Archive: April 18th, 2010

Virtually speaking

I gave a presentation last week as part of the HTML5 Online Conference. There seems to be more and more of these virtual events in the style of Aral’s Head conference. This one involved desktop sharing and audio. Apart from some glitches with the Campfire backchannel, it all went pretty smoothly. Remy and I did our talks from the same physical location (my place), which made it a more enjoyable, social experience.

This weekend, I was supposed to be in Lisbon to give a presentation on Huffduffer at the SHiFT conference. Well, old man Eyjafjallajoekul put a stop to that. Luckily, I hadn’t yet set out for the airport when the volcanic ash disruption set in. For a few hours, I harboured some kind of hope that I could get on a later flight but as the news updates came in, it was clear that the airspace over the UK wasn’t going to be closed for days.

So I gave another virtual presentation. This time, I used iChat Theater, a feature of iChat whose existence I previously had no knowledge of. It went pretty smoothly, once I took all the transitions and videos out of my slides. The link-up worked okay right up until the end—I got cut off just as my presentation finished and I was about to take a question or two from the audience.

Technology saved the day but it wasn’t quite the same as being there. I was really looking forward to being in Lisbon, especially since Yaili very kindly sent me detailed recommendations of things to do there. I may just have to go there in a non-conference capacity as a tourist.

That’s assuming the Icelandic volcano gods finish their little tantrum first.