Sunday, March 23, 2008

All The World IS A Stage!

When William Shakespeare (or Sir Francis Bacon, if you prefer) wrote the words, "All the world's a stage..." I doubt he imagined just how prescient a statement that would be. Whereas the Bard and his Troupe would have to venture from Stratford-upon-Avon to broaden their performance reach, today one need only post to the Internet and indeed, all the world IS a stage!


For years I have given public presentations for business and for fun. The fun part has always been presenting to students, whether it was a classroom full of my own kids' peers at "Career Day" or whether it is at the University of Miami Business School where I have been a volunteer guest speaker in the "Starting New Ventures" class for the past four years, I have always enjoyed speaking in front of small groups of 25 - 100 or so folks. Today, there is no reason to limit your presentations to the lucky few who get to see you live. Today there are no shortages of ways to record and share your live event (look what Laura Fitton is doing with MediaCasters.TV and Jeff Pulver with his Pulver.TV to interactively extend live events beyond the span of those in physical attendance). These are exciting times that would likely bedazzle even the Bard himself!

I recently presented at the University of Miami on a Social Media For Business panel with Alex De Carvalho and Carlos Granier-Phelps that was hosted by the MIT Enterprise Forum. There were about 50 students, alumni and others in attendance, all of whom had paid $25 for the evening (including drinks and hor d'oeuvres - a good thing since my presentations ALWAYS seem better after the audience has had a few drinks - ok, not so much at the elementary school "Career Day.")


A few days after the MIT event, the presentation came up in a Twitter conversation and Francine Hardaway asked me if I had posted my presentation to Slideshare. While I had heard of Slideshare, I had never really checked it out. I told Francine I would post my slides, and I did. (I had to jigger with it a bit to add links for the embedded videos and record a narration to fill in the gaps from my "live" presentation, but it wasn't too much trouble). Within hours, the presentation that I had given to an audience of 50 had been seen by more than a few hundred, and the number of views and downloads continues to grow.

What a great concept! Why limit your thoughts and views to the circle around you? Why not share your slides, and thus your thoughts and ideas, with anyone and everyone who may take an interest. Slideshare is full of wonderful, intriguing and inspiring personal and professional presentations on just about any imaginable topic. Not only is it a great way to ensure that all the world is your stage, but it is a great resource for information, ideas and inspiration when it is your turn to get up in front of a crowd.

I intend to continue to post any presentations I give, and encourage you to do the same. In fact, if you have used Slideshare before, tell us about it and give the link to your presentation in the comments below!

Here is the presentation I prepared for the MIT Enterprise Forum:

"Stage" Photo Credit: Boguslaw Mazur -

Update: The person we hired using the "Work's A Beach"Recruitment Video in the presentation is J.C. Hutchins. You can read about how he got his job from Twitter here.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Could a Nokia N95 & Qik Save Your Life?

I was very fortunate to recently gain access to a Nokia N95 and a Qik account, two marvels of technology that go hand in hand as neatly and deliciously as peanut butter and jelly! (NOTE: I really LIKE P,B & J, so that is a compliment). Compact, sexy and fully loaded with digital delights, the Nokia N95 is the quintessential "connected" device with wi-fi, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS, Voice, Still Camera, Video Camera (and yes, I bet it BLENDS!). As I have been playing with the obvious functions and uses of a wireless phone that can stream live video to the Internet at any time, I have also been dreaming about some of the less obvious uses, and one in particular that has captured my imagination.

An N95 + Qik = A Personal Security Camera!

Could this scenario be far from reality? Imagine walking alone at night on a deserted city block. If you have an N95 and Qik, in truth you are not alone. You have the Internet in your pocket... Let's keep going...
You are walking along and see a shady looking character, the DUDE, cross the street approaching you. You glance around and confirm your fear - there is nobody else around. No cars, no lights in any windows, just you and "the DUDE."

Nervously, you reach into your pocket and wrap your now clammy hand around the sleek metal and, hoping the DUDE doesn't notice, you slowly withdraw your weapon. The DUDE is walking faster now, approaching you from the side and behind. Not wanting to look but having to look, you quickly steal a glance and confirm your worst fear. The DUDE is also withdrawing something shiny and metallic from his pocket. His brisk walk is now a trot as he closes the gap between you.

Looking down in your hand you push the button and trigger the connection. You can hear the DUDE's sneakered feet slap the pavement hard as he crosses into your space and calls for you to "Stop!"

You comply, and slowly turn, your weapon of choice facing out from the palm of your hand. The DUDE is holding a handgun, pointed right at you. He seems as nervous as you are, which makes the situation even scarier. Somehow, you call up the courage to speak to him, slowly and deliberately... you say:

"Dude, I don't know what you have in mind here, but you should know that right now my phone is streaming live video to the Internet. My friends are watching you right now, and it's all being recorded. So, you can do something stupid and hurt me and they will all see it and see you, and you will be caught. Or you can just turn around and walk away, and we can forget we ever met tonight..."

You turn the N95 slightly in your hand, just enough for the DUDE to see the illuminated image on the display... just enough for him to register that it really is a camera and you really could be telling the truth...

The DUDE hesitates, looks at you closely, carefully, then mumbles some profanity, turns, and runs away back across the street from whence he came.

Shaking, you turn the N95 around, look right into the camera lens and say, "Thank you!"
Dramatic? Sure. But could it happen? Why not? What would you do? Would you use a device like the N95 to "stream live" as a "Personal Security Camera"???

What other uses can you imagine for a wireless device that streams live video to the Internet? Please add your ideas to the comments!

Photo Credit: ann triling -