I completed all five required blog posts for this course: 3 experiential and 2 reading-response posts. Prior to the comments change mid-semester, I consistently commented three times each week on different blog posts: after the change, I did between 1 and 3 each week.
The class was told to do our pecha-kucha on something that interested us. I began thinking about what I enjoy: baking, volleyball, theatre, cake decorating, hanging with my friends, sleeping, and Netflix. Originally my “idea” had been a joke. Like most college students, I joked about how I was going to do a presentation on Netflix and my preparation would be watching all 153 episodes of Gilmore Girls in a week (all in the name of research of course). However, as I joked, I thought about Netflix in relation to the concept of big data and realized the concept of Netflix might actually work. I have always had issues with the suggestions section of Netflix because although it gets the genres I like correct, the shows were never ones that I actually want to watch. This prompted me to research how the suggestions are actually made and if I was the only one with these issues. I researched my topic with a focus on the Netflix’s drive to perfect their suggestions. I actually wrote out my script before making my presentation, though I constantly thought about what slide should have what picture. The following two pictures I believe aided my presentation the best and brought a level of understand that solely me talking wouldn’t have been able to.
When I was discussing the basics of how to personalize someone’s Netflix account, having the visuals (I believe) made it easier for the audience to remember the steps. It also allowed my explanation of the process to make more sense because the steps I was describing were right in front of them. Furthermore, by being able to see the steps it takes to complete the personalization process, it seems less daunting or annoying and the viewer might actually take the time to fill out the survey.
Once I was confident that all of my slides had pictures relevant to my script, I split my script into 20-second blurbs so that I knew what content went with which slide, and whether I needed to adjust my speed to stay with the pictures. I couldn’t however prepare for the question portion except to know my facts. However, I was lucky because the questions that were asked, I had good information about. I even got to mention a statistic I left out when I had presented. The question portion was the main difference that I felt from presenting to a live audience vs creating the recording. I had some audience feedback during (a few laughs or smiles), but other than that I enjoyed reading from my script during the media recording without needing to worry about making eye contact. Overall, I liked my finished product. I learned a lot about the process of how big data relates to Netflix while suggesting titles and I also learned more about how important the utilization of big data is to the success of the company.
I chose this image because it is a physical and visual representation of the idea I talking about during this side. It shows the ways
YouTube users can act on videos they have seen and promote their favorite ones. With narration I can talk about how people interact with the website the picture shows the audience what kind of interaction there is. Likes and Shares are a big part of how videos spread out on the YouTube website and become extremely popular and successful.
This next image helps display inter-connectivity final slide of my presentation and I wanted to use it to give a visual representation f a network and how people connect with each other. YouTube links people with common interests together and create a global culture that the image helps show along with the narration.
I enjoyed making this presentation because of the liberty we were given when choosing topics. For most school projects teachers limit students to presenting topics and ideas that they are not interested in and this takes away from some of the presentation. However, for this project I was able to choose a topic that highly interests me and is something that I can relate to. I chose to focus on YouTube because it is a website I use every day and I am extremely fascinated with YouTube culture, specifically film making and gaming. My argument developed around the fact that I wanted to show people how this website that I use is a great medium for connectivity and sharing ideas. The images came from the script. I pictured myself having a conversation with someone on how YouTube was such a great website and chose images based on what I was saying. For me it was important for none of the images to be ambiguous and that each should relate directly with what I was saying.
While preparing for my presentation I mostly just read my talking point out loud and made sure that I had enough words to fill each 20 second period. Instead of just having one long script and hoping that the words would line themselves up with the images I chose to divide them up into small section of about equal length so that each slide had its own unique narration. I didn’t practice with an audience but while reading the presentation to myself out loud I made small changes to the script and even changed some of the pictures when I thought the meaning wouldn’t be evident from my script.
I knew my topic about the first day this project was assigned. I’ve always been a fan of philosophy and some friends and I had just a few days prior talked about consciousness as an emergent property over lunch (we are a fun bunch). It seemed specific enough to create an argument, broad enough to have the requisite amount of information needed to talk for nearly 7 minutes. The first problem I encountered was coming up with the argument. I knew that one could definitely build an argument around emergence, but discovering what it was took some time. I eventually decided on “Argue that consciousness is an emergent property,” and just take it from there.
The first picture I’d like to write about took a bit to find. I’ve always been a strong believer in including comedy into presentations; I think it holds audience’s attention better and allows the presentation to stand out among the others, even when it’s about something as dense as a philosophical concept. An issue I had in finding an appropriate picture for this slide was that the CNN analyst was talking about nude photo leaks and I wanted to keep the presentation PG. Luckily, Mr. Hutchinson provided some excellent satire which served its function well, as I do remember hearing some chuckles from the rest of the class when they saw this. Even though the text on the slide was the star of the picture, which in the ideal pecha kucha I suppose it shouldn’t be, I think it fit well into the presentation as a whole.
The second picture I will write about is from a webcomic that I read religiously, xkcd. As soon as I had the script for the Pecha Kucha written, I knew that I wanted a scene from xkcd as the closer, as it is well known for having witty, minimalist yet thought provoking strips. I remember one comic in particular, called “Time”, was especially interesting as the image on the website changed over a span of several weeks, telling one cohesive story all the way through (for those curious, here is a link to a website where you can see all of “time”). So I did a quick google search for “xkcd time” and found this particular scene. I immediately knew this was the image I would use. First off, I think the black and white and simple stick figures fit perfectly for the ending of a presentation. I wanted to end with something simple, yet memorable. Additionally, the text encapsulates, in a way, how humanity in general views consciousness. Even though we as a species understands its presence and, to some extent, function, we know so little about it. We come up with ideas like emergence to explain it, but in the end it is still this beautiful, enigmatic thing (for lack of better word) that every person experiences.
If I were to re-do the pecha kucha, I would attempt to make the slides more than just eye-candy, but rather make them central to the argument – something that I wouldn’t say is true for the majority of my slides. I think this is a byproduct of writing the script before finding the pictures, unfortunately. I do, however, think that having a solid script was the most important part of the presentation, and I am very happy with the way mine turned out.