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Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Working hard on a modest writing assignment for a national security anthology type book.  I’m not sure about the rest of you but I find that the kind of shorthand thinking involved in blogging “conversations”, while very stimulating at it’s best, can interfere with the reflection needed to craft more polished and professional prose – a struggle for me in any event. A certain amount of gestation and revision, more focus on developing the concept, is required for that level of writing instead of trying to casually brainstorm ideas, observations, criticisms and questions ( not to mention better sentence structure than you will normally see here).

As a result, I stepped back from blogging the past few days until I have finished the rough. I’ll put up a recommended reading post on Sunday but blogging may be light until I finish.  Not sure when.

As an aside, I will strongly recommend ( again) Garr Reynold’s  Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Voices That Matter) for anyone involved in intellectually oriented creativity, not simply those who’d like to have slick looking powerpoint presentations.  Since I’ve started incorporating his suggested design principles into my planning process I can honestly say that I’ve risen to an entirely new level.

A case in point, for those who are not longtime readers, I teach history and periodically give presentations on  teaching methodology and curriculum to adults. Normally, I’m a fair public speaker and receive favorable feedback but I’ve done two new presentations recently, both using Reynold’s methods and Sliderocket to deliver the content, once to students and once to an audience of professionals. No comparison. The effect was stunning in each instance. It was akin to having five year’s progress crammed into a month.

Zenpundit has a large number of .gov, .mil and .edu readers for whom slideware is de riguer.  Sliderocket, a web application ( you can download a copy though to your laptop for a back-up)  deserves generous kudos in it’s own right; my only criticism is that the Sliderocket folks need to have an embed code function for those of us who need to, from time to time, put the slideshows up in a blog or wiki.

If you are still on powerpoint instead of Sliderocket, then you are driving a Model T.


Monday, October 20th, 2008

Spent much of the day, laboring on Sliderocket for a major presentation at work. Have to say, I think it blows Powerpoint all to hell in terms of visual quality. I was a private Beta user but now it’s public, so if you do a lot of slides, check it out. Not sure if Sliderocket is compatible yet with Web 2.0 slideware platforms like Slideshare but as this presentation will be proprietary, I do not care.

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