Friday, September 20, 2002
Well the IBM conference went really well. Dave Snowden couldn't be found so I was asked to go on first and boy was I nervous, more than 50 people in the Great Hall of the very posh London Insurance Hall, and I was miked up and shown the video camera up on the balcony. I started fine and then in walked Dave Snowden and perfectly to cue, knowing his dislike of powerpoint, I crashed out of powerpoint and amateurishly tried to get the slideshow back up and running. I recovered OK and judging from the comments afterwards think that my retelling of the 'Badger Man' story from Ernest Neal's excellent book 'The Badger Man' was the story of the day.
I was also particularly proud that during our workshop on Communities that my suggestion of the 'Thursday night pub collective' was sited as a good example of a shadow organisation community. When asked how we regulate membership and prevent unwanted members from attending our regular meetings I replied "at 17:30 we simply change the venue".
I have since found out that Ernest died on Aril 19th 1998 but hopefully his stories live on to inspire enthusiasts of both Natural History and now Knowledge Management.
Again participating in events like these throws up the strangest encounters and I was approached by the sound engineer for the day who proceeded to tell me several very entertaining and 'lesson learning' stories of which I can only retell one of the five for fear of breaking Blog libel and obsenity regulations.
As he attached the microphone he said "make sure you switch it off when you are not presenting. At a recent conference this senior official walked out of the hall and without realising he was broadcasting to the entire audience proceeded to berate this poor junior official with an onslaught which would make Basil Fawlty look like Mother Theresa. On his return he was booed and was embarassingly told of his show stopping speech. In good storytelling fashion he reportedly then ran out and has not been seen since." Made me remember to switch the mike off immediately I had finished anyway.