Tagged: analogy

Using analogies to explain social media. Its a bit like…

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

Social media – its like a trade show

Telling people that social media is about spaces rather than places draws a blank look from 90 per cent of people.  I have therefore been searching for the good old analogy that helps people understand this concept.  This search has also been prompted by a current project where a client “wants to be on Twitter” but wants to achieve this is a viral, one Tweet will make me famous, sort of a way and it is important to help them understand why this is unlikely to work.

The analogy I have come up with is that of trade show or exhibition.  Suppose your business or organisation was to have a presence at the leading exhibition within your sector and you were presented with two choices as to what this presence would be.  Continue reading