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Chat #26: On crap communication and micro-Web2.0

Chat #26: On crap communication and micro-Web2.0

by Lee Hopkins on August 30, 2007

in Uncategorized

click on the image to visit the commscafe site

The first podcast in over six months!

In this action-packed explosion of erudition Lee shares his experiences on a half-day workshop on Social Media, especially his view that business communicators suck at communicating.

Allan agrees, noting that the two best ways to prepare for a presentation are to:

1. Don’t work out and shape your presentation in Powerpoint; only turn on Powerpoint when you already HAVE your story.
2. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

Lee praises David Grossman for his superb presentation that obviously met both of the above criteria, and agrees that he is the ‘one born every minute’, as PT Barnum would say.

Allan goes into depth about how to use headline titles in PowerPoint correctly.

Allan confesses that he doesn’t read blogs these days, preferring to read Twitter, Jaiku and Facebook. Lee is really concerned at the possible death of blogging at the hands of micro-blogging and wonders whether the ‘attention deficit economy’ means that we are witnesses to the end of long-form creativity.

But then again, ‘they’ all said that children were only interested in multi-colour, fast-paced, interactive blip-style media, and Harry Potter completely blew ‘their’ opinions out of the water. As Nassim Taleb says, a ‘black swan’ moment (a ‘black swan’ because scientific reason held that swans were only available in ‘white’, because hundreds of thousands of observations had shown only white swans. When black swans were discovered in Western Australia they completely and instantaneously made a mockery of ‘scientific experts’ and destroyed several ‘truths’ about swans that the scientific community held dear to their hearts.

The differences in blog usage between Lee and Allan reflect their different perspectives. Allan uses his social media tools to engage with a small group of practitioners, to swap ideas and so on. Lee uses his tools as branding and marketing outreach channels. Both of their perspectives are equally valid.

Like the ‘old fart’ that he is, Lee laments over the ‘walled gardens’ of Facebook, CommunicatorsNetwork, MyRagan, Second Life, MySpace and so on, arguing that these walled gardens are the opposite of the ethos of social media and the internet in general. Allan, quite naturally, sees these as complementary not antagonistic to the ethos, allowing small, like-minded groups of individuals to coalesce and share the conversations they would probably share around the water cooler, coffee urn or friendly pint down at the Queen’s Bum & Icepack.

Allan points out that there are stylistic differences that the limitations of micro-blogging can actually work to enhance, recounting that one well-known blogger is incredibly stilted and annoying on their blog posts, but warm, friendly and very funny in their micro-posts. Allan even briefly mentions Danah Boyd’s paper about the socio-economic differences between the residents of MySpace and Facebook.

Agree with them? Disagree? Let them have it – both barrels! Drop your comments on the show blog, or even better send a Waxmail to their Gmail account: commscafe at gmail dot com.

All in all, 30 minutes of caffeine-fuelled hyperbole and satire, which you can either download and listen to right away, or else subscribe to via your rss podcatcher. And if you are an iTunes user, you can find our podcast in the iTunes Music Store (for free, of course!) Beware, though: iTunes has a funny habit of not picking up all of our chats; you are better off copying our rss feed and then, in your copy of iTunes, go to ‘Advanced’ in the top menu bar, ‘Subscribe to Podcast…’ and paste in our rss feed there.

Until next time (paying clients must always take priority) take it easy, take some risks, take your children to the park.


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