Sep 08

Sweettt.com – Episode 7 – Conversations as The Future of Conferences

Wordle on Conversations as The Future of Conferences
In this episode, we really point out all the things that are wrong about the modern conference and presentation format.  In our conclusion of our August 15th discussion, we contrast this old guard presentation style with a more refreshing approach in which the audience is a key contributor to the event.  When people gather together within conferences, this is a knowledge sharing event, designed to maximize the sharing of insights and perspectives.

99% of presentations result in a tremendous waste waste of human potential, forcing 99% of the people at an event to sit in their chair and say nothing, to be passive receptacles of verbal spewing of the microphone coddler.  We’re not saying that a 55 min presentation is a bad thing.  But we are saying that failing to facilitate 55 minutes of further dialog is a modern knowledge management / enterprise 2.0 tragedy.  How arrogant can someone be to think that the audience is solely there to simply listen to the wonderful wisdom between their ears.  Instead, we propose that the audience be engaged in an open discussion in the event and invited to participate by sharing their opinion and perspective.

00:00 START

00:30 Introduction – Continuing the August 15th recording… The Age of Conversation
01:15 Previously heard on Sweettt.com… Luis and Matt recap the KM 2.0 session by Carl Frappaolo… A real eye-opener… Tune in, Turn on, and Wake UP!
02:45 Carl was really willing and able to engage with the audience.  He was willing
03:15 He was a good synthesist, was able to include, summarize, compare, contrast, and synthesize without being defensive.
04:00 The audience is just as good as the speaker, not just taking a turn being the speaker, but really part of the process, with an opinion, and a voice
04:30 the speaker’s opinion is not better than everyone else’s
05:15 Main tent / Keynote sessions are a waste of time from a knowledge sharing point of view.
05:45 Conversations in the lobby and on the floor are much more engaging.
06:15 Keynote sessions are one way interactions, and not very engaging.
06:45 Harriet Pierson, Chief Executive Privacy Officer started her session with a conversation.  “Does anyone have any questions”
08:00 She answered all the questions before she got into her pitch.  Then she integrated all the questions into her pitch.
08:15 This kind of presentation is rated #1 in a conference.
08:45 The future of conference recognizes that the reason for being there is the audience, not the speaker.
09:00 People must be connected to online services.
09:15 Convensions need to facilitate conversations between participants, instead of preach to them.
10:15 Why are people so obsessed with PowerPoint slides?  Without your slides are you naked?
10:45 Someone who really knows there stuff really won’t need their slides.
11:00 A very embarrassing story about an executive who didn’t know his presentation and could only read his presentation.
12:00 A huge percentage of speakers are not really able to present without their slides.
12:15 Slides act as notes for the presentation.
12:45 It’s a sad statement about the knowledge and insecurity of the speaker when they have to go on stage and dominate the discussion 95% of the time.
13:15 Speakers do not realize that they are missing out on an opportunity to learn.  Instead, they are looking for opportunities to show off.
13:45 It is confusing why people aren’t more open and willing to learn when presented with an audience.
14:30 The audience is put in a position of the mythical role of student, sitting at the feet of the master.  And if no one sits at your feet, then you must not be a master.
15:15 However, it’s a myth that students were just listening to the master.
15:45 Socrates was famous for asking questions.  He didn’t lecture.
16:15 Socrates never wrote anything.  His entire means of sharing knowledge was to have conversations with students. (note – Yeah, but if Plato never wrote down what Socrates did, we would never have known)
17:00 We have not really advanced much beyond the ancient Greek scholars (in fact, we can only hope to be so good as them) when it comes to using conversations as a means of sharing knowledge (and so many other things).
17:15 PowerPoint-based presentations are really aweful.
17:30 Luis is going to be at a conference and presenting without slides.  Actually the request was to avoid using slides.
18:15 The conference committee obviously was afraid to ask speaker NOT to present with slides.  But it’s a great thing that they wanted to do it that way.
19:00 David Snowden doesn’t use slides.  People are surprised by that.
19:30 We will have to make an episode based on the terribleness of slides.
20:00 Slides are all about being BIG, with a big persona, and taking control of the room.
21:00 Sometimes slides are helpful to coordinate attention and get everyone on the same page.
22:00 Tertulia is the opportunity to have that good discussion… share the knowledge… get what you have been missing.
22:30 And Sweettt.com is another space to have this space… this Tertulia… these conversations.
23:00 We really need to figure out how to engage people and invite them into the conversation.
23:45 Please post comments to propose topics.
24:00 We really need to work on the process and the technology to engage and interract with our audience.  Is a puzzlement.
24:45 There are many ways… a forum… email… comments on the blog… video comments… we could find & use other tools…
25:30 Maybe we could do a TV show (oh god I hope not)
25:45 Keep a live chat channel going.
26:15 We need a way for people to be able to chime in at any given time.
26:30 Maybe this is a good time slot.
27:15 How in the world can we reach out to Asia Pacific?
28:15 Recording of the Introduction
28:45 Matt doesn’t know when to stop.
29:15 Logistics
29:45 Wrap Up
30:00 END

Aug 08

Sweettt.com – Episode 6 – The Best Way to Share Knowledge

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Wordle on The Best Way to Share Knowledge
Hi folks!  Here we are again with the next installment from our August 15th discussion.  Here we continue our discussion, no longer focusing on the best way to create a podcast from a conversation (see prior episode) but instead, exploring the notion that the really best way to share knowledge is through the art of dialog.

Engaging in meaningful discourse enables us to truly know what we think we know, by getting a chance to hear what we have to say.  The ability to recognize certain facts and patterns is only an introductory level of understanding.  However, when we can freely recall information & ideas, and actually generate language based on those concepts, this is an indication that a deeper, more thorough level of understanding is achieved.  Take that a step further and show that you can think on your feet, reacting spontaneously the highly-variable momentary situational demands of a conversations, and you have knowledge-sharing nirvana.

So, here is a challenge to all the wonderful speakers out there in the world who thrive on your specialness at the podium.  Are you really doing your best to ensure that people are learning during the time they are investing on you?  If there was a better way to ensure knowledge development within the audience, would you do it?  What is the purpose of the audience?

00:00 BEGIN
00:30 Introduction
01:15 Previously heard, on Sweettt…
02:30 Kicking off discussions without the kickoff.  Keep it natural, baby!  When you make a bit SHOW out of it all, then the prefiltering kicks in.  It’s so much nicer when you forget that you are recording and you get to be yourself, and have a real conversation.
03:40 Your feelings inside of you are a tremendous source of information.  If you don’t feel right doing it, this is telling you something.  If the introduction of a podcast feels pressured and awkward and artificial, then maybe it could be better.  The podcast can sound forced.  It’s much better to do an introduction outside of the podcast.
05:30 Record the introduction at the outroduction is what we’re going to do.
06:30 We could actually record an endless loop.
07:00 Here it comes… The best way to share knowledge… This is what you don’t want to do when you are setting up presentations…  We’re ging way back in time to KM 2003.
08:00 Nancy Dixon – Common Knowledge – The traditional way of doing presentations is not a very good way of sharing knowledge.  Conversations, instead, are the best way to share knowledge.
09:00 In keeping with the idea that conversations are the best way to share knowledge, we actually had an entire conference full of breakout sessions where only 50% of the time was spend delivering the presentations.  The rest of the time should be spent in conversations.
10:30 The idea really caught on.  Attendees were expecting an opportunity to talk and have real discussions during the breakout sessions.  The conclusions was that we should definately keep the presentation to discussion ratio at 50:50.
12:00 Luis remembers that conference & notices how little we see this in other conferences since then.
13:00 Even Enterprise 2.0 had speakers running overtime.  They don’t get it!!!  E2.0, if any conference is supposed to get it, should be a dialog.
13:30 This is a major downfall of conferences.  Speakers are not willing to explore the option to have discussion in their time slot.  People don’t like to give up control and move outside of their confort zone.  As soon as you allow the audience to challenge the speaker, they are not comfortable.
15:15 It’s patronizing & insulting for the speaker to continually talk down to the audience.
15:45 Some sessions @ E2.0 were like a trap, where there was no way to interract with others.  The network was cut off.  And this was not acceptable.  We just left and went to the lobby.
16:45 There is a growing trend & expectation in conferences to allow for this discussion & interraction.  The back channel chat is at least the most minimal requirement.
17:45 The audience might have something more intelligent and smarter to say about your presentation.  And it is good to listen to that.
18:00 Speakers are afraid to allow the audience to talk in the room for fear that it will make them look less of an authority.  Wake up speakers!  Deal with the reality that you do not know everything!  No one expects you to know it all.
18:00 It is a myth that one must be an definitive authority in order to be valuable.  You don’t need to have students sitting at your feet in order to prove that what you know is worth teaching.
19:45 Professional conferences are sometimes the only chance many people have to present the facade of the authority.
20:30 People don’t trust the process of dialog and conversations.  They don’t trust themselves to think on their feet.  Instead of being a facilitator, they play the authority game.
21:30 Carl Frappaolo – Knowledge Management – held a session in the morning that was really refreshing, a real wake up for the attendees.  It was engaging.  He followed the 50:50 Rule.  He invited the audience to engage with him in a discussion.  He played the role of facilitator.
22:30 A full room at 8:00 in the morning, people with expectations to hear about KM 2.0 and not really expecting much… all of a sudden were treated with one slide and 15 minutes of discussion.
23:30 Out take
24:42 END

Aug 08

Sweettt.com – Episode 5 – How to Make a Great Podcast

Hi folks! In this Episode, Luis and I discuss how we are going to handle the logistics of our podcast (e.g. length, number of topics, how to post, how to handle show notes, etc.)  We both want to make sure that we’re using the time to create quality for ourselves and our listeners.  And so, we need to figure out the right format for getting those great conversations we’ve been having into a publishable & consumable podcast.

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Sweettt.com - Episode 5 - Wordle

Tune in and listen to the kinds of things we’re planning to do.  Are we on track?  Is this what makes for a great podcast?  What would you do differently?  If you were creating your own podcast, would you consider this good advice?

Show Notes

00:30 – Introduction
00:50 – We’ve actually up to the 5th episode with this one
01:15 – Previously, on Sweettt.com…
01:50 – Maybe we should use the word Tertulia.
02:15 – Tertulia is already used.  But not Sweettt Tertulia – Place to be… This is quite an exotic word, not English.  Anything not English is exotic, right?
03:35 – The topic of conversations is really the focus here.  If you focus the conversation, what do you get?  Let’s consider all the things we could do, or should do with this podcast.
04:15 – A good podcast will focus on just one or two topics.
06:00 – We hit 113 downloads from Sweettt.com when we checked on Episode 3
07:30 – Doug Cornelius – says that a good blog post should focus on one topic, and shouldn’t go over 20 or 30 minutes, just enough time for a short commute.  My god!  How are we going to cut this down?  We just did an hour and a half!!!  Answer – stay with one topic.
09:45 – We can stick with one topic and really enjoy the subtopics within that one major topic.
10:20 – Very few podcasts that we like go over 30 minutes on average.
11:45 – And so how in the world did we end up recording an hour and a half???  It didn’t feel like it was that long at all.
12:30 – We got lots of feedback from people saying that they really liked the podcast.  But not a single person told us it was too long.  Wake up people!!
13:00 – We think that people enjoyed it because it was an introduction.  And so they forgave the length of it, or maybe didn’t notice the length of it. Hmmmm QUESTION – Is it really a problem when it’s over 30 minutes?
14:00 – 30 minutes can be great for the listener.  However, it’s a challenge for the non-razzle-dazzle-em discussants.  We really were into the discussion.  We weren’t putting on a show.  If we artificially stop at 30 minutes, it will really cause the conversation to suffer.
15:30 – Does it make sense to split a longer recording into mutiple episodes?
15:55 – Other podcasts in the area of KM have done just this.  There was no need for a hard stop.  Instead, the post production edit simply found the natural transition time, that occured naturally in the middle of the conversation.  This was the split point, where it can be divided into multiple parts.
17:25 – Next question – When do you post the episodes?  Post all 3 at the same time?  Or should we post and wait a bit?
18:15 – Matt Moore – http://engineerswithoutfears.blogspot.com/ – Whenever he does a podcast, if it is too long, he splits it up & posts each subsequent episodes one day apart.

(oh!  THAT Matt Moore!!  Hi Matt!!!  When I was listening to Luis, I thought he said ‘Mark.”  Of COURSE I know Matt Moore.  He was my great KM colleague in Australia who always reminded me of the timezone difference for the all the KM calls… that and many other things we discussed via **cough** email.)

19:20 – Actually tracking topics by minutes and seconds can enable the listener to track where to listen to various things within a posted recording.
20:00 – By creating lots of content and pacing how people can digest the content, people don’t get
20:45 – Matt is invited to join the Sweettt Discussion in the future!  (How in the world are we going to get into the Australian time zone?  We should reach out to Stephen Collins too.)
21:00 – How do you create show notes?  What can you do with show notes?  What can you do with the work products that come from listening to the episode again?  Can we use show notes AND also expand out this content into blog entries or other articles?
23:00 – 2 Options – bullet outline of podcast vs. extended blogpost – The blog post option would really create a lot of content.
24:00 – Make sure that you don’t include the blog post inside the same podcast posting.
25:30 – It’s important to keep shownotes brief, and to the point, so that people can listen and then comment.
25:45 – Keep the blog posts and podcasts in seperately posts.
26:00 – We wonder how to post podcasts and blogs at the same site and to keep the podcasts and the blog posts seperately.
27:00 – Using WordPress, we can use pages.
28:30 – We have our solution!  :-)  Our approach will be to have great discussions that won’t be interrupted, and then to split them into more digestible pieces.
30:30 – We don’t want to just talk at people.  But a little bit of pazzaz can be fun too.
31:00 – END

Check out, also, Luis’ blog about Sweettt.com – Episode 5 – How to Make a Great Podcast

Aug 08

Sweettt.com – Episode 4 – Deep Discussions for Podcasts

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Wordle for Sweettt 4_Deep Discussions for Podcasts

In this episode, Matt & Luis launch a discussion about the target main theme to the Sweettt Podcast.  They explore the difference between a podcast that functions to interview people, and one in which people participate in deep meaningful conversations.  The goal of our Sweettt Podcast is to engage is those conversations, the kind in which you would find in the cognoscenti of the 1800’s.  In Spanish, the word is “Tertulia.”  In English, perhaps the word “Salon” best fits.

If we are lucky, we’ll encounter someone as insightful and mischievous as Mark Twain.  But regardless, we will thoroughly enjoy these conversations, if for nothing else, their ability to create social events that gather our colleagues and engage in thesis, antithesis, & sysnthesis.

  • 00:30 Welcome & Introduction – “The Age of Conversation”
  • 01:50 Silly Baboons – Matt sends Luis a photo of the two of them with a caption “Silly Baboons”  Who said that podcasting is not fun?
  • 02:30 We’ve not far from the apes
  • 03:10 Great Photos – Chris Brogan getting a mention for his incredibly good photography skills, amongst many other things! heh
  • 04:00 Our Name & Brand – What should be our name?  Should we include Elsua in the brand?  Finding an identity for The Sweettt ELSUA podcast? Excuse me? (hey!  “Sweettt Elsua” hmmmm) Branding? Podcasting? Is there such a thing? Excuse me?
  • Surprise, surprise!?! We can’t comment on that one yet! (But stay tuned!)
  • 04:45 A future Elsua Podcast, in the making… ELSUA going solo podcasting! YAY!!! About time, too!
  • 05:00 Interviews & Conversations in the Enterprise 2.0 podcast space – On the importance of Enterprise 2.0 interviews… We can’t get enough of them? Fancy being one of our guests?!? Let us know!
  • Sebastian Thomschke getting a mention, too!
  • 06:50 Getting ready to bring more discussants on board
  • 07:00 Mark Masterson – is interested in joining the discussion (actually, Matt broached this with Mark back in Boston)
  • 07:00 John Mell – is interested in joining the discusion
  • 08:00 Mention of Dogear Nation and their dynamic fast-paced style of conversations. Wooohooo! Dogear-Nation getting another mention! (We highly recommend subscribing to that podcasting series, if you haven’t done so already!)
  • 10:00 In depth discussion is the goal, just like a decent long chat over coffee.  Entering the Age of Conversation and on the power of coffee!  What’s the right length of time in a podcast? The one who figures it out gets the big prize!
  • 12:13 Tertulia – Luis teaches Matt a new word.  And then “Tertulia 2.0” was born!
  • 12:50 A loud SLAP is heard
  • 13:15 An intellectual gathering… Babbelfish translates “tertulia” into ‘Social Gathering’… It’s like a Salon. Now really getting into the “Social Gathering” thing. Boy, did we have some good fun or what?
  • 14:11 What is a Salon?
  • 14:30 Tertulia definitely has a strong intellectual component, highly social, intense discussion, very intellectually stimulating
  • 15:30 A cocktail party among the cogniscenti.  This is a Salon.  Tom Short, former IBMer and good friend of ours, gets a mention when talking about the concept of “Salons”. Yes, we are still in search of that identity for the podcast!
  • 16:50 The kind of discussion that Mark Twain would be found within.   Oh, oh, we are now about to get in trouble. Mark Twain coming up on the show, too!
  • 17:40 Agreement, disagreement… Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.  Maybe we just nailed the identity of The Sweettt ELSUA Show: Tertulia 2.0!
  • 18:20 Luis attacks a poor defenseless creature.
  • 18:40 And THAT’s how you share knowledge!!  BAP!!!
  • 19:15 Finish

Jul 08

Sweettt.com – Episode 3 – New Cohost – We’re Going Enterprise 2.0

Hi Everyone.  I am very pleased to announce that Sweettt.com has a new cohost.  This person is very well known by many people within Enterprise 2.0 and Knowledge Management… a long-time friend and collaborator of mine… a person with whom we will be able to explore many topics and discussions in the E2.0 space.  Tune in, and listen.  :-)

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Wordle for This Episode

– Matt Simpson

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