Presentation Porn

A post called Presentation Porn has left me wondering if the use of the word porn in the title will mean it gets more views than any of the other posts. But it isn’t pornographic so you don’t have to ban the page or anything like that.

Ever read 43 Folders? Right up there on the front page it says “43 Folders is Merlin Mann’s site about personal productivity” and it carries lots of tips to make you better at stuff. Not better at the high jump or getting to the next level on Donkey Kong but better at stuff like remembering to cancel the papers when you are going on holiday and dealing with the 75,000 emails generated at work over a weekend while you’re sleeping. 43 folders can help you get over procrastination and clear your clutter (like Dawna Walter but without the Crusher). If I was pretending to be down with the kids then I’d say it’s cool which would only go to prove that I never was ‘down with the kids’. But it is a great site.

I digress.

I was sat at work last week, feeling tired one lunch break after ploughing through however many hundred emails were in my inbox that morning thinking that, like Nat West, there must be another way (see reference to free stuff here) when I weave my wandering web way to 43 Folder’s inbox zero pages. I think the uber cool refer to it as izero (or is it i-zero?) but we’ve established I am not uber anything.

Now, I know what you’re thinking and it proves you are a smart cookie who can jump ahead in a story like this one. You’re thinking that I read inbox zero and got my inbox to zero right then and there while eating a Coronation Chicken bap and a caramel square. Admit it, that’s what you were thinking was next. And I don’t want to spoil your opinion of yourself so, yeah, I did that (and I was eating that). It’s neat (see, down with the kids) but anybody can do it if you hit delete and pretend the server must have crashed on that important email from your boss.

It’s not the point. The point is also not that I sat and hit the delete key several hundred times while watching Merlin’s Inbox Zero presentation (yeah, right, like I don’t know about shift-delete) and felt good about myself. If you want to achieve the Zen like state of inbox zero (sorry, izero) then watch the video. Merlin is presenting to, what I imagine to be, some brainy people at Googleplex and I am not sure if they are taking it in or not. I imagined the really brainy folks would have asked more questions than they did. Not sure what that says about them. Probably says there were eating a Coronation Chicken bap and a caramel square (which, I gather, are free at the ‘plex).

And now to the key point some 460 or so words into this little piece (don’t count the words, I edited a bit and so that number, while once real, now resembles something I made up). Merlin’s presentation is great. Really good. But it’s not just good because it helps you get to an i0 state (i0, I just thought of that). No, I mean it’s a really good presentation.

I should write about my presentations. I think I will. But not now because I am talking about Merlin’s presentation (if I use only his first name it’s like we hang together, right? I’m way cool). It’s a done properly (his presentation, not the hanging). The slides are illustrations and there are more pictures than words (pictures are good for recall, apparently). He doesn’t use the slides as a safety net in case something is forgotten. No, they illuminate and reinforce his points. They are there as visual support. I mean that his slides are not his presentation. What he says is the presentation. The slides are, if you will, the side slide show. Useful, entertaining but not the star attraction.

This really shouldn’t be such a revelation but it’s an almighty, lightening strike of a revelation. I’ve sat through hundreds of presentations. Hell, I’ve given hundreds of presentations and few, so very few, are like this. By which I mean most are rubbish (including some, although not all, of mine). It jumped off the screen at me.

I got so wrapped up in it that I had people standing around wondering what I was watching and how I could be so attentive and engaged by a video on the web. So, go watch it. It’s presentation porn, if you will (although you’ll learn more and there’s much less grunting).

All Change

A new look for an old favourite

Jase has changed his site (and seems to have moved his RSS feed). It’s a great new look but I hope this change of focus doesn’t stop him posting!

There’s so much I would like to do on this site right now: so much to write and a few design changes I would like to make. When am I going to find the time to keep up?

I did notice that Gillian McKeith has a new recipe book out and I am so tempted!! Despite the fact that I could never stick to her diet I do love her tv show. I’d love to spend a day with her!

Shuttle Lost

I am grateful that people are prepared to take such great risks in the interest of human knowledge. I, for one, salute their bravery.

Space Shuttle ColumbiaLike everybody else, I was shocked to hear of the loss of the space shuttle Columbia. Like many, the first pictures I saw were the trails in the sky as the craft disintegrated. I’ve just found this radar picture online from the US National Weather Service which shows the heat generated as Columbia broke up. Despite the previous tragedy, it seemed space travel was gradually becoming routine. Seeing the radar image reminded me just what these craft and crew have to endure to push the boundaries of human knowledge. It brought space travel back into perspective for me and really shows the bravery of those who choose to go into space. As the events leading to the disaster unfold, it’s time to remind ourselves that we really are pushing boundaries. I am grateful that people are prepared to take such great risks in the interest of human knowledge. I, for one, salute their bravery.

Shapes Made By Radio Waves

The Ministry Of Defence is interested in the technology that allows us all to be monitored by our mobile phones.

Well, according to a report in this weekend’s Observer newspaper, the Ministry Of Defence is interested in the technology that allows us all to be monitored by our mobile phones. Apparently, there are many positive uses of this ‘spy’ technology – following people on the move (walking or driving) and monitoring areas (nuclear power stations, roads etc.) when visibility is bad. Nobody seems to ask what happened if you loan you mobile ‘phone to somebody or (gasp) switch it off. Observer: How mobile phones let spies see our every move

Snapshot of the Blogsphere

A quick look around the web and some of the comments for the first day of a new month.

It may be October but the weather doesn’t suggest it at all. Anyway, my current three favourite blogs are saying this today:

  1. You think you’re fine with everything until you wake up at 4am convinced there’s someone in your flat again. [plasticbag]
  2. Bloody hell, it’s October. How did that happen? [not.so.soft]
  3. I don’t know what to do with my life. This morning I had my Early Modern Architecture class and it made me indecisive again [trabaca]

Wonder how this will read in a year’s time?