Last March I was fortunate to have participated in the uniquely formatted PressEd Conference.

Unique it was because there was no air travel, no hotels, no rows of chairs under fluorescent lighting, no parachute presenting keynotes, no conference chicken, no droning powerpoint. That’s because the WordPress and Education, Pedagogy and Research conference was all done via Twitter. All a heroic effort coordinated by Natalie Lafferty and Pat Lockley. Check it out.

In my 20 minutes of [in]fame I got to tweet-present on the mystery everyone wants to know about (in my mind), What the SPLOT is That?

a Billboard in the desert reads, "The SPLOT? Mystery of the internet! 10 Tweets at #pressedconf18"

The whole conference experience was a refreshingly new approach to a means of project and idea sharing. Essentially every ‘talk” became less a thing about itself and more a resource one could go back to at anytime. It’s not like when the presenter closes the laptop and takes their stuff with them. It did not matter if you were in the wrong room.

Yesterday, Pat sent me a message via Twitter DM:

Hey hey, would you mind writing a few sentences on how you came up with your PressEd talk and a top tip?

We’ll share them to help this year’s presenters.

He said I could just DM it back, but it seemed more appropriate, to just blog it. That’s how we roll around here. So here is my free advice. Free as in worth… ?

As always for a presentation, but especially for one via twitter, I start with finding a visual metaphor to tie together my #PressEdConf18 talk “What the SPLOT is That?

In this case, I played off of the mystery of SPLOTs being loosely quantified to a baffling mystery, much like the highway billboards that line Interstate 10 from texas to Arizona for a Mystery Thing. This provided a metaphor of road signs. What’s important for a tweeted talk is to provide links in most “slides” for more information or things to try, so it becomes a standalone resource. I set up mine as scheduled tweets in TweetDeck for about 1 per minute. Another aspect of this is that the preparation was hardly intense (unless one is dumb enough to take on doing 10 photoshop re-edits). It’s a matter of writing ~10 tweets, adding links, maybe images, and thinking about expressing a project in a minimal amount of words. I also suggest saving all of your tweets as a Twitter Moment (here’s mine), so they are able to be referenced as a “deck” of non-slides, and of course, to blog about it later in your WordPress blog. This helps too to provide credits and more detail that won’t fit in tweets. My post is at https://cogdogblog.com/2018/03/splot-billboards/

It sounds like another #PressEdConf is in the works, and that will be a good thing to be part of.


Featured Image: How funny, I did my search on Google Images for “free advice” (results for images licensed to reuse), and this one turned out to a flickr photo by someone I know.

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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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