Show Off at PDC 2005

Although I haven't had the time to blog about my experience, I attended SIGGRAPH 2005 at the Los Angeles Convention Center last week, and it was an amazing show. On Tuesday night, I attended a 2-hour event called the Electronic Theater where a sold-out audience of thousands watched short video clips of the latest and greatest work in computer generated animation. While waiting (in the long line) to get into the room, people were buzzing with excitement about what they would see and who would be showing their work. The presentations were short, and each video segment introduced the artists, the project, and the tools that were used. Not only was this a great way to see what could be accomplished with specific toolsets, but it was also very inspirational. Each clip ended with generous applause and a showing of strong support. About half-way through the show I wondered: "why don't we do something like this at the PDC?"

Fortunately, we have a very cool PDC committee who connected with the idea almost instantly (it's great to work at this company!). So, with a nod to SIGGRAPH's Electronic Theater, we propose a PDC 2005 2-hour session called Show Off. The concept: "Why demo your cool application to a few friends, when you can Show Off to thousands of your peers at the PDC?"

The important bits:

  • You and/or your team put together a single WMV file that shows off something cool about your application, tool, technique (or whatever).
  • This is a Microsoft developer conference, so make sure that it uses at least some of our technology. :-)
  • Videos are limited to 5 minutes.
  • It's content that counts. A Channel 9 "guerilla-style" hand-held video format is perfect.
  • If you want to use a screen capture application like Camtasia Studio or HyperCam (or even mix it with real video), go for it!
  • Be creative. Show something cool that would excite your peers.
  • You'd privately host the WMV file yourself, let us know where it is, and we'd collect it for consideration.
  • We reserve the right to pick which videos we show at the PDC for completely arbitrary and geeky reasons.
  • At some point, possibly right after the Show Off session at the PDC, you'd allow us to link from Channel 9 to your video for the whole world to see.

During the submission process, we'd collect any project/team names, developer details, tools used, and contact information (if you want others to be able to contact you about your awesome work). If we show your clip at the event, we'll include this information at the start of the video.

So, what do you think? Would you participate? We're trying to gauge interest before we spend a bunch of time on this. Please share this link with your developer friends, regardless of their ability to attend the PDC. Leave comments. Send e-mail.

Is this a good idea?

Update: In case you're wondering, you can pretty much show off anything with a Microsoft developer story. Maybe you have a 5-minute tour of awesome scripting or keyboard shortcuts in Visual Studio 2005. Or perhaps you created a cool XAML animation for the Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly known as "Avalon"). Or, you've come up with a great way to automate your build and testing cycle. Or think of it this way: if you had five minutes to show off some tip, technique, tool, code sample, or project to your developer friends, what would it be? We obviously don't want commercials, but if it's something geeky about a commercial product, that's good too!