October 4, 2007
I’ll admit it; I’m one of those people that spends time surfing slideshare.net to skim presentations. Some of the presentations are from events I attended but didn’t manage to see live (e.g. Podcamp Philly or OSCON), but sometimes I just skim completely random stuff. It’s sort of like wandering through ambient knowledge to see what interesting thing I’ll pick up. It reminds me of when I was a kid and would read encyclopedias while I ate my cereal in the morning.
They are just presentations without the sound track, so you don’t get everything from it the author intended, but I am often surprised by the tidbits I pick up. For example, some ideas for presentation style, a quick overview of Drupal (which frankly, I didn’t know existed until I saw the presentation), some good user interface design tips, approaches to scaling high volume web sites, and etc.
So, back to the topic… I have this massive cache of presentations on my hard drive; many of the presentations that I’ve attended in the last four years of DoD-related work. Most of them are now irrelevant, overcome by events, or lost in the dusty corners of my filing system. Plus, I can only guess how many interesting things are going on, that are related to things I’m working on, that I have no access to at all because I never attended the right meeting.
So, to make a long story short, I wish the culture in the DoD was one of sharing and that at least one of the ways that culture manifested itself was in a slideshare.net knock off. I’d love to surf around all the slides from recent conferences for example. Missed the DISA annual conference? Go look at the slides on line. Couldn’t make it to I/ITSEC? Check out the slides online. Curious about the direction for SOSCOE or DCGS? Go look at the program manager’s most recent presentation online. Some of these things are probably available today, but spread out all over and hard to find. Slideshare.mil would plug us into to the ambient knowledge while unleashing all kinds of remixing opportunities.