Fearless Leader Watch Filter: Mathowie presentation on online communities May 22, 2007 11:17 PM   Subscribe

Thought some folks might like to see a presentation Matthew posted up on the most excellent slideshare site about building online communities. Fantastic selection of photos in the presentation...nicely done. (No, I'm not a crazy stalker person - I was checking slideshare out for some dull compsci reading, and Mathowie's head popped up this was a featured presentation. Enjoy!
posted by rmm to MetaFilter-Related at 11:17 PM (44 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Until other evidence is produced I will have to assume that presentation is a parody of how matthowie views the online world.

That looked horrid.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:46 PM on May 22, 2007

Slide 45 showed off the admin flag screen that we commoners never see.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:11 AM on May 23, 2007

If I knew that the admin flag screen was so nifty I would have been cortex.
posted by allen.spaulding at 1:15 AM on May 23, 2007

Slide 29 indicates that we should be able to post photos!
posted by strawberryviagra at 1:16 AM on May 23, 2007

37...the banhammer...run for your lives!
posted by adamvasco at 3:16 AM on May 23, 2007

You heard the man ... Deal with troublemakers quickly.
posted by RMD at 6:21 AM on May 23, 2007

That looked horrid.

It looked great to me. It seems that Mr. #1 understands that the map is not the territory, and slides are illustrations not data points. I would have liked to hear the talk.
posted by OmieWise at 6:23 AM on May 23, 2007

Yeah, I would have liked to hear it too.
posted by RMD at 6:26 AM on May 23, 2007

That was interesting. Matt is all about compromise. Half of that speech was: "Hey dicks. Don't be dicks to people online. If you aren't a dick, people will like you." and half of it was: "Look, there are a bunch of friendless shut-ins out there, and if you give these pathetic losers a 'sense of community' so that they don't feel so isolated and sad, then you will make money. Ha Ha Ha! Sweet filthy lucre!"

On a more serious note, I think that the "guidelines not rules" thing is what makes Metafilter work, and that is why it drives me crazy when someone comes to MeTa to say "You did x to y but not to z! We need consistency." No you don't. Clear cut, black and white rules don't work in real life and they don't work online. I think that the desire for them is a sign of immaturity.
posted by ND¢ at 6:51 AM on May 23, 2007

Yeah, I would have liked to hear it too.

How about putting it up as the next podcast? Complete with little electronic beeps for when you're supposed to turn the slides (memories of classroom filmstrips!).
posted by hangashore at 7:16 AM on May 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Wow, that looks really slick. It's funny, after being on the inside here for so long, some of this advice seems so "duh" obvious but then you look at how big media is still not catching on and I guess there are still things to learn.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:32 AM on May 23, 2007

A few things:

- I was talking to newspaper reporters and editors that are just barely grasping online stuff. So everything was on an intro level (and they're really concerned about layoffs and dwindling profits in their industry). USA Today is about the only site trying all this stuff out.

- The slides don't make sense without any audio since the points are merely jumping off points. I usually don't even read what is said on a slide, I just talk for about a minute or two on the general theme of what you see. I should record audio for it, maybe next week.

- The slide style is taken from the book "Beyond Bulletpoints" and it's awesome. Your slides are supposed to be really sparse and only have 5 or 6 words on them. People don't want the paragraph of text read to them in bulletpoints, they fall asleep to that stuff.

- Also, the core lesson of the book is to setup a compelling argument using an outline structure with theater/screenwriting influences. So I set the stage, say who I'm talking to, present them with a challenge, tell them how to solve it and make things right, then you launch into 30 minutes of supporting evidence, then revisit the opening points to conclude.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:50 AM on May 23, 2007 [2 favorites]

It's interesting that the talk is better if the slides don't have much on them, but that makes the slides fairly useless without the talk.
posted by smackfu at 7:51 AM on May 23, 2007

That's the way it should be- I hate when someone gets up and reads their slides to me.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:55 AM on May 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Slide 53 is how the community looks when I post songs over at Music.

It was cool to see the banhammer, I thought it was metaphoric. Do you keep it in a glass and only take it out to announce rulings?
posted by micayetoca at 7:59 AM on May 23, 2007

I hate when someone gets up and reads their slides to me.

That's a pretty common dislike. It's a real trade-off sometimes. I give a lot of talks and sometimes people will come up to me and say "I can't come to your talk, but do you have your slides?" and I have to break it to them that my slides are often a bunch of pictures with a few words on them and that if everything I had to say could be gotten across with words on a page, there would be no reason to have me come speak at all. I have sort of a middle-ground where my slides have notes on them that you can see by changing the stylesheet [a one-click operation] and so people can look at my slides with the extra notes, or just as they were presented to the room.

There's no way to really make everyone happy when you're giving talks in person and trying to make them available later as well.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:02 AM on May 23, 2007

I have to break it to them that my slides are often a bunch of pictures with a few words on them

While I am sure it is not the same as hearing your talks in person, jessamyn, your slides are useful to those who can't be there because you link to so much great content. One of the things I love about your "slides."
posted by terrapin at 8:54 AM on May 23, 2007

Slide 45 showed off the admin flag screen that we commoners never see.

This one got a lot of flags that day...

It would be interesting to know whether 28 flags is a typical number for a heavily-flagged post, or extraordinarily high, or whatever.

Not NECESSARY to know, of course, but interesting.
posted by dersins at 9:06 AM on May 23, 2007

28 flags is a lot of flags. It's definitely "oh shit, what's going on NOW" territory.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:09 AM on May 23, 2007

posted by GuyZero at 9:14 AM on May 23, 2007

Now we wait for the "Hey, you shouldn't have put my name and/or flagged shit post in your slideshow!" complaints to start rolling in. four panels, LOL!!!

My favorite slide is 11, it reminds me of those mornings we'd pile into the red river cart and mosey on down to Joe Pete's corner to catch up on what was happening on th' innernet.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:39 AM on May 23, 2007

"I can't come to your talk, but do you have your slides?"

Same problem, but I really don't want to wreck the presentation for the can't-gos. The best way around it is to build a deck with notes to distribute afterwards. Also, I usually do it as a PDF: it forces me to clear out the animations and most everyone can read it. Powerpoint has too many version inconsitancies and the file sizes are monstrous.
posted by bonehead at 9:43 AM on May 23, 2007

I'd love to hear the audio with that, Matt.
posted by scarabic at 9:43 AM on May 23, 2007

There's no way to really make everyone happy when you're giving talks in person and trying to make them available later as well.

I try to make each slide have a thesis sentence, not just a title. The verbal presentation supports the thesis sentence, fleshes it out, convinces the audience it's true. But someone flipping through the slides later can at least get the argument one point at a time.
posted by scarabic at 9:45 AM on May 23, 2007

the file sizes are monstrous

Someone just showed me this little trick the other day. I tried it out on a preso I had sitting on my desktop just now and it took the file from 3.73MB to 985K. Worth knowing if you have to deal with PPT.


PowerPoint 2002 and later can compress images and remove unneeded data:

1. Right-click the picture, and then click Format Picture on the shortcut menu.
2. In the Format dialog box, click the Picture tab, and then click Compress.
3. To compress all the pictures in your presentation, click All pictures in document.
4. Under Change resolution, click Web/Screen.
posted by scarabic at 9:51 AM on May 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

The slideshare stuff just converts the powerpoint slides into flash, and it ignores my notes. Ideally, I'd love to automatically append every slide with a post/comment below showing off my notes, which are usually several bulleted sentences of the gist of what I say about each slide. They're working on an audio beta app that I'm hoping to try out on one of my presentations.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:05 AM on May 23, 2007

So when are we going to get to add personality to our user pages? And by that, I mean pictures.
posted by interrobang at 10:51 AM on May 23, 2007

We're playing with flickr integration right now. If people can agree that uploading a jpg won't cause some XSS riot, I'd add it tomorrow, but I suspect there are all sorts of nefarious crazy things we could do with uploaded images that I haven't worked out protections against yet.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:03 AM on May 23, 2007

Slide 28 - the eloquent and elusive languagehat?
posted by vronsky at 11:12 AM on May 23, 2007

What's slide #24 about? "Don't do this"-- don't do what? moderate comments?
posted by Tuwa at 11:15 AM on May 23, 2007

The don't do this is NYT makes me login to view anything, but at the end of their NYT blogs, they don't know who I am, even though I logged in.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:16 AM on May 23, 2007

Matt, we do plan to grab the notes as well and show them below each slide. Its on the list of to-do's. And the audio integration is just about ready.

(So nice to see a link from SlideShare on Metafilter. Yes, SlideShare was co-founded by a longtime Metafilter member. I am mostly a lurker though!)
posted by rsinha at 11:18 AM on May 23, 2007

The way you fix the XSS stuff is by getting rid of all the dangerous get requests on metafilter.

If you have dangerous gets, you're vulnerable to XSS from other sites, even if you don't allow images on mefi, for example, somone on monkeyfilter or mecha could post a bit of code that does something on mefi.
posted by empath at 11:18 AM on May 23, 2007

posted by vronsky at 11:18 AM on May 23, 2007

Hi, Rashmi!
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:19 AM on May 23, 2007

Slide 28 - the eloquent and elusive languagehat?

Yes, that's me! I wondered who snuck into my study that day and set off one of those "camera" contraptions. I was trying out that typing machine, but it really wasn't me, and I've gone back to quill pen and ink.
posted by languagehat at 11:22 AM on May 23, 2007

I use 8 point Gothic in my slides. Since I tend to get wordy, my presentations look like the Dead Sea scrolls. At about the four minute mark, I can count on everyone being sound asleep. Then I can sneak down to the Starbucks, grab a coffee and a smoke and oogle the ladies.

Seriously though Matt, I liked your presentation. Minimalist, low-fat and to the point. I'd sit though one of your presentations any time.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:50 AM on May 23, 2007

Thanks, Matt.
posted by Tuwa at 11:50 AM on May 23, 2007

rmm, thanks for posting this.

Matt, I've been feeling sorry for newspaper folks for a while now. They're getting desperate. The models and ideas that you presented were effing right on! Reader turned participant turned reporter/photographer. I know that's nothing new to you or the blogosphere, but it's definately good for those folks who are finding themselves unable to sell print papers and now have to rely on the web.

Proud of ya #1.
posted by snsranch at 4:56 PM on May 23, 2007

Did you get any feedback from these editorialnewspapery types Matt?
posted by peacay at 5:03 PM on May 23, 2007

They seemed to like it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:49 PM on May 23, 2007

Having sat through interminable PPPs, I have to say that I really liked Matt's presentation and I felt that I "got it" even without notes or audio, although when added, those will help make it more complete.
posted by Lynsey at 10:19 PM on May 23, 2007

This will be useful to show to some people I work with who are not so technical and who wouldn't understand most specific references I could make when I talk about building a community online. Thanks for posting this.
posted by Tehanu at 9:53 AM on May 24, 2007

thank you very much for posting this rmm! not only is it a great snapshot of Mefi, it's also the best example of How To Do Presentation Stuff i've seen in a very long time.

plus the whole thread is a good illustration of the interconnectivity and usefulness of MeFi. i've sent the link to this thread to a couple of my friends as explanation for why i'm a MeFi member.

i'm a secretary by trade and there are so many good tips and examples in and about this post i can't really explain them all right now... what i will say is i've bookmarked & favourited for future shameless ripping off use tho :]

... and, on preview, what Tehanu said.

thanks mathowie. this = awesome.
posted by lonefrontranger at 8:58 AM on June 1, 2007

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