Trying to explain social media to businesses can sometimes feel a bit like Thomas Eddison trying to explain the lightbulb at a convention of oil-lamp manufacturers.
Forgive me for indulging in an analogy at the start of this post, but to start in any other way would be a bit like Gordon Ramsey launching a new restaurant and serving boil-in-the-bag ready meals (something that surely could never happen).
Analogies can be very useful communication and explanation tools, especially when trying to explain something that is new, different and where there are few real-life examples available. They allow you to borrow from a store of familiar experiences and export them into the unknown. A good example is the automobile. Cars were first presented as an analogy – i.e. a horseless carriage – combining two things which were familiar to explain something that was new. Likewise, North American Indians described the train as an iron horse.
For this reason I find analogies very useful in helping people understand social media. Continue reading