One of the highlights of the Code4Lib annual meeting is the “lightning talk” rounds. A lightning talk is a fast-paced 5 minute talk on a topic of the presenter’s choosing. They are usually scheduled on an ad-hoc, first-come-first-served basis on the day of the event. They are an opportunity to provide a platform for someone who is just getting started with public speaking, who wants to ask a question or invite people to help with a project, or for someone to boast about something he or she did or tell a short cautionary story. These things are all interesting and worth talking about, but there might not be enough to say about them to fill up a full session timeslot.
“Virtual Lightning Talks” replicates this conference activity online in a virtual meeting environment. Each one-hour block consists of 10 six-minute sessions (one minute for the presenter to take control of the virtual meeting environment and test audio followed by a five minute presentation). Presenters show their work by sharing their entire desktop; the presentation can consist of slides, web browser, command-line shell, or any other application that can be shown on the desktop.
The first round will be on April 4th at 1:30pm Eastern U.S. Daylight Time. The Virtual Lightning Talks page on the Code4Lib wiki has more information and space to sign up to be a presenter or attendee.