[Israel.pm] Lightning Talks, and other such beasties

Offer Kaye offer.kaye at gmail.com
Sun Sep 12 02:51:38 PDT 2004

Hi all,
Although thanks to Gabor, our last (September) meeting finished as
usual at 21:45, originally we were supposed to finish 30 minutes
earlier than usual.
That may not sound like a big deal, but I personally feel it is. The
Israeli Perl Mongers meet only once a month, and I feel we should get
the most out of each meeting, so finishing 30 minutes early means 30
minutes less quality lectures.

That's why I was happy to see this article, about Lightning Talks, on perl.com:

I was happy to see it because it gives me the perfect excuse to turn
to the Israeli Perl community with a request for more speakers,
specifically those who have in the past shied away from giving a talk,
either because you didn't have the time to write a long talk, or
because you didn't feel you had any subject worth speaking an entire
hour on.

* ANY subject is worth speaking 5 minutes about.
* It's EASY to write 5 minutes worth of material.
* Even if you're a LOUSY speaker (like me), 5 minute talks are a great
way to get some practise without making the audience fall asleep. Or
throw tomatoes at you :-)

A few days before the last meeting, knowing I was 30 minutes short of
talks, I turned to this mailing list and asked for more speakers.
No-one wrote back.
This time I've giving you more time in advance - we need lecturers for
the November meeting (and later meetings too, of course), and
lightning talks will be welcome. Example topics could be:

1. Perl/module installation instructions/experience.
2. Intro to a favourite module.
3. Explain a Perl oneliner.
4. How you got started with Perl.
5. Life as a Perl newbie.

See the article for other examples. Personally I liked the "mini CPAN"
thing- I've never heard about it before. Which brings me to a second
point- just because they're short, it doesn't mean that  lightning
talks aren't important and can't contribute. You won't be wasting your
time, or the group's time, by giving a lightning talk. On the
contrary- you'll be cramming a lot of information into a short time
frame and hopefully teaching people something they didn't know.

Format- if firing up Powerpoint or even your favourite HTML editor
seems like too much work (to create the slides for your 5 minute
lecture), we now have a solution, courtesy of Gabor's "The Quality of
CPAN Modules" lecture. Because he didn't have time to create real
slides, Gabor simply  wrote some stuff using a Wiki -- piece of cake,
and zero hassle, since you only have to open your web browser and
start typing. Here's Gabor's lecture as an example:
If it's good enough for our group leader, it's bloody good enough for us! :-)

If you've read this far, you've already spent more time reading this
email than it would have taken you to think up a subject for a
lightning lecture and write one down :-)

I hope this email will motivate more people, apart from the usual
suspects, to both join our meetings and contribute by giving lightning
talks. Remember that giving such a talk will not only benefit the
community, but also the speaker.

Email the list with requests for lecture subjects, e.g. "I'd be
interested in hearing a short lecture about Perl usage on the Mac OS X
operating system".

Email me (offer.kaye ?AT? perl.org.il) if you're willing to give a
lecture. Please supply:
1. Your name
2. The name of the lecture
3. The length in time
* A short (1-2 sentences) description will also be welcome, as will
any relevant links.

Offer Kaye
Israel.pm Meetings Organizer

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