WordCamp 2007, Day 2

The second day of WordCamp 2007 was far more technical than the first day, featuring presentations about things like optimization strategies WordPress to survive a possible Digg or similar network storm. Performance enhancements are always interesting from a technical perspective, but I rarely have motivation to set them up for the blogs hosted on this site. (For those in attendance, when the speaker queried why some of us weren’t using plugins such as wp-cache, I was the guy who yelled out, “Too lazy!”)

Try this talk title: Designing Massively Multiplayer Social Systems, delivered by one Rashmi Sinha. To be honest, a lot of it was very fluffy stuff about building online communities and well-known problems therein (think Digg mobs) and how unfair it is that the internet is quintessentially meritocratic vs. democratic. However, I did take away one very key item from her presentation: SlideShare— think YouTube, but for PowerPoint presentations. I had never heard of it before but the knowledge comes at a useful time since I still need to get that LinuxTag talk online. Further, it may be valuable to post my other presentations as well.

However, a few concerns occurred to me right away, chief among them is the fact that PowerPoint presentations do not do a terrific job of presenting things by themselves; they most often serve as visual aids. Indeed, if a set of presentation slides actually deliver a cohesive presentation without human intervention, they were not created properly. I wondered how this context-free principle would work on SlideShare, particularly for my recent FFmpeg presentation which was almost entirely pictures. Fortunately, it appears that SlideShare is smart enough to extract the embedded notes that presentation software allows you to make.

My very first practical concern is whether SlideShare only handles PowerPoint presentations. It turns out that it can also handle OpenOffice Impress presentation files (and PDF files). I uploaded my FFmpeg: Past, Present, and Future slides to the service to test it out. It mostly worked, except that I used a few special fonts which are not embedded in the file. I need to see if there’s a way to correct that. Plus, this was the first time that I saw the feature that SlideShare extracts and lists your notes– I need to expand those and re-upload the presentation.

Then again, it seems reasonable that OpenOffice can probably export a series of linked HTML pages with the properly rendered slide and all the accompanying notes. Maybe I’ll go with both routes, in deference to those on fringe computing platforms that don’t have a viable Flash solution.

2 thoughts on “WordCamp 2007, Day 2

  1. Liz K.

    Nice write up, Mike! I’m going to check out SS sometime this week, too. Now how about that other site of yours…hmmm? :)

  2. Multimedia Mike Post author

    Which other site? I must have a dozen of them. Oh… I think I know which one you want. The one with the grub… girl.

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