Explaining the inexplicable

Explaining the inexplicable: Matt McAlister (who, by the way, I think has a really cool title: “Sr. Product Manager, RSS & Social Media, Yahoo!) made a presentation to magazine-types yesterday during which he explained some Web 2.0 ideas to non-technical people. He’s uploaded the Power Point of his presentation here and says talking in terms of “mashups” worked.

That’s a coincidence, because yesterday, I also made a presentation to some magazine-types during which I also tried to explain some Web 2.0 ideas to non-technical people. (During my presentation, I even credited Matt McAlister at one point when I showed a deli.cio.us hack he created — and I borrowed.) Like Matt, I constantly struggle with how to make simple something that I know an audience has a pre-conceived (mis-perceived, often negative) notion about. And in the case of blogs and other participatory/social/amateur media, the notions can be all over the board.

While my Power Point style is, well, not of the bullet point school, here are the “slides” (ppt, 2.1 mb) that went along with my presentation yesterday. It was my attempt to help folks “connect the dots” (the device I used) about what all of this is about. My part lasted about 10-15 minutes and was designed help the business types I was talking with relate social media with the buzzwords they normally use: content, community and commerce.

In looking now at the Power Point, I must warn, “you had to be there.” And, frankly, even if you were there, it may not have made that much sense. But I do think it did help connect some dots for several people in the audience who needed some dots connected.

By the way, I’d like to give a shout-out to blogger friend Josh Hallet who recently posted an MP3 of one of his presentations on blogging and social media concepts. I like his approach and called him about it — we ended up talking a long time about what works and doesn’t when trying to simplify some concepts that are, actually, quite simple, but people want to believe they are not.