Thanks to everyone for participating in the first Code4Lib Virtual Lightning Talks on Friday. In particular, my gratitude goes out to Ed Corrado, Luciano Ramalho, Michael Appleby, and Jay Luker being the first presenters to try this scheme for connecting library technologists. My apologies also to those who couldn’t connect, in particular to Elias Tzoc Caniz who had signed up but found himself locked out by a simultaneous user count in the presentation system. Recordings of the presentation audio and screen capture video are now up in the Internet Archive (search for "Code4Lib Virtual Lightning Talks" or go to the Code4Lib Wiki page on Virtual Lightning Talks for links).
Some lessons learned. First, people were locked out when they shouldn't have been. The most we saw online at any particular time as 25, but the room was supposed to be able to hold 60. I think the problem was how I entered e-mail addresses into the system to reserve slots for the presenters and the people who signed up in advance. (Which obviously didn't work because one of the presenters and at least one of the attendees who signed up in advance didn't get in.) Should we do this again (see below) I'll try to debug the problem.
Second, some comments I got were about cranky Java applets and applications. LYRASIS has two conference tools at its disposal -- Java-based Centra and Flash-based Acrobat Connect -- and I chose Centra because running Flash on LINUX is an issue. Maybe this will need to be revisited (or maybe there is another Java-based conference system that can do better).
Third, since we were not limited by space and other timing constraints, can the five-minutes-per-presenter limit be relaxed? I have mixed feelings about this; I think defined time limits promote better presentations, but the four presentations this first go-around went to the end of the five minute time limit and there was no opportunity for questions or audience interaction.
On the whole, it seemed like a positive experience from my perspective and from that of the feedback I've received so far. I'm going to start a conversation thread in Code4LibCon (where all of the Code4Lib meeting planning discussion takes place) to see if it is worthwhile to do again and to identify what should be done differently. If you are interested, please consider joining and contributing to the discussion. Or e-mail me privately and I'll reflect your comments into the group discussion.
Peter Murray [log in to unmask] tel:+1-678-235-2955
Ass't Director, Technology Services Development http://dltj.org/about/
Lyrasis -- Great Libraries. Strong Communities. Innovative Answers.
The Disruptive Library Technology Jester http://dltj.org/