In case there’s nothing on TV tomorrow night

For anyone in the local area who may be able to attend, I’ll be giving my first-ever PowerPoint presentation tomorrow night (Tuesday, January 15) at 7:00 p.m. for my local Audubon chapter. It’s entitled “Finding (and Putting) Nature on the Web,” and I’ll be focusing primarily on nature blogs, photo-sharing sites, and online nature identification resources. Apparently, our meeting place, a chapel in a graveyard, doesn’t have wi-fi, so I’ll be relying exclusively on screen shots. It’s easy to find, right off an exit of I-99 — directions are here. Come for the free cookies if nothing else.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

13 Comments


  1. Reading your first sentence, I thought, ‘what?… oh, dear!’. But showing a shot of a website when there’s no Internet connection is one of the VERY few circumstances when I do think a PowerPoint presentation is worthwhile and not a lot of work to prepare something that will either send the audience to sleep or distract them from what you’re saying. Would be good to give them a one-page paper handout with a list of urls too, I should think – waste of paper, I know, but waste of your time and knowledge if you give them lots of info and they can’t find the links afterwards – or perhaps you’ll be posting these to an online newsletter or list-serv?

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  2. Jean – Good suggestion to prepare a handout. I’ll see if we can post the links to the website somewhere, too.

    PowerPoint is just a technology for sharing slides — it’s not Microsoft’s fault that most people don’t make good use of it. I fear the same thing happening with blogs: that the medium itself will become tarnished by its widespread use for breathless political minutiae, gossip, and other disposable stuff. In the case of PowerPoint, as you say, it’s become practically synonymous with lists of bullet-points in bureaucratese.

    I didn’t find it a lot of work to prepare, but then I didn’t spend any time on fancy transitions from one slide to another, animated GIFs or the like. Of course, this being my first PP, I did feel duty-bound to use bullet-points on a few slides. :) But I’ll keep it light and move quickly from slide to slide.

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  3. I know not of the powers of power point, but if you are doing a slide lecture on slides of pics of nature stuff and not pics of pages of print..and you are talking..why not get someone with a vid cam to video it. Then you can put it up and we can see it.

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  4. It’s not going to be too big a thrill, trust me! The pics are of blogs and webpages that include good photos, but a certain amount of photo quality is lost during the screen capture. I guess I’m a fairly animated speaker, as long as I’m properly caffeinated.

    The Audubon chapter’s webmaster has agreed to put my links list on the web, so I’ll be able to link to an outline, at least. I’m just afraid of hurting the feelings of those whose blogs I didn’t include. Many were chosen almost at random to try and represent the richness of place blogs, natural history blogs, conservation blogs, and miscellany blogs (like this one) that cover nature part of the time.

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  5. Will be thinking of you, Dave, and wishing I could be there to hear what you come up with. I’m sure it will be quite entertaining!

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  6. As Beth said. Sounds like you are going to have fun, so I’m sure it will be enjoyed by your audience.

    I’ve never done PowerPoint, but now have its Mac version Keynote which I’ve been studying and hope to test out. Never know when I have to give a slide show of my work.

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  7. Thanks, Beth.

    Marja-Leena – I’m sure it would be riveting to see slides of your work and the processes involved in making it. Now that’s the sort of thing that would really make a good addition to one’s website!

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  8. Slides of an artist’s work is the other use of PowerPoint I don’t find dire – could indeed work well for you Marja-Leena, I should think, since your work looks good on the blog (though I’m sure it looks much different and much better in the original).

    Hope it goes well tonight Dave.

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  9. Ah, that does look promising!

    The crowd was small but appreciative, I guess. The fact that at least three of the blogs I talked about were by Auduboners made an impression, I think. I feel bad I didn’t make room for several more of my favorite nature blogs from the Appalachian region, though.

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  10. Rebecca, you’d be welcome to stay here in the guest house should you ever feel like making the trip – or happen to be passing through. You’d probably be especially interested in meeting my insect-collecting brother, who also plays clawhammer banjo.

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