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Neverending links

At the end of his very entertaining talk at the NFAIS meeting, Bryan Alexander put up the usual slide with his email address and blog site, and said lightly, “It is of course required by law that the very last thing in every presentation be a URL.”

Nice observation. And behind it is, I think, the sense that we no longer want to announce finality, as if what we just said wraps up the topic in a nice bow. Now it’s not done unless it points to what’s more.

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7 Responses to “Neverending links”

  1. good,good!!!

  2. And why is it required by law that every presentation requires visuals, either in PowerPoint or Keynote? Eliminating that requirement in favour of more animated and engaging speakers eliminates the need for ending on a URL in favour of sticking the speaker’s name into Google and retrieving her or him?

    And don’t get me started on business cards (as conveyance of status and identity linked to authority)…

  3. How about animated and engaging speakers who present information orally AND visually?

    Of course not every presentation needs visuals. John Hagel eschewed PPTs in his keynote at FastForward and he held the audience. And we all know too well that speakers can use PPTs horribly, e.g., reading aloud all the 9pt text on the slides.

    Nevertheless, slides can serve good purposes, don’t you agree? They can give the speaker enough of a prompt that they enable her to stay on track but also speak relatively spontaneously They can illustrate graphically points that make more sense when seen than heard. They can display screen grabs of sites that otherwise we’d watch slowly loading over a live connection.

    As for posting and URL instead of relying on Google: Why shouldn’t any of us be entitled to give what we think will be the most useful site about us, rather than relying on Google’s robo-algorithms to do so?

  4. In all seriousness, the final URL is an opening back to the audience, after the cultural expectation of closure arises. It throws a connection’s possibility into the group. Of course, if the room has bad internet and/or power, or few folks have machines, it’s not the most realized connection.

    I agree with Dave about slide purposes. Most of my presentations these days consist of a series of screen grabs, since connections aren’t always reliable (or affordable, depending on the venue) (or available at all). I like using a wiki to hold links, an outline, and comments from the crowd.

    Great meeting you yesterday, Dave.

  5. […] -Bryan Alexander, via David Weinberger […]

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