The Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown in New Orleans is one of those epic dance events that I have somehow never managed to attend. Everyone I know who has attended tells me that it hosts the most blazingly awesome lindy hop dancing you will ever see, plus social dancing all over this greatest of jazz cities. So I'm sorta dying that I can be at ULHS this weekend.
I am somewhat consoled by that fact that Nola.com is again video simulcasting a lot of the competitions to the web on Saturday evening, starting at 8pm CST. There will be live music provided by "The Showdown All Star Band" featuring Meschiya Lake and some of my favorite contests: "Showcase," "The Showdown," solo Charleston, and the Jack 'n' Jill.
In case you missed my talk, on August 26, I joined Kivi Leroux Miller, president of the Nonprofit Marketing Guide and Nat Robinson, vice president for business development at SlideRocket, to talk about "Giving Great Presentations." It was a fun online event with lots of great questions from the virtual audience. And now you can watch the whole online here.
If you just want the main bits, you can also read the blog recap of the main points on TechSoup.
I learned a lot from this session, so hopefully you will too!
Twitter for Good by Claire Diaz-Ortiz is a concise primer on how to effectively use the Twitter micro-blogging platform to support your nonprofit or charitable cause. I received a reviewer's copy last week and found it to be a quick and informative read for the nonprofit professional.
Subtitled "Change the World One Tweet at a Time", Twitter for Good is probably most helpful for an organizational leader wondering how to leverage this particular social media tool to support your group's mission. Diaz-Ortiz describes a helpful and memorable framework to help you to plan for your use of Twitter by your organization, a structure she calls "T.W.E.E.T." which stands for:
While this framework was written to focus on Twitter, I think it could easily be applied to helping your group think about any other kind of social media tool, whether it is YouTube, Second Life or FaceBook.
UPDATE 9/6: Head here to find out how you can get the free e-version of Twitter for Good on your Kindle or Nook! Today only!
Nat Robinson, vice president of SlideRocket, who provides insight into cloud collaboration for virtual teams sharing their work online.
We'll cover everything from being a persuasive speaker, to using slides effectively, to integrating video and other multi-media into your presentations. So whether you are presenting to your board, your church or a convention hall, this session should be interesting for you.
Here's the jist of my message in Quaker Meeting today:
I recently read an article on how the state of boredom is no longer a part of our daily experience. We have in our pockets small devices that allow us to entertain, amuse or at least stimulate us whenever we want, whether it is riding the train, sitting in a dentist office waiting room or lying in bed before sleep. We have conquered boredom! But is that a good thing?
I am the worst culprit. I sometimes have as many as three different digital devices on the table when I am eating alone, and find each of them "essential" in some way. I can't just sit there and enjoy my meal.
This need for constant stimulation is one of the reasons why friends of mine often have a hard time grasping what happens during Quaker Meeting for Worship. The idea of sitting for an entire hour in silence, with apparently "nothing happening" is baffling to some of them. It just sounds... boring.
I currently have no phone and no car in California. It's like I don't exist as a person.
Okay, it isn't quite that bad, but sometimes it feels that way.
Through a series of accidents, I find myself both without personal transportation and more importantly without a smart phone. Learning how to navigate myself in the world without being tethered to my iPhone has proved to be frustratingly difficult.
Several times I have found myself standing on an unfamiliar street in San Francisco literally stymied about what to do next. Where do I go? How do I connect with anyone I know? What do I do? I felt like a crippled, blind gazelle in the concrete jungle.
I'm a huge fan of Improv Everywhere and I work in social media, so when the two meet up, it's like rainbows and nutella. Here's what happens when those merry pranksters invade the GEL social media conference in NYC. Gotta share!
I have been playing around with some augmented reality apps recently, including the Layar AR system, one of the most popular ones out there today. Layar provides a common platform for developers to share their augmented reality data using common standards, and then share them with a global community of users. There are currently more than 2,000 layers available on this platform, on everything from street art to food to real estate. Layar runs on various mobile devices including iOS and Android phones.
But what is something useful that you can do with augmented reality? Well, I'm a swing dancer in the San Francisco Bay Area. So I decided to create the SF Lindy Hop Venues augmented reality layer.
I love events that juxtapose seemingly disparate topics like transgender photography and virtual worlds. It became a wonderfully free-form and honest mash-up of ideas and experiences that the 80-some people there really engaged with. I think it helped that Rosedale and Mac are such winning personalities with unique and fresh perspectives on technology and identity. And that their interlocutors Tom Boellstoerff and Michelle Tea were so skillful at teasing out the most interesting ideas and opinions from those two.
It was also a nice use of the mixed-reality, as the event was beamed into the Metanomics virtual talk show space and then projected onto a big screen. So the avatars could see the humans and the humans could see the avatars!
I won't attempt to summarize what Philip and Amos talked about, since it was a rather free-ranging discussion. Hopefully someone else will make available video or notes from their talks. Check out Amy Higgin's neat Storify of the event, that mashes up different images and tweets during the talks.
My main takeaway relates to how technology affords humans expanded means of expression, personal development, identity exploration, and connections with others. And it let's a shy, short middle-aged dude become the dancing bot he always dreamed of.