Captain Biff, Flies the MLX Lead Balloon, Powered By A Breeze

The New Media Consortium Spring 2004 Online Conference was come and gone this week. I am still favorable of the format, and its mix of streaming presentations, asynchronous discussions, and live chat sessions- most online conferences throw so many sessions and event son the pile that you get overloaded. The NMC ones have had a nice balance, though the participation in this recent one was much less active than the first one in October 2003.

Anyhow, my keynote on “Mysteries Revealed! Inside the Maricopa Learning eXchange” was there, it turned out to be a 52 minute guided tour of the MLX by that energetic tour guide, Biff Cantrell. I am thinking now it was way long, but I wanted to represent all of the facets and features inside and around the MLX, from our promotion efforts, to IP issues, from hardware to software, from TrackBack to RSS. That is the thing about an online conference is you do not see the audience, so you cannot tell if they are bored, reading their email, blogging, or in a trance. You just let a presentation fly, like an arrow lofted in the air, and sometimes you hit the mark and sometimes you miss.

Maybe the jury is till out, but I have installed a copy of this presentation on our site, so if you have an hour to kill (actually with Breeze you can easily pick your way through the show), go take Captain Biff’s Tour of the MLX. Again, Macromedia Breeze does an amazing job of taking a 70 MB PowerPoint and making it something viewable as a streaming media presentation even on a 56k dial-up.

mcli web site (mac browser) It was actually a lot of fun to do the digital shots around our District Office building, from our real loading dock, shipping and receiving, our Chancellor was agree-able to play the “CEO”, up on the roof for some hardware and the syndication dish used to represent RSS, the server room, our Marketing Office and PR Guru Dirk McLoud, (our legal department never responded, so we just had a colleague play the lawyer, “Morrie Morig”), and we did some cheap blue screen effects using a white wall, PhotoShop’s magnetic lasso, to put our tour guide inside the database tables and PHP code.

Since the conference featured a presentation from Creative Commons, I thought it was clever to use some CC licensed music for the closing credits- a fun song found via Opsound called “Technology Let me Down”:

Rechenmaschine’s beautiful spacy soundscapes describe a sense of wonder. Technology Let Me down is about the fallibility of technology when it comes to overwriting your pink floyd and stereolab.

Oh well, maybe the jury is out yet on this show. Let’s see if the blog channel can spread the word, or maybe poor Biff hears the words:

You’re Fired!

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


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