Networks, Tools and Algorithms

A few months ago, I had the chance to speak at the Good Experience Live conference. Gel’s been one of my favorite events for years; I’ve attended most Gels since the first one, and being asked to speak was quite an honor. Though I had quite a few ideas I wanted to squeeze into a relatively short time, one of the biggest challenges was that I really wanted to honor the breadth and scope of the many exciting ideas I’ve heard on stage at Gel over the years as well, including from some friends and heros who’ve spoken in years past.

If you have 20 minutes or so, I hope you’ll give this talk, called “New Tools, Better Networks” a quick look. And I’m sincerely not looking for back-patting on speaking at a conference — what I’d love is feedback on the ideas being discussed. Most of all, thanks to Mark Hurst for inviting me to participate.

Much more inspiring than hearing my own voice is my friend Kevin Slavin, who I had the good fortune to watch debut a talk early last year which blew my mind. Expansive in its scope, brilliant in its synthesis of disparate ideas, I said immediately after his first version of the presentation, “that’s gonna be a TED talk soon”. Sure enough, Kevin delivered “How Algorithms Shape Our World” at TED Global, and it’s as compelling as I’d remembered:

One of the toughest challenges about public speaking for me is that so many years of blogging have left me nearly unable to write without hyperlinks. Representing the links between ideas when onstage is even more difficult. Between my own meager effort and Kevin’s remarkable one, though, hopefully we’re starting to be able to translate the link-rich world of our web writing into the uniquely compelling experience that only arises in front of an audience.