinced such of concept can be applied to many other areas than pure online news. For instance, a telecommunications operator could use it in its supervision and/or monitoring systems, e.g. to display users' s traffic.
I am very proud to claim that I could have been part of the jury myself, and I can prove it here !
It's time to have a look at the contest which was launched last month by the folks at Slideshare. To date, 250- entries are listed.
After sorting the view per popularity (to go faster), I've been browsing through the half of it - that is 6 pages : no front slide catched my eyes but the first two. IMHO, those two presentations should be among the Top-5 by the closing of the contest on April 23d. They've got it all : a) you don't need a presenter to understand their meaning; b) they tell a story, from A to Z; c) they keep you captivated. On top of it, their respective first slide is not a trap : the inside is as good as the outside...
Then, here are my two favorites :
Note : ' Shift Happens ' is a slideshow based on a presentation titled " Did You Know? "created by Karl Fisch, teacher at the Arapahoe High School. Thanks to the magic of Internet, I found Karl' s blog yesterday : The Fishbowl is just an amazing piece of knowledge.
The story behind " Did you know " is here. And here too, under the title " Gone Fishin' ", with the video (and music) on YouTube here.
Shift Happens on Slideshare (well, that's right ;-) : click here.
Meet Henry on Slidshare (hum, Henry should be busy right now ;-) : click there.
For those of you who don't want to leave FiberGeneration now, enjoy (and vote)
SlideShare's users will vote on the entries while the contest is on. The winning entries will be decided by (the) panel of judges, which is comprised of the who's who of the presentation world. The People's Choice prizes will be decided on the basis of the votes polled. Winners will be announced one week after the contest ends.
Provided the quality of the grand jury, I guess the winning presentation will have to really be an outstanding one. Both in terms of design - graphic design, overall concept - and content - the topic and the story. In the meantime, it will have to pass through the votes of the rest of the people. Here starts the real issue. Weisman, Decker, Reynolds, Kawasaki : they are seasoned businessmen, experts in their field(s), used to deal with high-level audiences. Hence their certain vision of presentation : a quick/captivating/eye catching story-telling, kind of. How about SlideShare average visitors and users ? Who are they ? My guess : 20-30 yrs old tech geeks. Finding the matching point between them and the jury is the key for success. The winner will be the one who will please * the average * and wow * the experts *. Sounds familiar ? It looks like " American Idol " and the likes to me. A great challenge...
A quick overview of the first applications here, and you'll get the point : for the time being, there is no "wow" stuff. Nothing that turns me on, nothing that make me want to click and watch.
Here is what I would do, should I decide to participate - who knows ?!. By the way, note that this a copy & paste of a comment I left today on Guy Kawasaki' s blog :
Maybe the point is to make the presentation a piece of theatre by itself. A *good* presentation is a story. In this case (Slideshare contest) there is no story-teller, means no speaker/presenter/actor. Hence the basic idea : imagine a presentation where the presenter is inside, 'on' the slides themselves. Then, this presenter will tell a story. A kind of cartoon, if you see what I mean.
Now, the absolute open question to resolve is this one : which topic ? In the introduction, SlideShare claims :
I'm pretty convinced that evangelizing Linux won't make it, nor a recipe for the perfect apple pie : that's too " common stuff ". Maybe evangelizing the perfect apple pie in the greatest city of the world driving a green car will make it though ;-)
Your presentation could be about anything you know or care for. From teaching 5th graders history to pitching your ideas to VCs; tell us why your city is great or convince us to buy hybrid cars; evangelize Linux or share a recipe for that perfect apple pie.
Sometimes, there is no better way to kick-off the week than to receive a kick in the... you name it. Thanks to Guy Kawasaki, who posted the link on his blog yesterday Sunday, this sermon called “Jesus & Your Job” by Nancy Ortberg of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church made my day - and perhaps the rest of my week and the days to follow.
Beyond the core message of this sermon, which is about good leaders and the value of people’s work, I see something else : a kind of reminder. It is time for all of us to think different. I wish the combat against Global Warming will force us Humans to unite. For once. For the sake of our children's children.
I just discovered the American Museum of Natural History website. The Science Bulletins section features amazing animations and videos on the Universe, Space, and Earth. It's worth bookmarking, sharing, and, of course, watching here.
In the Earth section, the following three presentations are mandatory : Dead Zones on the Rise, Melting Glaciers: Clues to Climate Change, Arctic Sea Ice 1997-2006
Maybe those of you who are still skeptics about global warming will change their mind. Hopefully ;-)
As a PBwiki' user (well, I haven't launched the FiberGeneration yet) I received an email from the startup' team, regarding a major update of the user interface and features set. I can't resist publishing it : it is a model of customer-focused approach. That is exactly what I do expect from any vendor : keep me informed of the latest developments on the product (or beta product), use common language (I mean, no marketing blahblah nor hype slang), and show the benefits in the real life (i.e. real case studies).
Also, note how subtle is the invite to watch the video : it's all about " you ", the end-user. That is the most convincing way to get people's attention : speak about themselves.
Subject: PBwiki -- Introducing the best feature in the world (fibergeneration)
Date: February 21, 2007 12:33:41 AM CEST
To: marc duchesne
comment : note the recipient is not a list but me alone. The intention is to make me (i.e. the customer) proud : " hey, I've got a message from those guys; they're paying attention to me"...
First, a disclosure: We tried to sound modest in this email, but it just
didn't work. We're too excited about announcing how cool your wiki
(fibergeneration.pbwiki.com) just became!!
comment : note that they are not saying "how cool PBwiki just became" but "YOUR wiki". They are not talking about their product, they are talking about MY product (the fibergeneration wiki). Pretty different, huh ?
Today we're thrilled to announce the official launch of our new PBwiki
Point-and-Click editor, which lets you edit in rich text and import
photos, videos, and more. And you can switch to it right now, for free.
Here's what you get:
comment : the new features are maybe important to many users, but the most important here is for everyone : it's free. Note how the message " you can use the new features right now and for free " has been introduced : at the end of the paragraph, and crisp and clear. So, that's the only thing the reader will keep in mind.
Editing is much, much easier. Just type like you would in your favorite
word processor and click Bold, Italics, and font color/size. Drag text and
images around anywhere you want. It just works.
Add a shared calendar to your wiki. Or a YouTube video, Flickr photoshow,
chat room, stock chart, or more. Just click "Insert Plugin."
SWITCH BACK TO CLASSIC MODE ANY TIME
You can always switch back-and-forth between Point-and-Click and Classic
comment : note the short sentences, and the crispy messages : " it just works ", " Just click ". All made to make you feel comfortable, because the new features are easy to use.
"So PBwiki," you might say, "how do I try the new Point-and-Click editor?"
We're glad you asked!!
Watch a 2-minute video tour of the new features and try the new
Point-and-Click editor on your wiki:
comment : note the casual tone, as during a live discussion. Who can resist ? Not me !
By the way, I let the URL on purpose, so you can watch the video tour and get the picture by yourself. Maybe you'll open your own wiki thereafter ;-)
comment : there is no job title, just first names, and this wonderful signature : " YOUR PBwiki Team".
David, Ramit, Nathan, Emily, Brian, and Darren
Your PBwiki Team
Michael Wesh , Assistant Professor of Cultural Antrophology (don't ask me what it means, please ;-) at the Kansas State University, has posted on YouTube an amazing insanely great presentation : " Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us ". This video is a real hit : Views: 1,472,868 | Comments: 3818 | Favorited: 15902 times, as per the YouTube page as of right now (Feb. 26, 2007, 7:52PM CET ;-)
I discovered it today, thanks to Garr Reynolds of PresentationZen. Beyond the innovative way of presenting, which use all the modern technics of the Internet, the question asked by Wesh is : what is this (the Web 2.0) all about ?. Surprisingly, the answer is... I let you discover it by yourself !
All the Michael Wesh's videos posted on YouTube here.
Digital Ethnography @ Kansas State University website here.
Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio tell Hollywood how the Academy goes green. (photo : Reuters).
"An Inconvenient Truth", the documentary from used-to-be-the-next-president-of-the-United States of America Al Gore and director Davis Guggenheim on global warming has won an Oscar last night in Los Angeles, CA.
In my humble opinion, the Academy' award is another strong sign that the combat against global warming is going mainstream in the US. An excellent news, that is a tremendous step forward to a complete overhaul of our way of life.
As I wrote some weeks ago : for the first time in the History of Humanity, we of the Western World (aka " Occident ") can reshape Mother Earth for the sake of our children' children. And still make money out of it. Going Green (Tech) means make Green (Money - US dollars, get it ?)
post-scriptum : the original article by Associated Press claims"An Inconvenient Truth" to be a power-point presentation. Well, the author doesn't probably subscribe to "PresentationZen", otherwise she would have known that it was designed and created using Apple' Keynote presentation app !
Nevertheless, I understand the confusion : "An Inconvenient Truth" was not filmed at a conference' keynote speech ;-)
So, I had to do the Elevator Pitch. How to explain a Paradigm Shifting-next Google-Revolutionary business in 30 seconds. Funny enough, I just finished reading this post on Paul Williams' s IdeaSandBox a few minutes before. I had to keep focus on my usual introduction of Testing 2.0, trying not to do it the '24' style : " The following take place between 1998 and today" ;-)
Let me introduce Testing 2.0 for you :
FTTH Fiber-To-The-Home networks are moving to mainstream. According to the Fiber-to-the-Home Council and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), in North America alone FTTH networks now pass by six million homes and more than 300,000 homes are being passed with FTTH every month. That means thousands of OSP Outside Plant technicians going in the field to connect and test fibers each month. Meaning thousands of manpower hours, thousands of miles in the streets, thousands of dollars of equipment in the trucks... The problem is : the Telcos can't afford such tremendous investments without cutting costs here and there. Their priority number one : cut the costs of the OSP techs. Avoid the trucks. Get the fiber turned on with no technician on-site. In the US, Verizon calls on the T&M Test & Measurement companies since years, asking them to develop low-cost 'Go/No-Go' test solutions to be used by novices, say the guy who is mounting the optical fiber termination box. No one of them answers : such a solution would kill their business !
Here comes Testing 2.0 : the answer to the Verizon and the likes' s call. Get rid of the trucks, and turn on the fiber without specialized tools and technicians.
Testing FTTH links from the subscriber' s place become a simple/easy/fast task : connect the test probe to the fiber, check the availability/quality of the three services (telephone, internet, TV), send the results to the Service Provider via... SMS, and that's it.
Testing 2.0' breaks the rules, because : a) it splits the test solution into three pieces : low-cost yet universal and reliable hardware, custom-built software apps using Open Source and Web 2.0 bricks, and a complete yet evolutive bundle of services, and b) Testing 2.0 is based on a Pay-Per-Use model.
Low-Cost, Pay-Per-Use, Services : Testing 2.0 revamps the whole Telecoms Test & Measurement industry' landscape :
- Low-Cost : instead of the traditional $ 3k-5k testers which are sold today by all the major T&M vendors, Testing 2.0 concept is based on $500 probes that do the same basic job : go/no go.
- Pay-Per-Use : Testing 2.0 solutions use cellphones and smartphones as the user interface. The probe' s data are then transmitted to the Service Provider (e.g. Verizon and the likes) per SMS messages.
- Services : since everyone in the Telecoms industry do face scarce resources issues, Testing 2.0 solutions include every service both the Service Provider and his Network Equipment vendor need to turn on and maintain the fiber : test reports, data management, etc. All based on Web 2.0 collaborative platforms.
That is Testing 2.0 in brief. From now on, I will publish more details on the dedicated Testing 2.0 ' blog (URL already registered). Also, I have opened a wiki a couple of weeks ago, which will be used together with the Testing 2.0 blog.
Stay tuned ;-)
* I haven't got the job (hey, that is : CEO of a 20M€/50 people firm !), however I've got a new reader. I think the latest will pay on the long run ;-)
post-scriptum : there is nothing to see at the moment at www.testing2dot0.com.
Apple Computer, inc. is dead, welcome and long life to Apple, inc. For all of us Mac fans, as well as for the rest of us entrepreneurs and business developers, the MacWorld 2007 Keynote is worth watching again and again.
Of course, Tuesday the 8th of January, 2007, will stay forever as the day when Steve Jobs unveiled his best-kept-secret new baby : the iPhone. It is not that often (unfortunately ?...) that we can watch a new revolution live. But there was something way more important than the iPhone itself this day. Apple has changed. The ad banner which was released on the apple.com homepage the week before the expo tells this : Steve Jobs has set his company for the Future. Apple has dropped the word 'computer' out of its name, to make it crisp and clear to all of us, especially to its rivals Microsoft and Sony : the Mac & iPod maker is no longer a 'computing-only' firm. Apple is aimed at Consumer Electronics at large.
Another interesting fact to analyze : Apple is no longer a single-combat-warrior/free electron company. Apple do teamwork. See Intel, Nike, and now AT&T. In each case, a beautiful example of a perfect win-win setup. Thanks to Jobs, and the Apple folks, Intel is learning to think out of the box, Nike reaches the high-tech geeks, and AT&T will be #1 again soon.
Les Poven of Of Things Mac has written a very interesting article on Steve Jobs and Change Management, detailing the Keynote speech in all aspects, from a strategic marketing perspective : "The 2007 Jobs Macworld Keynote: Lessons in Change Management". A must read.
ps : about the iPhone, you shall read the excellent post "iPhone and the Dog Ears User Experience Model" by Kathy Sierra of Creating Passionate Customers. I guess Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive know Raymond Loëwy' s MAYA principle per the book ;-)
post-scriptum (it's funny, posting a post-scriptum on a weblog post ;-) : this online tutorial is based on a hands-on booklet I wrote back in... 1991. I gave the rights to use it to Agilent when I was with the Optical Network Test Division, in Year 2K. It took us a few weeks to update it, and a couple of months to design, write, and develop the tutorial. Interesting to see how this tool was so accurate and still state-of-the-art today. I'm proud of it ;-)
I created FiberGeneration.com as a product. I held numerous brainstorming sessions with myself for a long time, I drafted the roadmap, I built the product plan, I put together the marketing and the sales plans. Then, I started the implementation. As of today, the execution is fairly on schedule. A couple of issues with the widgets here and there, that's it. However, I missed to complete one thing for you : the feature list, i.e. what are you going to read next time on this blog.
I am glad to introduce now this 'future articles list', for you to get a better vision of what's coming up next (no chronological order here) :
- Steve Jobs, the most brillant son of Raymond Loëwy (it's about Industrial Design)
- A bozzo in business (nothing to do with the above !)
- The Pocket-OTDR (that's related to the bozzo thing ;-)
- Product Design : Steve Jobs on Microsoft Zune (this one is also a bozzo thing ;-)
- My take on Web 2.0 gadgets in the Telecoms Test & Measurement industry (very serious)
- Launch fiber vs. patchcord in OTDR testing (don't worry, it's not for experts)
- Selling Pierre Cardin suits (my best experience as a salesman so far)
- Testing 2.0 (finally) : Onto a true low-cost business model in the Telecoms Test & Measurement industry (very serious, huh ?)
- Best Of The Week (this one is planned for next week)
Plus, as many as I can publish on my numerous experiences at HP/Agilent, without breaking the confidentiality rule.
I hope you will enjoy the ride !