In following the RSS feed about the SlideShare contest winners, I realized that the winning slideshow is a mashup and started following it to its roots. The winner jbrenman clearly acknowledged that his contest entry is a stylistic rendition of Karl Fisch’s original presentation, so I had always known that. But as is the case with many mashups, I had not spent time tracking the creation to the original. As I started following links, I learnt that Karl Fisch is a teacher who created the original Shift happens powerpoint. Generously, he shared both the original powerpoint file and the mp3 that goes alongwith. In his blog, he also talks about how he came to create the presentation to get the faculty thinking about this new world that their students are entering. (Shift happens is about the paradigm shift in America’s changing role in the world). He also discusses the statistics that he cites in the presentation (acknowledging that his presentation itself is a mashup of ideas and statistics from many sources).
This is fascinating. I could go on stepping back in tracing these ideas. So who is the original creator? Is there an original creator? Is the question even relevant?
This adds to my belief that powerpoint is the ultimate mashup medium. If you think about it, most presentations are mashups – a collection of facts, opinions and pictures put together under the creative lens of an individual.