Quebec City Summer Festival gave me 15 seconds of fame* this week.

The summer festival innovates this year by using a 2.0 strategy. They use Twitter to keep in touch with the festivalgoers. You can follow them here: @InfoFestiBell

They tweet about upcoming events of the day and they tweet live during shows. Their tweets are seductive and reading them makes you want to be there.

They also display messages from Twitters on a big screen over the stage and on different kiosks.

Festival Screen

Picture credit: @InfoFestiBell on twitpic.com

Using Twitter and showing interaction with the festivalgoers on a screen over the stage is innovative. Presentability is also the way you communicate with your customers.

After a small Google search, I have found no mention about this (except on the festival Web site). Strange; this kind of innovation usually spread quickly across technology news sites or blogs.

It is a modern way of interacting with the crowd. It helps them wait for the show and it even offers some festivalgoers 15 seconds of fame when their tweets are displayed on the screen.

That’s what happened to me.

I asked @InfoFestiBell if they have a picture of their screen with a real Tweet on it instead of their welcome message.

After a few minutes. I received a message saying: The picture is not perfect because of the sunset but – who can we see on the screen? With a link to this picture. Click on the picture to see it full size.

Festival Screen with my Tweet

Picture credit: @InfoFestiBell on twitpic.com

Unfortunately, it is difficult to distinguish what is on the screen. But @InfoFestiBell confirmed that it was my picture and my original tweet. In front of 50 000 people! That is sooooo cool!

Question

Of course, there is some filtering. When you have a big crowd, music ,alcohol and show off facility, you can be sure that you will see the best of what mankind is capable.

Some would probably argue that Twitter is not mainstream. The Festival also linked the screen to SMS (text via cell phone).

Other would say that Twitter has a vocabulary that is not accessible to everybody. That is true. So what? The Festival did not shut down the traditional canals of communication. They just add one to extend their reach.

Test: If you do not understand the following joke, it confirm that Twitter has its own vocabulary and that you should stay with the others canals Twitter Funnybirdnoises

Source: Thenextweb.com

Conclusion 1: The Quebec City Summer Festival made another step forward in technology integration to better reach their customers. They have always been innovators and they pursue in that direction.

Conclusion 2: As a wannabe baseman who’s dreaming of playing on a big stage with big amps, this is the closest I have been to a stage.

Thanks to @InfoFestiBell

*15 seconds of fame, inspired by Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame

Share with me: How do you innovate to reach your customers?

UPDATE: Guy Couture (@gcouture) put a video online of his 15 seconds of fame. His first Tweet in front of 60 000 festivalgoers.

UPDATE 2: Disclosure: after DM (direct messaging) with @InfoFestiBell, I learned that the twittering is done by the technological partner Bell Canada (the biggest telecommunication company in Canada) under the guidance of the Festival. Coincidence, I have a professional link with Bell Canada. However, I did not know that Bell was involved and I still think that the Festival is doing a great job with Twitter to reach the festivalgoers. It changes nothing to my post.

P.S. Congratulations to Bell Canada for their excellent job with the @InfoFestiBell Twitter account.

UPDATE 3: Guy Couture (@gcouture) added another video online;  the tweet of @nicolasroberge, an active tweeter of Quebec City, displayed on screen. Link to Youtube

Posted by Denis François Gravel

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Two month ago. Between 9 and 10 in the morning, a big explosion surprise me while I was working at my home office. It was certainly huge because it was far, and still, the vibrations shake my house. What happened? I didn’t know. I was curious and search the Internet, but found nothing.

At 5 o’clock news, I had the explanation. Several miles away, a company was using dynamite to remove the rock. Something went wrong, the explosion was to big and some rocks flew in the air, damaging surrounding houses.

LCN Report (Video) Rock falled near propan tank Credits: left) LCN – right) Le Soleil, Erick Labbé

Story: Dynami-Tech encore dans l’embarras – Le Soleil (french)
Video: Pluie de roches: les détails avec Sébastien Dubois – LCN Video (french)

I had to wait all day to discover what happened and wait till the next day for complete coverage in the newspaper. In this era of blog, Twitter, citizen journalism or microjournalism, we should have faster information. We can do better than that.Twiter Plane Hudson

Proof: when the US Airways flight 1549 crashed in New York’s Hudson river Twitter breaks the news minutes after the event. www.telegraph.co.uk/Twitter-breaks-the-news-again

Janis Krums was on a ferry that rescued people. He used his iPhone to take a picture of the plane and upload it on twitpic. Then, he send the link with is now famous tweet: “There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy”.

twitpic - Hudson Plane

Within minutes the story spread everywhere…with a picture. That’s the kind of speed we are expecting now.

The Hudson River crash demonstrate that it is possible to have fast coverage of events with today’s technologies.

However, for that fast coverage to be useful, we need to define how to use the technology to help people find the relevant information when they want it.

I am not interested in a building fire in Tokyo, but I will be interested in a building fire, a few kilometers from my house (which is in Quebec City, Canada). That’s relevant information for me.

Google News, Twitter or other tools are good. They permit us to spread information or to search for specific information.

However how can We be inform of an event that we are not aware of? We have to wait that someone we are following retweet the information or that it makes the news headline. Probably that we will miss it anyway because it will be buried in the flow of information or in a torrent of tweets .

I suggest that we uses the power of Twitter and hashtags to identify local news.

Let’s create specific hashtags for local news. Hashtags beginning with #news and the name of the city or an acronym. Here are some examples:

  • #newsqc: Local news for Quebec City.
  • #newsmtl: Local news for Montreal City.
  • #newsla: Local news for Los Angeles.
  • #newsno: Local news for New Orleans.
  • Etc.

UPDATE: some readers suggest enhancements:

  1. Airport Code: We can use airport code instead of city name. Ex.: Quebec city would be #newsYQB. I think it is not user friendly. And it works only for city that have an airport (many small cities don’t).
  2. Hierarchical approach: We can define a hierarchical approach. Country, provinces, city. For Montreal City it goes like #news.ca.qc.mtl (Canada, Quebec province, Montreal city).
  3. What I think: I like the hierarchical approach. I am just wondering if it is using too much characters, since we are limited to 140 in Twitter.
  4. Your opinions: What do you think of the suggestions?

For those of you that already use Twitter, you know how to search for a specific hashtag or how to add a column to your favorite Twitter desktop software.

If someone ad tweeted: “ OMG! Some dynamite work went bad in Boischatel. Rock flew through the air. #newsqc “. I would have known what happened.

Some could argue that their is already equivalent hasthags: #news and #qc. They are not equivalent. They are used to identify information that deserve bigger coverage than the local residents. We can continue to use those hasthags for news that will interest people living in other city or country.

With local hashtags, it will be easier to find information about local events. It wills also help the traditional media do their job. They can’t be everywhere all the time. Citizen cans.

As explained by Steve Outing in his post: When Twitter beats local news outlets 

Something happens locally, like, say, a fire; there’s a lot of smoke in the distance, and I want to know what’s going on. But I visit my local newspaper’s website, and there’s nothing. Ditto for other local news outlets’ websites. Eventually (but not always), a reporter will get around to writing up something and it’ll be posted online.

It’s especially vexing when there’s never any report. Maybe the fire is not big enough to warrant coverage by the newspaper. But I’m still curious what happened. Where do I turn?

Now we have the solution: Twitter.

My point is not to start a debate over citizen journalism or microjournalism. My point is: We can be more effective. We can collaborate. We can use Twitter and hashtag to address some aspects of citizen journalism and satisfy the need for local news.

I read an interesting comment following this article: Citizen photo of Hudson River plane crash shows Web’s reporting power »

  • many of the most incredible news photos happen to be captured by amateurs that were at the right place at the right time – Posted by: mark

That’s right. Let exploit that fact.

If you like the local news hashtags suggestion and think it worth using it? Spread the idea in your blog and on Twitter: “How to use Twitter for local news – @PRESENTability suggest #newsmycityname for local event – http://bit.ly/xBB3M

More on Twitter and Citizen journalism

 

Saw on Mashable.com. In case of fire, do not use Twitter.

incaseoffire 

Read the real story behind this image on Mashable.com

WRONG

In case of fire:

  1. Get out of the building.
  2. Call 911
  3. Tweet the event using your local news hashtag #newsmycity

 

You like the local news hashtags suggestion? Spread the idea in your blog and on Twitter: “How to use Twitter for local news – @PRESENTability suggest #newsmycityname for local event – http://bit.ly/xBB3M

Share with me: What do you think of using specific hastags for local events?

 

Posted by Denis François Gravel

If you use PowerPoint or Keynotes or another software while you are presenting, you can choose between different styles of design.

  • Assertion-evidence slidePresentation Zen style developed by Garr Reynolds (via speakingaboutpresenting.com)
  • Classic PresentationZen 
  • Lessig Method
  • Duarte Design Diagrams
  • Ethos3 story-telling style
  • Comic style
  • Pecha Kucha
  • Kawasaki Method (aka the 10/20/30 Rule)
  • Takashi Method
  • Beyond Bullet Points Method
  • The boring Bullet Point. That is the most popular and less effective method.

For description of each method, you can read two excellent blog posts

  1. PowerPoint Design Methods by Presentation Advisors

  2. The Top 7 PowerPoint slide designs by Olivia Mitchell

Also, I wrote a post on the presenter responsibility vs. the design of the slides. Are you responsible for the horrible slides?

Share with me: Witch method work best for you?

 

Posted by Denis François Gravel

Presenting data is more efficient with visual aids. Pie charts and bar graph are used everyday in presentations, meetings or reports.

We are used to them…..and sometimes bored by them. They often looked all the same.

This is a regular pie chart. The kind we sees regularly in presentation. This one is about Star Trek fans preference.

Pie chart

Questioned fans indicate « The Next Generation » as their prefer Star Trek (this detail is not related to my point. It is just to satisfy your curiosity). Source : Trekmovie.com

 

 

 

It is possible to add some creativity in the data presentation. If you have a creative visualization, you will keep your audience attention instead of boring them.

I suggest that you boldly go beyond pie chart (I am influenced by the last Star Trek movie. I loved it)

To help you, here is some examples of data visualization that goes beyond pie chart

marketflow1

This graph indicate the evolution of media: “we are going to take a little tour through the history of information, or more specifically, where to focus your efforts if you want get in touch with other people

Source: baekdal.com

 

If the world was village of 100 people, is a series of world’s statistics. The creativity of the visual is obvious.

Sexual Orientation Nation

More here : The World of 100

 

The last example illustrate the evolution of the difference of salary between an average worker and a CEO from 1970 to 2005. I am not an economy specialist, but it help me understand one of the problem that led to the actual crisis.

CEO Salary 2

CEO Salary 1

CEO Salary 3

Source: portfolio.com

 

Before ending this post, I added those to pictures of Star Trek. They have inspired the title: To boldly go beyond pie chart.

Those images are powerful. They capture the personality of Kirk and Spock. Enjoy them in full screen by clicking on them.

Star Trek WallpaperSpock Poster 

Share with me: What creative visuals did you use lately?

 

Posted by Denis François Gravel

The world is different than what we see. Everybody sees it through glasses. Glasses representing education, profession, values, etc.

  • As a result, everybody perceives thing differently.

I had a teacher who defined her role this way: “I’m giving you new glasses to see the world. Nobody will see it like you will”. And she was right. I see the world differently than you.

The same is true when you speak to an audience. They are wearing some kind of glasses. Is it a professional association? A corporate meeting? A congress? A school seminar? Their perception of the world is tinted by their glasses.

We must try to put the same glasses as them. It will help us avoid mistakes. And our communication will be more adapted.

  • We will better “connect” with the audience.

batman

This image is a good example of glasses effect. It was used on Gizmodo site to recruit writers. [Image Credit]

How can we put audience glasses? Here are some hints:

  1. Do search on your audience.
  2. Read publications, blogs, tweets on the subject.
  3. Interview some of the leaders.
  4. Assist to the presentations before you.
  5. Ask questions.
  6. Be open minded.
  7. Etc.

 

Share with me: What are you doing to have your audience glasses?

 

Posted by Denis François Gravel