Notes on the Code4Lib Virtual Lightning Talks

Last week I emcee’d the second Code4Lib Virtual Lightning talk session and I wanted to record some notes and pointers here in case me (or anyone else) wants to do the same thing again. First, though, here is a list of those that presented with links to the talks archived on Internet Archive.

Name Topic
Terry Brady File Analyzer and Metadata Harvester
Misty De Meo Transitioning a legacy thesaurus to SKOS/RDF
Roy Tennant Under the Hood of Hadoop Processing at OCLC Research
Kate Kosturski How I Taught Myself Drupal In a Weekend (And You Can Too!)

The full session recording is also on YouTube. (If I get the time, I’d like to try a hand a cleaning up the automatically generated captions track as well.)

Here are the notes:

  • The beep track was created using Audacity and its function to create DTMF tones. I’ll add the full five minute recording here in MP3 format, but next time I do this I think I’m inclined to add a minute or two to each presentation, so I’ll have to recreate the track.
  • The beep track and my voice were combined in realtime my Mac using the two-channel Soundflower mixer. I was using a Blue USB external microphone, and needed the LineIn application to route the Blue microphone’s input into one of the Soundflower channels. (I couldn’t figure out how to route the USB mic input natively.)
  • When you create a Google+ Event, you have the option of saying it will be via Google+ Hangout. I had set the start time of the event to 1:30 Eastern U.S. time, but wanted to open up the Hangout 30 minutes early so the presenters could come in and test the environment. I started an ad hoc hangout 30 minutes early, but right at the start time another Hangout was created and some viewers went there instead. I don’t think there is an elegant way around this, but next time I’ll set the start time of the event to include that 30 minute window and mention in the event description that it won’t really start until 30 minutes later.
  • Warn the presenters about the start tones on the beep track. The start tones will cause the Hangout to focus on the em cee screen, which will have the title slide. Some presenters got eager, though, and talked before or through the beep track. Add 10 seconds to the first minute’s beep track time, then tell the presenters that leeway is built in.
  • Download the MP4 recording from YouTube and split it using the QuickTime Player “Trim” feature. It helps to have QuickTime Player go fullscreen so you have a finer granularity on the editing times.
  • Presentations in Prezi format did seem to work out fine.
  • Remind other speakers to mute their mics when they are not presenting so they don’t steal Hangout video focus from the presenter. Hangouts-on-Air has a Cameraman app that might be useful in limiting who is seen/heard at any one time during the session. Explore this before the next session…