April 27, 2008

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Weekly review: Week ending April 27, 2008

I missed the weekly review last week, so this covers April 13 to April 27. Here’s what happened:

  • My weekends were mostly spent catching up on laundry, spending time with my partner, and working on personal projects.
  • From April 14 to April 17, I helped organize the IBM Web 2.0 Summit at the T.J. Watson Center in Yorktown Heights, NY. The Twitter-based backchannel I started on hashtags#web20summit helped people connect and chat about sessions. I was responsible for facilitating and recording sessions, so I didn’t really get to pay attention to them, but the sessions were well-received.
  • On April 18, Friday, I spent most of the day preparing for an upcoming keynote presentation. I took a short break to prepare and give a remote presentation on the Top 10 Web 2.0 Tools Every IBMer Should Try at the Web 2.0 Summit Toronto event, based on a list I’d previously blogged.
  • I spent April 20 (Sunday) to 22 ( preparing for or attending the IBM blue horizon 2008 conference for consultants. I gave a short presentation on the demographic revolution as part of the conference keynote, and I also presented a highly interactive session on the top 10 Web 2.0 tools every IBM consultant should try. I learned a lot!
  • On April 23, Wednesday, I caught up with mail and other things I’d set aside while I was away at conferences. I successfully emptied my inbox. Hooray!
  • On April 24, Thursday, I gave another short presentation on Web 2.0 and Retail, filling in for Bernie Michalik and Frank Noto, who couldn’t make it.
  • On April 25, Friday, I wrote up my conference notes and posted them to my blog. I also helped Ethan McCarty in IBM Communications with some research into how people can tell stories about the company.
  • On April 26, Saturday, I wrote another six pages for my Wicked Cool Emacs book, reaching my chapter target. Hooray! I also did some gardening, and I helped W- change his winter times to summer tires.

Packed packed packed! Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

  • I enjoy public speaking, and I’m getting better and better at it. The way I present now is different from the way I used to present several years ago. I’m looking forward to learning even more.
  • I need a physical checklist to make sure I don’t forget anything while setting up for presentations. I forgot to record my presentations because I was thinking about other things.
  • No one likes giving presentations on short notice, but sometimes they need to be done. I need a wide range of experiences so that I can relate to different audiences quickly.
  • Professional writing is all about rewriting. It’s embarrassing to see how many mistakes you made the first time around, but at least I have the opportunity to revise!
  • I want to come up with a better way to follow up after conversations. Even keywords written down in a notebook may not be able to trigger rich memory associations. Slowing down during conferences is one way to make more out of those conversation opportunities.

My plans for next week are:

  • Work: Return to billable work and make sure my internal and external clients are happy.
  • Network: Follow up with people I met at conferences, sending links to my conference notes.
  • Book: Revise chapter 7 based on my technical reviewer’s feedback
  • Life: Make progress on my application for permanent residency by applying for Toronto police clearance and Japanese police clearance
  • Others: Have a yard sale on Sunday with W- and J-