Yesterday I did my near-standard-but-never-smooth weblog and wiki song, dance and fire-eating routine for the BCCampus Online Community.
The event was to be delivered via Breeze Live, a nifty but new technology to me. The prospect of severe meltdown was sufficient for me to take a number of unprecedented precautions, including having my presentation materials completed a full day ahead of the event (you should be amazed). I also set my alarm clock an hour earlier (and hit the snooze bar three times less) than normal so I could log into the system well beforehand and make sure things were running smoothly.
Alas… as I expected, my Mac and the system did not hit it off at all well, so I snagged one of the Office’s PC laptops and gave it a try. Much wrangling with the alien Windows OS later, I encountered similar problems. Undeterred, but with launch time for the event counting down, I grabbed another laptop — same deal. I tried multiple browsers, jumping back and forth between the two borrowed machines with no success, until the allotted hour was upon me.
In desperation, I ran out into the large shared portion of the Office and demanded that someone, anyone, relinquish one of their desktop PCs. I continued to have problems connecting with the presentation space, at which point I threw off my headphones, screamed obscenities at the top of my lungs (hope my microphone connection with BCCampus was off), and did my utmost to channel the energy of a toddler who has skipped naptime and lunch and is now being denied ice cream.
The clock now ten minutes past the announced start time, with operators and a dwindling stock of participants standing by, I connected yet again from the hijacked desktop. This time the connection seemed to stick, and with a quick intro from facilitator Paul Stacey away we went, ready — not.
Due to circumstances that were undoubtedly well within my control, the presentation was a horror show on our end. My co-presenter Michelle Chua and I ended up sharing a microphone and cranking up the speakers so we could both hear what was going on. The result was a lot of fumbling between us when we switched up our bits, and some horrific echo of Paul’s questions and comments. And given my scrambled state of mind, it was definitely not my strongest performance (especially at the beginning).
There is an archived public copy of the debacle, which normally I would bury in a very deep virtual hole. But against the interests of my self-image I pass the mayhem on to you, for three reasons:
* Michelle and Paul were both great, and there were some good questions texted in from the remote participants.
* I think this is a laudable effort to engage the local community from BCCampus, and worth a plug. (I was also grateful for the chance to flog our efforts, and to publicise the Northern Voice weblog conference.)
* The sheer ineptitude of my performance will undoubtedly provide endless schadenfreude to my enemies, who are legion.
If I had it to do over again I would