First rule of first principle thinking, do not use first principle thinking when a mental model is available

MoMo Demo Experience

Experience with doing the MoMo Demo on monday could described best as a little lack luster. It is little hard to say that for an event that you try to coordinate but that is how I would best describe it. But I think the best part of doing an open/informal conference is that you have room to experiment new things and make it better every time 🙂 and this was the first time we were introducing demos with regular talks.

The little bit of my disappointment stems from the lack of response from the audience during my demo after all that was my take away from doing a demo. The tough time that I had with the audience was that I was not able to engage most of them in the discussion as they had already moved out for snack time.

Any consumer technology product  can have  possibly two response only-  either users love it  or they hate it.  Any other intermediate response means that you are dead meat already.  Kathy sierra has very articulately this very clearly in her post long ago.

Now having obtained rave reviews from those who are alpha testing ‘wwigo’ an indifference from the audience came as a serious bummer to me.  What was a little comforting though was when I chatting with someone after the demo and he told me that I should not worry about it too much it because I was competing for attention with food ( most of the group had already proceeded to munching their snacks at the snack table  at the back of the room) which even the best of the speakers in the world  can’t compete well 🙂
It was little trying and hard for me to wear both the hat of  a presenter and as well a s a coordinator of the event. Couple of things that I wanted to articulate to the audience as a coordinator of the event would have been mistaken as an answer from the presenter.

For example  the demo was not meant for analyzing whether the product demo’ed is worthy of any investment. It was more for sharing a cool idea/concept, what it could be used for etc and feedback on what could be done to make it better. Rather than dicussing the coolness or usefulness of  the Inactiv service or how it could be made better the audience went in tirade against on how much money Inactiv is bleeding 😦
Lessons that I learned as presenter

  • Never announce what the demo is about even if people pester you to do so, the surprise/intrigue element goes away. I had at the request from a member mentioned what the demo was going to be about.
  • Never schedule your demo just before/after lunch or snacks time.

Lessons as an organizer

  • Repeat this to yourself – unstructuredness is good but unorganized may not be.
  • ALWAYS Check beforehand the presentation room for accoustics and lighting.

After recieving good and improvement feedback from the members to have a little bit of more direction & focus we will be trying to make the next time’s MoMo a little bit more structured during the discussion.

Wikicamp was great

I attended wikicamp last sunday and it was nice to catch up with many folks with whom I had been interacting only over email. It was also great to hear from Jimmy who spoke with such great humility about history of wikipedia , the current work and future course of action for wikipedia and wikia.

The crowd at the wikicamp was a very diverse and a different set and it was good to see it that way otherwise in many of these conferences you bump into the same folks again and again.

I am a big fan of wikipedia and use it a lot like so many others but until I attended wikicamp I did not really appreciate the work that is put in by so thousands of volunteers to make wikipedia happen. Also I never knew that there are so many contributors from India. Thanks to Arun’s  session on how and what of Indian wikipedia story I am able to much appreciate the work of the prolific wikipedians from India like Ganesh Krishnamurthy, BalaSundaraRaman, Bhadani.

The number of attendees was less compared to blogcamp but the energy was even much greater.  One thing I like about events at chennai is the energy of the people at the event is just infectious, you are charged with that energy when you return home.

As is the case with unconference there is a lot of coverage on the blogosphere about the event.

Making of wikicamp

Wikicamp ’07: Organisation through chaos
Wikicamp round up

Wikicamp 2007 coverage

At WikiCamp

Podcast of kiruba with Wales

Another feather in the cap for The Knowledge Foundation !

The filmmakers at Wikicamp

Wikicamp concludes

and many many more , just search on technorati for the tag ‘wikicamp’

Here are few photos from the event from my N70.

Takeaway from the event for me was the realization I don’t do any contribution to wikipedia and I should start doing so. Hmm ! Now what are the topics on which I can start contributing to wikipedia.

Rajesh Jain

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