At the moment, EG’s up front, getting ready, and I’m taking this moment to draft a blog. I’m sitting on a small, black chair, in a room of small, black chairs, on which sit other people chatting and tapping and munching on popcorn and drinking elderflower cordials, all of us gathered in East London, in a warehouse-cum-office building, awaiting the start of the latest in an ongoing series of events called 300seconds (here’s some video from an event at Facebook‘s UK office) dedicated to putting a diverse set of smart people in front of other smart people and letting the magic happen. Or, in their own words:
300 Seconds is a series of talks by and for the digital community. We believe that digital is better when we can learn from the brilliance of the many, not just the few. With our events we hope to give our peers, and in particular women, a means of gaining confidence and experience in speaking in public.
It is now tomorrow. The event finished. Many interesting people spoke about disrupting art, managing mental illness, Ugandan tech culture, responsible responsive web development, and so forth. On a whiteboard, on the left-hand wall, were written the wi-fi network, password, and a hashtag for the event. Tweeting was encouraged. And people did that. And that was cool. A part of me, at one time, might have avoided live-tweeting out of a misguided notion that it would prevent me from paying attention–which turns out to be the opposite of true! Live-tweeting perhaps forces, nay! encourages, people to listen harder, for those cool quotes and key ideas.
One might consider turning off the Tweetbot bleeps and bloops, though.
The lightning talk style, while perhaps leading some to not quite finish, means there’s never a chance for boredom to set in, nor a chance for speakers to become unduly nervous. After all, you’re only up there for 5 minutes. Considering their mission, in large part, is to cultivate a new and diverse group of speakers who might otherwise not take that first step towards public speaking, it works and works splendidly.
Also. EG talk good. She make people laugh. And go oooh and ahhhh. She wrote about the experience here.
Happy Thursday, readers.
If you’ve got something to say, say it. If you don’t have something to say, listen.