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So, a few weeks ago I came across this fabulous article by Jay Rosen called “How the backchannel has changed the game for conference panelists“.  It was perfect timing because I had just been discussing how much I had enjoyed the public/private tweeting and live commenting happening during a live stream event I was watching, and how Twitter allows for a totally different and very engaging experience at these things than we used to have before.

I had no idea that there was actually a name for this phenomenon:  the backchannel; coined by Victor Yngve in 1970 and made famous in 2002 at the PC Forum conference (thank you Wikipedia!).

Rosen notes that “The popularity of the backchannel… has empowered those in the audience to compare notes and pool their dissatisfaction during a performance that misfires…. Especially at risk are ‘big name’ speakers whose online or offline status is such that they may complacently assume their presence alone completes the assignment and guarantees success.”

He goes on to give 10 tips for how to avoid getting killed in the backchannel. These tips are a good read for famous types who speak at conferences or panels. But they are also a good read for the rest of us, as a lot of it is still relevant. For example, I liked the idea of “blog it first” to get early reactions to what you are going to present so that you can tweak it before your actual presentation.

Now, I’m obviously the non-famous type, and I doubt the ‘audience’ will be harsh, but in mid-June, I’ll be in Karlstad, Sweden presenting at the 6th World Summit on Media for Children. My presentation is on one of the projects that I’ve been involved in over the past couple years: Youth Empowerment through Arts and Media (YETAM). I actually refer to it a lot in this blog, though I haven’t really written a summary post on it.  I normally refer people to this nice overview posted on the Communication Initiative website or to this post on the project’s overall methodology.

So, I thought I’d post my presentation here for the 99.9% of people I’m acquainted with who won’t be at the 6th World Summit, and of course as part of my plan to avoid any negative backchannel tweeting while I’m presenting!  Enjoy, and would love to have any comments to, you know, tweak it before it goes super live, just in case there are any hardcore backchannellers there….

Note: if you are reading on Google Reader, it seems the presentation doesn’t appear, so try clicking through to slideshare here…. or [NEW!] watch or download the file with notes here (if watching with notes, resize the .pdf document so that you can see the notes underneath the slides).

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