16 July 2009

Social Media Conference

I just spent two days at a "Social Media In Government" conference, sponsored by the Advanced Learning Institute. It was definitely an interesting time, but some presenters were much better than others.

Hillary Hartley, of NIC Inc definitely deserves a shout-out. Her presentation was fantastic and a real highlight of the two days. She demonstrated a most profound and comprehensive understanding of Web 2.0, Government 2.0 and social media, and did so in a language that everyone could easily understood. Plus, her slides rocked!

Which makes me wonder - for a group of professional communicators (and most of the presenters fit in that category), why oh why were so many of the slide presentations so crappy? I mean, in more than a few cases the person was a good speaker, the content was top-notch, and the actual slides were h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e (i.e. word-dense, bullet points, bland, etc).

And there was one presentation in particular, who shall remain nameless, who didn't belong at the conference at all. He was a fantastic storyteller with a gripping yarn to spin. I really enjoyed his bit. However, I cringed every time he said "social media" because he clearly doesn't know what that phrase means. What he meant was "online media," which isn't the same thing. Just because you post a podcast doesn't mean you're doing SM.

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