I recently gave a talk for Codementor on Decentralized Website Communication with Webmention. A recording for the talk is available on archive.org, in case you are curious! In the 45 minute discussion, I walked through what Webmention is, how it works, and did a live demo of how to get started using Webmentions on your site.
I am taking away many learnings from this talk. First, preparation upfront, and adequate rehersal time, is crucial. I prepared my demos and tested them in advance of the talk, leaving enough time to ensure I could make any changes as needed. This made me feel a lot more comfortable as I was talking. In addition, rehersal time helped me ponder what auxillery resources I should prepare that would make the talk more seamless. For example, I prepared some short code snippets that freed up time in my talk to walk through more of the how to of Webmention.
Second, I liked the flow that I chose for the talk. I started by introducing Webmention, showed an example of what Webmention enables -- decentralized commenting, likes, bookmarks, and more -- then went straight into a demo. I felt great about doing a demo of sending, receiving, and displaying Webmentions early in the talk, inspired by the learning structure in the opening FastAI course for deep learning lecture. I wanted to make sure the audience could get to the a ha moment through the "what is" and showcase of a use case, then get into the practical details without talking too much.
Third, I got some great feedback about the real-world use cases section. I thought a lot about how I could show not only the bread-and-butter use cases, but the potential for expanding the use of Webmention to new ideas. I did this by showing how I built polls on my personal website with Webmention, how the Breakfast and Coffee wiki accepts posts and reviews sent via Webmention, and through a few other examples.
As is often the case with demos, one of mine didn't work out as seamlessly as during my rehersal. The conclusion to my demo of setting up Webmention was supposed to show how to display mentions on a website, but for some reason the script didn't load. I wasn't too worried as I previously showed numerous examples of Webmention on different personal websites.
After this talk, I'm excited to do another one, perhaps on another IndieWeb standard or indeed another topic entirely. I enjoyed preparing the presentation, thinking through what flow I thought would be optimal, and pushing myself to focus more on practical use cases than theory. I wanted to make people feel excited, empowered, and intrigued.
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