Internet privacy: The great white whale

One, two, three, four, I declare a backfill post. I originally wrote this in 2010 almost immediately after my first Ignite talk. I left out a great deal from in and around that night, so I have corrected some bad grammar in the post below, and added my expanded thoughts on this below the break.


What is the correct adjective for this? Was I ignited? Did I start the ignition? Am I an ignitoneer?

I’ll start with a harsh self-critique: My talk was generally well-received by both the geek and lay audience. On review I found it coherent; it had a definite beginning, middle and end. Privacy: The Great While Whale communicated both the spirit and letter of my message. I was personally thrown off by two things:

  1. The Ignite introductory slide threw me off because I had already budgeted fifteen seconds for my own introduction. I was not alone in being thrown off by this and different speakers reacted in different ways. Some threw themselves headfirst into the extra fifteen seconds and made great use of it. Other followed my lead: We faltered.
  2. About three slides in I realized just how deeply paranoid, determined and forceful I sounded. That tripped me pretty badly.

If I had another opportunity to give the same talk I would moderate my tone, drop several of the points and space out things a little bit more so as to leave myself a little wiggle-room; my literal interpretation of “fifteen seconds: one slide” made me stumble in one or two places.

My choice of pictograms helped me. They were simple clear and communicative in an event where several other speakers used dense treatises blazoned with charts, symbols and reams of text. One slide I can only fairly describe as resembling a hypothetical map of the planetary system of a binary star.

If you want to grab my own slideshow presentation from Saturday, you are free to download it from Google Drive.

The Rest:

My personal opinion of the rest of the talkers was that their quality very much varied. Some speakers were fantastic and came packed with great points, while others mumbled waffle words and hid behind elaborate slides and obfuscated points. The absolute gem of the even was Ellen Dudley and her hilarious talk “Digesting Sugar” where she proposed hacking the human digestion system to enable guilt-free eating.

by Mark on
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