Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

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Visiting Montana

On Friday/Saturday I got the chance to do something I hadn’t done in a while: Teach. Most of you don’t know, but I spent four years working as a marching band instructor. Every weekend I would teach a group of 60 how to make their way around a football field. It’s something I enjoyed immensely and learned a great deal from.

Fast forward to this weekend and thanks to Scott, Mike and all the other at University of Montana’s entertainment management program I found myself standing in front of a room of engaged and excited students discussing the intersection of media, marketing, culture and technology. I was joined by Mike McGinley and Wendy Davis, two of the sharpest people I’ve met on the subject. It was all quite amazing.

Just to give some context, as part of the program they bring out all sorts of professionals to talk about their area of concentration. The class is really quite amazing and unlike anything I experienced in college. Students are hand-picked and give up spring weekends to be part of the program. Obviously this raises the caliber of student, but I don’t think I was prepared for just how much. They were engaged, interested and insightful despite the incredible amoutn of time (Friday 5pm-8pm and Saturday 9am-5pm) and pontificating (mostly by me).

Anyway, on Friday night Mike and Wendy kicked off the festivities talking quite a bit about cocreation. Then on Saturday it was my turn.

Let me backtrack for a minute: Two weeks ago I got an email from Mike telling me Max had suggested he drop me a line. Mike asked me to come out to Montana and initially I declined because I didn’t feel like I had enough time to prepare for a 90 minute presentation. Luckily Mike convinced me that it was no sweat and I really just need to come out and be prepared to talk about the stuff I write about all the time on my blog.

I agreed.

Of course, however, going completely off the cuff wasn’t in the cards (I have a brand to maintain), so the first thing I decided to do was take a bunch of interesting entries and make a slide for each with relevant quotes. I then designed a little checklist that corresponded. The idea was that I would let the class decide what topics we’d cover. My little bit of originality came at the bottom of the sheet which was a tear off section asking for name, email, website and comments.

Again, though, I didn’t feel like this was enough so I added an intro to the presentation. First I said who I was and what I do and then I explained the way I approach thinking about this stuff (mostly ‘medium is the message’).

All in all it went fantastic. I ended up talking for a very long time with lots of interesting back-and-forth. The class asked some great questions and I got some incredibly flattering comments on my little sheets (inspiring came up a few times). Anyhow, it was just fantastic.

To the students that were there: Thank you. Thanks for having me in your class and sitting through all my pontificating. Thanks for listening and asking such great questions. It really made me feel good and I owe it all to you guys.

Oh, and in the next few days I will write an entry with all the links we discussed.

I’ve set up a separate page to download the presentation. I’m actually going to ask people to leave their email address (just because I’m curious who wants it). If this is a serious issue or you think it’s a dumb idea let me know by email or in the comments.

You can download the presentation at http://www.noahbrier.com/presentations/uofm. Hope you enjoy!

Update (4/23/07): If you tried to download the presentation and it didn’t work, try again. I think I fixed everything.

April 23, 2007