Reflecting on GAFE, Indonesia
Posted August 10, 2012on:
[Image credit: @ttpra]
The good thing about having 3G Internet access at the airport is staying productive during the long wait. It was also a chance to reflect on what I will do differently for my next talk at GAFE Summit Singapore.
I Storified selected tweets of the experience here. This archive is meant to capture just one sliver of a variety of experiences.
I opted to not hold back on trying to deliver a “not-talk” at GAFE, Jakarta. I did not succeed because I over-reached and I got too “talky”.
I had hoped that more folks would be in Twitter mode but there were three barriers to this. One was language. I estimated that more than half of the session was in Bahasa Indonesia. I thought the sessions would be in English. I was so lost that at one point I tweeted:
Wonder when Google Translate or something like it will be powerful enough to do real time translation.—
Ashley Tan (@ashley) August 09, 2012
I also thought that only people like IT Directors would be in attendance. But IT-savvy is not the same as ICT or Twitter savvy. That was the second language barrier.
My mistake was expecting the university IT folks to tweet questions and comments. I opted to try this after asking the organizers if this was worth doing. Suffice to say that their and my perception did not meet reality.
The audience that showed up included university students, Google ambassadors, and folks who were not associated with education. This created another language barrier: Folks who were not familiar with edu-speak.
As a result the expectations were different. There were tweets asking for technical demonstrations of Google Apps like the one below. I thought of veering from my plan but that would have been a disservice to the intended audience.
I have also learnt that going with the flow is not always wise.
I was informed that I could not use my own computer, then that I could, and right before stepping on stage that I could not. I went with the circumstances and that was a mistake.
I wanted to show ‘live’ examples but it would have been awkward to click on links I had prepared with the set up I was provided. In hindsight, I should have done it anyway because the examples would have reinforced my words or illustrated more clearly what words could not. I will avoid links and create in-line screencaptures for the next presentation instead.
As the venue was owned by an embassy, the restrictions were tight and that put me off. Here is @jasongraham99‘s tongue-in-cheek comment:
Sounds unreal right? Not when you could not even bring a bottle of water into the auditorium!
What could or could not be brought in or connected to the projection system were scrutinized. The irony was that wireless Internet was easy to hop on to until too many were on board. Then I fell back on my 3G connection.
There were certainly some folks who appreciated what I had to say and tried to do. Even the unintended stuff like using a Google Site to hold a presentation, video, and Twitter feed won at least one fan over.
But mine was not a technical show. I know that I can do better than that. I will do better than that!