Accidentally in Code

Archive for the ‘Presentation’ Category

Tomorrow I’m running an introduction to Java via Wave. Because I’ve had a degree of interest from non-complete beginners in learning Processing, I’ve split the content so that one session will be Java: Building Blocks which will teach the very basics of Java but does not introduce Processing, and the other session will be An Introduction to Processing.

Java: Building Blocks covers the very very basics of Java – writing your first program, primitive types, conditions, and loops. At the end, we should be able to make a simple Hangman game using a framework I will provide.

An Introduction to Processing will cover getting started with Processing and be suitable for beginners who have gone through Java: Building Blocks but hopefully won’t be too dull for more advanced programmers. It will take you through creating your first little Java applet in Processing.

I’m taking suggestions for Topics, but things I’m contemplating are:

  • Java: Next Steps – covering arrays, multidimensional arrays, Objects, more on functions (passing arguments etc). Finishing with a TicTacToe or Pacman game (I have frameworks for both of these).
  • Test Driven Development and Exceptions – throwing and handling exceptions, writing code to pass test cases. Working on a Blackjack game.
  • Creating games in Processing – detecting key presses etc.
  • New Since Java 5 – Generics, enum, for each, etc.

Slides for Java: Building Blocks can be found below. As ever, I really welcome feedback!

Ignite

Posted on: November 15, 2009

Ignite is a tough format – 5 minutes, 20 slides, and the slides advance every 15 seconds. As such, the talks aren’t so much informative as inspiring and I really enjoyed the evening. First such event in Ottawa, but hopefully there will be more to come.

You can see the full line up here, however sadly some people couldn’t make it and so the line up was as follows:

Adele McAlear – Death and Digital Legacy

Jairus Pryor – How I Stole $15M from the Canadian Mint

Ian Graham – Coworking

Sue Murphy – Online Community

David Akin – Media and Technology

Kris Joseph – Shakespeare and Oral Culture

Scott Annan – You Inc.: We’re all freelancers now

Nick Charney – Public Service Renewal in 5 Minutes

Al Connors – Improv and Everyday Life

Death and Digital Legacy

This is actually something I’ve been thinking about lately and had actually sat down with my boyfriend, given him my passwords and told him that if anything happened to me I’d want him to let people know. I will probably blog about this properly soon. What I hadn’t thought about, and what this talk brought into focus for me is OK, so I die, my boyfriend lets people know – then what? Do I want my Facebook profile to be a memorial? What do I want to happen to my Twitter account, my blog, LinkedIn etc. I still haven’t come up with any answers to that.

Adele talked about Mac Tonnies who died recently. He had not planned his digital afterlife, as a result the problem of what to do with his archives is ongoing. His family apparently do not own a computer, and did not realize that he’d not just left a website, he’d left a tangible community and online ecosystem – an Amazon affiliate account where money is paid in, and also services that cost, such as hosting.

Before this talk I realized that we had to think about our digital afterlife. Now, I’m starting to realize how much thought needs to go into it. I have more thinking to do.

Shakespeare and Oral Culture

Apparently Shakespeare couldn’t spell. I always thought that was just how people wrote at the time – but apparently it was more than that! Interesting talk and perspective about how rules restrict creativity. Mashups have no rules, and that’s partly why they’re so exciting.

Coworking

Fantastic quote from this – “The harder I work, the luckier I get” (originally by Samuel Goldwyn). This was a talk on entrepreneurship. He stressed the importance of small victories – celebrate them. Think you can change the world, because the people who do change the world are the people who think they can. Love what you do. Being an entrepreneur means you can choose who you work with.

Summary: Work hard, have fun, surround yourself with great people and eventually you will succeed.

Online Community

Susan talked a lot about “Superstars”. In the case of her work in a production company, these were the people in the trenches, people with full time jobs spending 18 hours a day working on productions. Everyone working there was a superstar – they finished each others sentances and raised each other up. Acheived the near impossible on a regular basis.

She started OttawaTonight.com (URL not currently working for me). after noticing the lack of good arts and entertainment information in Ottawa when out with a friend. She thinks that building stronger communities means building the 3 elements of a community, which are: soul (passionate to come together and create), everyone needs to be a superstar, space to come together and share. Concludes – we spend so much time thinking about technology and tools, but it’s not what’s important.

You Inc.: We’re all freelancers now

Scott starts by urging us all to quit our jobs, today (even if we don’t tell our bosses). We used to trade our skills and time as an employee so the company would make a profit in return for security, however that security doesn’t exist any more. Hence – we are all freelancers now! In the new reality, we won’t get to retire at 65, and thus rather than trying to earn more money we should instead look at our career as a journey.In Canada, the opportunity to have your own business is better than ever before.

Focus on skill growth – broad, not deep as this means more industries open to you when you change jobs. Connect with people – social networking enables connections. Your social reputation is increasingly important. Because of connectivity, it’s possible to make a living in a niche market. Authenticity trumps brand. Don’t worry about what you put online, just get online and do something. Do something that’s big and important to you.

In sum:

  • Dream big.
  • Quit job.
  • Build skills.
  • Build network.

Recommends Network Hippo as a tool to help manage your personal network.

Public Service Renewal in 5 Minutes

Great quote (threat?) from this guy – “or I’ll retire on the job and collect my pay for the next 26 years“. Trying to encourage us to put pressure on the government to change, because it moves so slowly. Talks about how difficult his first year working for the government was, how he was in denial about being in the public service. However, through blogging and finding his personal voice (buried under bureaucratic bullshit) he was able to connect with “fallen comrades” and started to build respect – which he used to try and tear down walls. Finally he started to connect with the job, and now he’s excited to go to work every day. He uses social media technologies to try and make the government more effective but it’s a drop in the bucket. What we can achieve collectively is far greater than what we can do on our own, we need to try and envision new ways to do stuff.

The goal of his talk was to be a call to action – a demand that we step up our civic participation and get our hands dirty. If you work in the government, be willing to think and act in color in a system that’s black and white. If you’re not in the government, you need to help to change the game – more pressure from the public is needed in order for the government to become more open and transparent – come up with ideas! Public servants need to be more engaged, and make change faster.

Improv and Everyday Life

Improv is increasingly popular – businesses want it, although they’re not sure why. Thinking on your feet, being able to work off the cuff and have intelligent things to say is helpful, great skill for job interviews – as such, Al owes every job he ever had to improv, especially those that weren’t improv related.

Another word is “Yes” – positivity. Things happen when you say yes. If you say no, nothing goes everywhere. He thinks we’re at the start of a trend towards positivity, which will carry us through the next decade. It’s important to say yes because it makes stuff happen. Pessimists make great stand-up comics – but lousy improvs. Accept the challenge, move forward and defeat it. Yes it involves risks, but risks motivate. There’s the potential for failure, but celebrate your failures – if you’re celebrating, the audience is laughing with you. The wost thing to be on stage is boring.

Concludes: MacGyver was an improv – didn’t worry about what he was going to do, just went for it and it was great. Make more improv in your every day life

This week my supervisor, two of my office mates (Amir and Payam) and I have been working hard putting together a presentation we’ve recorded for a conference in Algeria on Sunday.

I laid out the slides in Keynote, using my color scheme (luckily the others were OK with the pink). We’ve been impressed with how easy it has been to record in Keynote, although I think due to the number of takes there are some glitches where the audio doesn’t quite match with the slides.

It’s taken longer than expected – I think we all got quite perfectionist, and when checking it the playback always started from the beginning – meaning with each additional person it took longer to check everything was working OK! Also – I hate listening to myself present. I say “So…” at the start of every slide!

The slides are available on slideshare (I’ve embedded it below). You may notice that my section is very similar to the presentation I prepared the other week, although I’ve had to add some text to the slides. You can also download the QuickTime movie here (it’s Benyoucef.mov and note – the first section is in French) my section starts at around 32:30.

As ever – let me know what you think!

Holiday Science Lecture Poster

Holiday Science Lecture Poster

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, given certain circumstances I find myself in. And I’ve realized that in all my time at university (I’m entering my 6th year) I’ve had two great professors. The kind that inspire you, the student, with passion. Who explain clearly. The ones who teach the classes that you work hardest for, where you leave feeling it was worth it because you learned the most.

Two. Out of  – lets take a pretty conservative estimate – thirty.

There were a few more who were good – they didn’t inspire the same level of passion, perhaps, but I at least got the impression that they cared about what they were teaching. A significant number just couldn’t seem to be bothered at all. They weren’t “present” in their presentations. They made something potentially interesting sleep inducing.

If this is typical in Computer Science, no wonder enrollment is dropping.

So what do these great instructors have in common? I feel these can be summed up into a concept of “Teaching Effectively, not Efficiently”. Efficient Teaching is putting all the concepts out there and trying to cram them into your students. Effective Teaching is sending your students away understanding the big picture and interested in learning the details that make it up.

  • Passion. They believe in what they’re teaching and convey that to the class.
  • Practicality. Being able to talk about the practical applications of something keeps students engaged.
  • Understanding > Learning. Memorizing something is pointless if the student can’t apply it.
  • Class Engagement. Class is interactive and doesn’t consist of a prof droning on whilst students fall asleep.
  • Engaging Assignments. These profs set homework students want to do, not what’s in the textbook.

Anything I’ve missed?

I think it went well. It was scary, but once I started talking it was OK. Couple of things I found:

  • I easily remembered what slide was about what, but I didn’t always remember how I wanted to formulate what I was saying.
  • The slides weren’t balanced – some of them were up for longer than others.
  • Mostly I had a slide per point, I had two points I wanted make on one slide, and I think that was a mistake. Keep it one point per slide.

I’ve created my slides for my presentation (abstract) following a Presentation Zen (Amazon) approach. So there are basically no words on any of my slides. I’m going to lay them out one by one, with narration. Let me know what you think!

Title Slide

Title Slide

I’ve gone for a blank template. I wonder if this is too plain and could use some background color? Let me know what you think. The color of the lettering matches the color scheme for my soon-to-be-launched website.

This is where I introduce myself and what I’m talking about. I don’t really like this bit of presenting, so I’ll keep it brief.

The World Wide Web

The World Wide Web

Image from iStockPhoto

I’m going to start off by talking about the “World Wide Web” and trying to provoke a bit of thought about it. It’s relatively recent, and yet it’s game changing. How many of us could live without it? I certainly couldn’t. Whilst the internet has been around since the 1960’s, the web as we know it (with hyper-linked web pages) has only been around since 1989. But within 20 years we’ve got to the point where the web is basically infrastructure…

Electricity Infrastructure

Electricity Infrastructure

Image from Flikr User BK59

… like electricity. For more on how I think the internet is just infrastructure like electricity, running water, or roads, see this post.

Clay Shirky - Why I Ignore 5 Year Plans

Clay Shirky - Why I Ignore 5 Year Plans

Clay Shirky – giving us some needed perspective. I think when we reflect on what’s changed, and how recent it is, we realize that this is really just the start of it. I remember life-before-Facebook but I can’t imagine living without it, even though I’m not always sure that the level connectivity it gives us is a good thing (for more on my mixed feelings about Facebook, read this post).

Near-Universal Authorship

Near-Universal Authorship

A couple of hundred years ago, all the information your average person had came from the Bible, if they could even read. Now, not only are rates of literacy very high but the internet gives everyone the ability to be a publisher of content too. There’s a fascinating article on this here.

How Web 2.0 is Changing the Way we Comminicate

How Web 2.0 is Changing the Way we Comminicate

I put this graphic up in this post. What I want to show here is that there’s a shift to newer technologies and that it’s a process. This diagram captures what I’m thinking and finding now, but no doubt in a year it will be different. Also important, is how many arrows are going into Twitter – it’s simplicity and flexibility mean that it’s a great way to do a whole variety of things. There’s definitely stuff that’s missing from the diagram – the thing is to balance what’s important with trying to include everything and making it impossible to follow.

Serendipitous Connections

Serendipitous Connections

Image from iStockPhoto

Something that isn’t represented in the previous diagram though, is the possibility of serendipitous connections. By lowering the bar to communication, and through ambient awareness we can have more “weak-tie” relationships. Think about how many people you’ve lost touch with but found (or had find you) on Facebook, or the number of people you “follow” on Twitter but have never met.

Hang on - Isn't Twitter Completely Pointless?

Hang on - Isn't Twitter Completely Pointless?

Image from http://geekandpoke.typepad.com/geekandpoke/2009/04/twitter-business-plan.html

I don’t think Twitter is a Pointless Waste of Time, but a lot of people do. If you do think Twitter’s pointless, why do you? Have you tried it? Over the next couple of slides I’m going to talk a bit about the impact that Twitter has had on events and the reasons why I think it’s useful.

Iranian Election, 2009

Iranian Election, 2009

Images from http://spinster.blogs.com/rak/2009/06/green.html, http://whatothersmissed.blogspot.com/2009/06/round-up.html, http://www.flickr.com/photos/ari/3644667355/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/ari/3625401150/

In the aftermath of the Iranian election, the US government intervened to change Twitter’s maintenance schedule so that it wouldn’t be down during the day in Iran. Twitter allowed Iranians to communicate with the outside world and express their distress at the rigged election. The governent’s reaction to this did not help their case.

I was working in Shanghai during the summer, and when the riots started they shut down Facebook and Twitter (at the time, I wrote this post). When I was there in 2007, you couldn’t access Wikipedia – but this time I could. This makes me think that the government is no longer afraid of information – it’s afraid of the conversation.

What's the Connection Between the British Parliament and an Irish Pop Star?

What's the Connection Between the British Parliament and an Irish Pop Star?

Images from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:British_Houses_of_Parliament.jpg, http://www.flickr.com/photos/24960504@N06/3581090321

As a Brit, I tend to follow the news over there and the other week two things happened. The first one that a law firm got an injunction to prevent a newspaper reporting from a question to be asked in parliament regarding some toxic waste and a firm called Trafigura. The newspaper (the Guardian – read their story here) could only report that they couldn’t report anything about the MP asking the question or the question itself. However some smart people soon worked out what the question was and soon #trafigura was trending – causing the very awareness that they had sought to prevent.

The seond thing that happened was that this pop star died, of a heart condition. However he was gay, and with his husband at the time so it was enough to get some vile columnist in the Daily Mail to write a homophobic diatribe about him. Her name was soon trending as people expressed outrage (interestingly the Wikipedia article on Jan Moir consists of little more than the story of this).

I think what these two events show, is that Twitter provides a forum for people to express their frustration with all kinds of things – whether it’s concern over restrictions of reporting on parliament or just celebrity gossip. It also captures what people are getting angry, or excited about. Trending topics can answer what’s hot right now – Apple trends whenever it has an announcement, Windows 7 and even Ubuntu 9 were trending on their release.

Trend Graph for #trafigura and "Jan Moir"

Trend Graph for #trafigura and "Jan Moir"

Trendistic is a service that allows us to graph how often words are occurring in Tweets. We can see that #trafigura rapidly became popular and disappeared again quickly once the injunction had been lifted. “Jan Moir” has a wider curve, and there was another flurry of mentions when she released an apology a week later.

Information Gathering

Information Gathering

Image from iStockPhoto

Information gathering is the best use I get out of Twitter, and I feel it’s something that it would be hard to replicate anywhere else with as little effort. Follow leaders in your field, or just people who work in a similar area to you who tweet interesting stuff they found, or people who inspire you. I get so much information this way, and it doesn’t take very long to go through it. I’m literally crowd-sourcing my news! And if someone I’m following tweets too much or I lose interest I can un-follow them. Lists are going to make this even easier.

Ambient Awareness / Ambient Intimacy

Ambient Awareness / Ambient Intimacy

Image from iStockPhoto

Ambient Awareness is like the Facebook newsfeed. It’s passively letting information about your friends lives come to you. But on Twitter, people often update more often – so if it’s someone you’re really fond of it can be better than Facebook for staying in touch with their lives. Two of my good friends live in London and I love the little bits of their lives that I see on Twitter and we definitely use ambient awareness to stay in touch. I was having a lousy day last week and I tweeted about it and one of my friends sent me a message just saying “*hug*”. When another friends released his work project (Google Sync) and it hit the trending topics, it was really nice to share his excitement about it in real time.

Great article in the NY Times on Ambient Intimacy.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management

Image from iStockPhoto

Twitter is amazing for overhearing what your customers are saying about your business. There was actually a paper published earlier this year analyzing brand sentiment on Twitter. Businesses (and non-profits, like @kiva) that get it are on Twitter seeing what’s being said about them and taking part in the conversation.

I wrote more about customer relationship management in this post.

Conversations on Twitter

Conversations on Twitter

Image from iStockPhoto

I think conversations are a great way of measuring engagement on Twitter, and this is what I’m working on at the moment. If your a brand, how engaged are you with your community? If you’re an individual, how engaged are you with the people you’re following? Are you passively absorbing content or are you sharing, adding value? If you’re a spammer, no-one’s talking to you!

Who's Following You?

Who's Following You?

Image from iStockPhoto

It’s possible to have a large number of followers by either paying for them, or by following people in the hopes they’ll follow you back (and unfollowing those that don’t) until eventually you have several thousand people “following” you.

Spammers

Spammers

Image from http://geekandpoke.typepad.com/geekandpoke/2009/02/spam-followers.html

But are they listening?  Or are they just spammers? If they were listening you’d expect at least some of them to be talking to you.

Is Anyone There?

Is Anyone There?

So I decided that follower/following counts were basically meaningless, and wrote a program that will graph your conversation network (more on that in this post).

And it’s fascinating, because someone’s graph really says a lot about the kind of user they are. Are they a power-user? A regular user? A spammer? A light user?

My Conversation Network

My Conversation Network

Spammer Conversation Network

Spammer Conversation Network

Power User Conversation Network

Power User Conversation Network

Moderate User Conversation Network

Moderate User Conversation Network

Light User Conversation Network

Light User Conversation Network

It’s nice how you can see the different networks that he’s a part of here. I hope to use a clique finding approach to draw out this kind of information for bigger and busier networks.

Is This Pretentious?

Is This Pretentious?

Monday was Democamp 12, I heard about it in the morning and managed to get a ticket (someone dropped out). It was really a great evening; I met some really cool people and won a model plane.

Events: Betidings and Twegather

First up presenting was Betidings. The concept is that you have a calendar of events that you’re interested in, and you can follow other people and events they add to their calendar will show up for you as well. So with very little effort I now have a schedule of events in Ottawa and I can see what days I’m free and what interest me. The downside – I was living in contented ignorance about the Girl Geek Dinner on Monday, and now I’m gutted that I’m missing it! I think it’s worth checking out, you can see what I’m interested in here.

This is still in the very early stages and is more of a proof of concept than a fully fledged application but I think it’s worth a go – the more data there the more useful it will be. And it’s a nice way to share stuff you’re interested in without forcing it on people. I guess it could potentially be for events what Twitter is for ideas and content. Not sure everyone got this though – one jerk said the user interface sucked. Not quite in the spirit of democamp! The UI isn’t fully there yet and I’m not a big fan of the colorscheme but they’re actively looking for feedback and welcome any comments to @betidings.

Twegather (not yet public) was created through TeamCamp – read about it here. It’s an event system using Twitter, you’ll be able to create an event using @WhoWantsToGo.

Crazy Planes

The planes were what I was talking about in this tweet. A full article on it is this one, by the lovely @loudandskittish. I thought these were awesome because to me they illustrate the programmer mindset applied to something not-programming. I’m definitely going to be taking mine (and hopefully a few more) to my Holiday Science Lecture in December!

Twitter Procrastination Tool: BattleTwip

This is kinda cute! Battleship on Twitter, played against everyone. Created by 76Design, you can follow @battletwip and play via Twitter when the next game starts. They also have a really awesome looking web interface which we saw a preview of, but as far as I can find it’s not up yet.

Advertising: Shiny Ads

Shiny ads is an alternative to Google Adsense. It allows you to attract your own advertisers, gives them the tools to make their ad or upload it and then you can approve it (or not) and earn a much better rate for click-through. Wasn’t so relevant to democamp – although most people had websites, they seem to use them to either promote their (non ad-based-web-) business or personal brand.

Overall

Great experience, great people, great opportunity to interact with the Ottawa tech community and it’s nice to see what’s up and coming. I love the vibrant tech scene here! Can’t wait for democamp 13 – wonder if I could present my graphs…?

Subtitle: Things that Universities should tell you about, but often don’t.

I’m in my 6th year at university now, and over the course of it I’ve assembled my suite of tools that maximize my productivity. When I meet people from outside of Computer Science, I’m always amazed that they haven’t heard of so many of these; so I’ve been inspired to create a list of things that I find really useful and hope you will too. If there’s anything you feel I’ve missed out – post it in the comments!

Collaboration Tools

Chances are, at university you’ll be doing some group work. You’ll spend ages trying to find a meeting time that works for everyone, someone won’t turn up, and at the end of the meeting you’ll wonder why you bothered having it in the first place. Unless – you use the internet to collaborate online, synchronously or asynchronously and minimize meetings whilst keeping everyone on the same page. Here are some things that can help.

  1. Online calendars. Google Calendar allows you to share with others – when you’re trying to coordinate your schedule for group projects or voluntary work you’ll be grateful for this.
  2. Google docs. Again, great for collaboration. Also, check out the widgets in the spreadsheets. You can create the awesome gapminder charts as seen in this great video from TED. It’s easier than making your own wiki (but that’s an option too).
  3. Google Wave. This will revolutionize communication and collaboration. It’s hard to get in right now but put out the word you’re interested and hopefully when someone you know gets an invite they’ll pass it along to you. If you need it now, LifeHacker has a list of alternatives here.

Organizational Tools

Poor organization is a big time sink. Staying on top of things will make your life much easier, promise! Here are some things that can help.

  1. Zotero is awesome for keeping track of your references and things you’ve read. Universities will often tell you to use Endnote or Ref Works because it’s “free”, but it’s not! When you graduate you’ll have to either find an alternative or loose everything. Zotero is free as in “free and open source”. And free as in cost (unless you end up needing extra storage).
  2. Todo Lists. There are loads of great, free tools out there to help you manage what you need to get done – Remember The Milk is a popular one. I find it helpful to set recurring daily tasks such as “Read a paper” so that I stay on top of what’s happening in my field.
  3. Open Office. Need an office suite? Open Office is a great substitute for MS Office and what’s more – it’s free (and open source). Whatever you’re using, though, learn what a cross-reference is and use it – once you know it, it’ll save you time and you won’t hand anything in with two “Figure 3″‘s.
  4. Keynote. If you’re giving presentations on a mac, don’t use Powerpoint! Keynote makes much nicer slides. I’ve spent too much time at university sitting through bad presentations loosing the will to live. Don’t do that to your peers. Take the time to read Presentation Zen, buy Keynote, and start impressing people. Given the low bar, it won’t even be that hard.

It’s What You Know – Information Gathering

I know, it can be hard just to keep up with the stuff we have to do for class etc. However, dedicating a little time every day to keeping on top of what’s going on will pay dividends in terms of being better informed, having more to talk about, and more ideas when put on the spot to think of one. I.e. instead of spending a week before your job interview reading all the career advice you can get your hands on, why not read a little bit a week? Rather than spending days thinking of a project for class, why not spend a little time keeping up with your field and keeping a list of ideas that you’d work on, given time?

  1. Blogs are an easy way to keep up with what people in your field are doing, and often people blog before they publish. What about other topics you’re interested in? Blogs can be a valuable resource for career advice or other fields that you’re interested in. Keep track of them on Google Reader or similar.
  2. Amazon. The Amazon recommendation system is phenomenal; it will recommend good books for you on the basis of what you’ve read (and will say what it’s basing it on). Read around your subject, and read books that aren’t strictly relevant – they may be really useful! Recently I’ve read Freakonomics, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and Presentation Zen. None of them are particularly relevant to what I work on but they’ve all been helpful in their own way. You have time – if you make it – reading a chapter a day won’t take that long and will get you through a lot of books.
  3. TED Talks. These are by leaders in their field and are under 20 minutes. There’s no excuse not to find time to watch some of these. Go to www.ted.com and get watching! Particularly good ones. – Hans Rosling on stats that blow your mind, Ken Robinson on how education kills creativity. and Clay Shirky on social media making history.
  4. Are you in business but not reading Business Week, or The Economist? Are you in Science and not reading Nature? Why not? Are you reading something else instead?
  5. Google Scholar. Searches academic papers, includes the ones hosted on researchers personal websites etc so you can get draft versions before they’re published. It searches the portals like ACM and IEE, so there’s no need to visit them all individually. Also, you can import references from Google Scholar straight into Zotero.
  6. Twitter. Keep up with leaders in your field and other people you find interesting in 140 characters or less. You don’t have to tell people what you’re having for lunch, and you can talk about what you’re working on, and ask questions. I find Twitter particularly useful for crowd-sourcing the news that’s worth reading through services like TweetMeme, and following people whose opinion I respect.

It’s Who You Know – Managing Your Online Presence

Accept that when you apply for a job (or even just go on a date) you’re going to be Googled. What will they find? Your Facebook summary with the profile picture of you getting drunk last weekend? Or have you built up a professional profile that will show up as well? Facebook is fine – although I would rethink that photo…

  1. Brazen Careerist and LinkedIn. Set up profiles and start building your contact list and recommendations now, not when you need a job.
  2. Do you have your own blog? WordPress is easy to use and has some lovely designs. Blogger is good too. If you’re a grad student especially, it’s a great way to share what you’re working on. If you’re a student group, it’s a great idea to use a blog to keep in touch with your members. Check out our blog for uOttawaWISE as an example.
  3. Twitter (again) – what are you sharing on Twitter? Useful and interesting articles relevent to your industry? Good for you!

The class I TA for has to create presentations in Powerpoint using transitions and music. A million miles from Presentation Zen, hey? There are some good examples of stand-alone presentations using transitions and music though – caveat is, stand-alone is an important point. If you tried to present with so much movement behind you, your audience would be pretty distracted.

Social Media Revolution – think social media is a fad? This video might change your mind.

Shift Happens – interesting video on globalization and the information age.

danah boyd: remixeddanah boyd works on social media, the video is a “remix” of a talk she gave.


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