The other week, I attended the Mobile Ministry Forum and had the opportunity to present on one of the projects for Mobile Ministry Magazine. Of the things that I get to do with presentations, its to take different attempts towards getting information across. Last year, I took a chance on things and posted the deck online and had the audience access it and follow along while I talked. This year, I went a small step further. And it was kind of fun.
As I’ve talked about many times on this blog, the things that we can do with a mobile isn’t limited by the services that we sign up for. Mobiles aren’t just terminals for communicating. At least, not if we can push and think a little bit more.
My presentation contained a few near-necessary components:
- My Nokia N8 smartphone
- The PAMP (Python, Apache, MySQL, PHP) mobile web server connector package on my N8
- a little bit of custom HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery fun
So, the thing was that I would take the N8 and create this custom front-end UI for the Mobile Ministry Methodology, and then use the local network provided at the conference facility to make available that near-web-app and make my TiddlyWiki page the front door that folks would see. In a simple sense, instead of using a bit screen to present it, folks would log into my mobile and then interact with the presentation as I talked.
There were several issues with my approach. The one that many people think of when they hear it is that if given their own discretions, people would move at their own pace, potentially faster than I would be speaking. Then there was the untested fact of using a WLAN that I didn’t provision. And then another one of those folks who might be coming into the presentation from a remote location. Yikes!
For the first issue, I didn’t care. The methodology near-web-app was designed so that someone exploring it would take a logical route through it. The meat of the presentation was that I would iterate through it, explaining the decision tree and what makes things work. In a sense, I took my mind (this is a methodology that I invented) and created a logical means to walk through it with a web app.
The WLAN at the conference facility ended up being a plus. There was a dedicated access point setup for the conference, so I could be sure that my idea of keeping things inside of the conference would be utilized. It was a bit more difficult in making this something that would appear to remote folks. The solution there ended up having the kindness of the tech team pulling a spare laptop into the WLAN, and that was used to display the content to others.
But, it wasn’t a presentation… ah the fun of semantics.
Was it a success? Well, not exactly and definitely. You see, as I started, I made mention of the fact that a mobile conference done in mobile should really push things. I then walked folks into logging into my phone, and at least two people had a problem doing so. Whoops on my part for not upping the number of concurrent connections in my http.config. But, for those folks that didn’t want to pay attention to the screen behind me, they got to see the info as it was best displayed.
Some comments were that it was good, engaging, and very interactive. Some people didn’t know how to handle it. It was a lot of information, and not presented in a way that most are used to. People are so used to being talked to that they forget that knowledge-based presentations require from them that their minds get engaged as well.
I do these kinds of experiments with presentations because I think there’s a better way to display information, a better way to do strategy presentations, and frankly, things that we have yet to explore with how we engage with mobile devices, local networks, and each other. Ah well. I’m going to do this again. And I will probably have the same reactions from some. What else does life sound like when you create your own remix?