Start with the Demo Magic Trick

Image of Mandrake the Magician with cigarette

I’ll be giving a presentation this Friday at Duke University’s Instructional Technology Showcase titled “Fragmented Identities: A Domain of One’s Own” (the title is kind of a tribute to Duke’s Literature department in the heady days of theory in the late 80s and 90s). But to counteract any pretense of being an academic, I’ve decided to modify Levine’s Law of presenting a bit and rather than starting with the demo, I’m gonna start with a magic trick. That’s right, I will be donning a cape, fake moustache, and a top hat for this one, but there will be no scantily clad assistant sawed in two, in fact my assistants will be anyone out there crazy enough to participate! In other words, I need your help, but it will be painless, I promise.

Here’s the deal, I’ve set up a UMW Blog for this presentation here and come presentation time I plan on showing them this blank slate, and then asking anyone from the audience who is interested to share their feed. After about a minute or so, I will pull the switch and update the site via FeedWordPress, and whammo!–I’d like the site to be overflowing with posts, images, videos, etc., from a wide range of sites and services to re-enforce the power of blogs as aggregation points of our fragmented identities. I’m also hoping it might act as an immediate way to demonstrate in real time the logic behind UMW’s syndication bus and the importance of RSS.

So, if you got a second, do me a favor and add a feed (or several) to the presentation blog here. There’s a big “Add feed” here field in the top-right corner, you can’t miss it. Also, it would be great to see feeds from a wide range of services like Flickr, YouTube, delicious,, Twitter, or whatever else you got.

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18 Responses to Start with the Demo Magic Trick

  1. Mike Bogle says:

    You’re gonna take a picture of the outfit in action I hope? I’ve added Twitter feed, Blip.TV feed and Flickr feed (blog feed would have been far too predictable, though I can add this as well if you like).

    Would love to get a copy of the recording if it becomes available.

    Sounds like a blast of a preso – can’t wait to hear how it goes. Good luck!

    • Reverend says:

      Awesome Mike, thanks. And I definitely will have images of the magician regalia. Additionally, I have been told there will be a video of the whole thing available soon afterwards, unless I make the camera disappear 🙂

  2. Matt says:

    I’m in and doubled down. Good luck, Jimmy.

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  4. Ted Major says:

    I’m in, and looking forward to seeing how it goes.

    Good plan lining up an array of shills in advance. 😉

  5. Brian says:

    Brilliant idea.

    I hope you test the feed load off-stage at least once. I added some media-rich ones, and would hate to be responsible for making the whole thing crash.

  6. Reverend says:

    @Matt & Ted,
    Thank you kindly.

    Good point, I have close to twenty feeds already, and it could be intense, will test it on the bava.

  7. Steven Egan says:

    Hmmm… I can think of several feeds besides my own that I know would be fine to add. Do you mind Jim?

  8. Cole says:

    I added a few PSU Voices feeds, so they should come from a bunch of people. Sounds like an amazing demo, err, show!

  9. Gardner says:

    Added in way too many: blog, delicious, flickr, courseblogs, one more I forget. 🙂 courseblogs may not feed in correctly, so I’ll add some student feeds too.

    Now I need to go home and watch “The Prestige” again. Can’t miss when Tesla’s involved.

  10. Reverend says:

    Add away, the more the merrier.

    @Cole and Gardo,
    Thank you kindly, this should be fun, and as Brian suggests, this may be more like a stunt than a magic trick given how many feeds I have now (over 40!).

  11. Gardner says:

    “Thank you kindly” always reminds me of the crazy guy in “The Searchers.” Man, I love that movie.

    OK, now on to the real question, which you’ve probably already answered elsewhere (so just point ol’ Mose Harper in that direction): how do I republish podcasts on another site using FeedWordPress–or is that even possible? Images get fed, but audio no. I’m sure this has something to do with enclosures in RSS.

    Also, I’m sure you’ve seen this, but just in case:

    And whatever became of this project?

  12. Gardner says:

    Who loves ya, bava?

  13. Mikhail says:

    Added a bunch of stuff yesterday.

  14. Ed Webb says:

    I added a few when you first put this up. Now I see Gardner going nuts, I feel I should add about 20 more… On the other hand, we don’t want to make this thing assplode, as Brian points out.

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