Clippings from the BetterComms Garden

by Lee Hopkins on November 28, 2006 · 2 comments

in miscellaneous,second life

The Countdown Begins!One of my favourite ‘reads’, Andrea Weckerle (rhymes with ‘ski’) heads off this week for pastures European (albeit not without some drama before even leaving the ground).

So, while I’m over there, I plan on taking lots of photographs, hopefully visiting an art gallery or two (yes, for work), and talking to as many people as possible so I can pick up some new ways of thinking about things, fresh insights, and if I’m really lucky, some gold nuggets that I can share with my clients back home.

I look forward to seeing the photos, A, and reading your posts — will you be blogging whilst you’re away?

The sublime as ever Kathy Sierra confirms why “Web2.0″ is not a buzzword.

That doesn’t mean zillions of people haven’t abused the term for everything from sounding tech-savvy to getting a piece of the hype-fueled-please-god-bring-back-the-bubble-and-I-promise-I-won’t-piss-it-away-this-time VC pie. And it doesn’t mean that there’s all that much consensus even among those who think they DO know what “Web 2.0″ means. But to say it means nothing (or WORSE–to say it’s just a marketing label) is to mistake jargon (good) for buzzwords (bad). Where buzzwords are used to impress or mislead, jargon is used to communicate more efficiently and interestingly with others who share a similar level of knowledge and skills in a specific area.

Part of the benefit of being “into” something is having an insider lexicon.

It’s not about elitism–it’s about efficiency. It’s not about impressing others–it’s about a shared understanding of specific concepts. It’s about being able to talk about ideas or processes or even parts with fewer words and (potentially) greater meaning. If two heart surgeons debate the merits of a new medical procedure, I’d be lost. Hell, I’m over my head when the conversation turns to cooking. But I can talk about cantles and pommels, and I know exactly what topline means in the context of collection. And I can talk about recursion and dependency-injection and backward-chaining. Just don’t ask me how to carmelize.

Dinner conversations around my house often are about one of those two things–programming or horses–and most non-horse, non-developer folks might wonder if we’re just making s*** up. But if you took away our jargon, the conversations would not just be slower, they’d be dumber. We couldn’t converse on some of the more sophisticated, complex, higher-level ideas about horses or software development. The experience wouldn’t be as rich, productive, or engaging. Strip away the specialized words and you strip away part of why being better is better.

But it is the very access to expert, specialist knowledge that makes Web2.0 so compelling, as the Forward blog point out. Forward is run by PR students who, like Robert French’s PR class at Auburn Uni, are very glad ‘Web2.0′ happened as it makes their life so much richer.

Says Forward: This is yet another example of social media allowing young people to learn from the best thinkers out there – for free!

Second Life is in the press again — The Australian has a feature on it, and Reuters will hold two groundbreaking interviews this week inside Second Life with Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime and Warner Music Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman.

Says The Australian:

Dell is selling virtual laptops in world, with plans to allow virtual people to order real-world computers for their human alter-egos.

Second Life was designed as a way for people to escape their first life, but with the influx of marketers, media and brands, will it be long before Second Life looks much different from the first?

Want to know more about Second Life: read these posts of mine. Then call me on +61 410 642 052 to discuss why and how you should/could be marketing to cashed up, tech-savvy early adopters.


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  • http://youngie.prblogs.org/ Paull Young

    Lee, did you catch the feature story on Second Life in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend magazine on Saturday Oct. 14?

    It was an interesting read. It focused on the standard “computer nerd in mum’s basement” caricature surrounding all things online, but it was a good effort by the Aussie MSM.

  • http://youngie.prblogs.org Paull Young

    Lee, did you catch the feature story on Second Life in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend magazine on Saturday Oct. 14?

    It was an interesting read. It focused on the standard “computer nerd in mum’s basement” caricature surrounding all things online, but it was a good effort by the Aussie MSM.

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