If you were at LA2M today you saw my new experimental presentation screen - two windows up, left hand side a browser running an iPhone emulator, right hand side a single column of Tweetdeck doing a search for the tag associated with the event. Anyone who twittered to that tag got their twitter up on the screen a minute or three later.
(photo goes here)
Here's build notes for that, with the caveat that I am not 100% satisfied with it just yet, and it will probably get another tweak for the next preso. This is all for Mac though I'm sure if you are clever you can get something equivalent for Windows.
1. Run Spaces (from System Preferences) and put the only apps you are going to use into their own screen; I used Tweetdeck as the twitter client and Safari as the browser. This ensures that random messages from other apps don't clobber the screen.
2. Tidy up your desktop so that files with embarrassing names aren't in view.
3. Run Tweetdeck; set it to single column mode, move it all the way to the right side of the screen. Set up a stored search for the tag for the event.
4. Run Safari. Set the window size and dimensions not to overlap the Tweetdeck window. Merge all tabs into one window.
5. Before you start, load into tabs all of the sites you want to show.
6. I was doing some iPhone demos, so find an iPhone demo tool you like and load up apps into that.
7. Leave enough space so that your beautiful desktop photo (thanks Cindy!) overlooking Lake Superior shines through.
To control the preso, go into Safari, and flip through tabs (control-tab) until you get the thing you want to show. I had blogged the outline of the talk ahead of time, so I knew what to hit in what order, but sometimes you want to just flip-flip-flip.
Go into the Tweetdeck settings and tune the API settings to adjust the delay in refresh of the search window. The speediest I saw was a poll every 36 seconds, which should be plenty for the window to seem interactive but not enough for griefers to take over.
Learn the "filter" command on Tweetdeck so that if something comes on screen that's unpleasant you can squash it quietly and quickly.
That's it...I'll stop now for a round of questions, or you can talk to me after the presentation.