June 22, 2005

Bulk view

Geeks and soft stuff

Kathy Sierra (Creating Passionate Users) was surprised to
find that geeks are very interested in learning about “soft” topics like community.

I’m _crazy_ about my community of passionate users and co-developers. The personal information manager I maintain gives me so many opportunities to tailor it to fit people’s individual quirks. I love getting things to fit people. It’s about people, not code. I love helping people become more productive. Dominique says I’m wired differently. He hasn’t met a lot of maintainer-types; most open source developers he’s met are just happy to get something out there. Me, I get my kick out of the relationship I build with the other people throughout the years. I get my kick out of making people’s lives easier. I don’t write extremely clever code, but I learn so much from them about the ways people plan!

I’m also crazy about organizing information and collecting knowledge. “So where are all the Information Designers?” gave me a name for my interest in wikis and developing a culture of documentation in communities. Again, it’s about people! =) Sure, I have to know the technology to set up a good wiki and customize it to their needs, but I’m really more focused on the process and the culture.

Is it ungeeky to be interested in these things, to devour business and
psychology books even more avidly than I do technical books? I don’t
think so. To me, people and organizations have even more complex and
fascinating systems that I want to hack. They’re way, way, way cool.
I’ve come a long way since my “eewww, MIS!” days, and I look forward
to learning more about the way people work.

ジョーンズ先生はコンピュータを教えています。 Mrs. Jones is teaching computer science.

UPDATE: I’m not the only one! J. Alejandro Noli said: “Wow Sacha, I completely understand that point and let me tell you: I’m with you!”

UPDATE: Clair wrote:

I think that geeks would be more or less interested in communities
because geeks like being in communities *laugh* That is purely my
opinion though. But if you will observe the people into FOSS, we are
all interacting on a regular basis, sharing tips and new developments
or code. And if you think about it, if not for the community of geeks,
where would be FOSS now? ;) Maybe geeks aren’t the typical sociable
people but geeks seem to enjoy going together as groups :) I guess
it’s because geeks tend to have a certain focus on things we like in
common but I suppose that not all geeks are out and out very sociable.
But the sense of community is definitely there. (But as I already
mentioned earlier, this is purely my opinion, based on my
experiences.)

On Technorati:

Information Design

While reading about presentation skills, I stumbled across a page entitled “So where are all the Information Designers?”. I found a name for what I’m interested in! Information design is what I do with wikis. I should learn more about this.

UPDATE: Clair wrote:

I have seen some courses aside from the one you showed me. :) It looks very interesting. Very similar to what librarians do! *laugh* I really must take a break and re-assess my life.

冗談を言うほど賢いコンピューターがありえるだろうか。 Can there be a computer intelligent enough to tell a joke?

On Technorati: ,

Good presentation tips

Five Rules for Better PowerPoint Presentations (from Working Smart) is a great post on presentation skills. Here are his five rules.

  • Rule #1: Don’t give PowerPoint center stage.
  • Rule #2: Create a logical flow to your presentation. Better yet, tell a story.
  • Rule #3: Make your presentation readable.
  • Rule #4: Remember, less is more.
  • Rule #5: Distribute a handout.

According to my students, my most memorable presentation was the one I did on computer history.

Right. Computer history.

I had one thought per slide. One line. Sometimes not even a line, just a picture.

The pictures were visual aids for the story I told about operating
systems. I couldn’t stand the bullet lists that all the other teachers
were using, so I made something very sparse but fun.

One of my students said it felt like a TV ad. <laugh>

Slides are a tool, not a crutch.

Working Smart – My Favorite Powerpoint Resources is a treasure-trove of links on presentation skills. Here are some nifty ones from that list:

UPDATE: Clair wrote:

*laugh!* Unix humor ;) But it is true. Gah! I hate
presentations that rely on the dratted slides… I avoid doing that as
well. But I still haven’t gotten the hang of it. However, stories are
something i enjoy telling and listening to. HMmmm. I guess that is why
I enjoyed my archival science electives! :) My prof used to tell
stories more often than lectures. I seem to absorb more that way. My
classmates don’t get it though. But that style works for me. Hmmmm.
When I do get to teach, I will remember this! ;)

今日この番組でハッカーの問題をクローズアップするんだって。 This program is going to focus on computer hacking issues today.

On Technorati: