On Wednesday of this week, I attended the Portland Communicators Conference, put on by the PRSA and OCIABC (Oregon Columbia chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators). I had presented at a monthly meeting of the OCIABC last year, on how they could start to embrace all the new “social media” stuff that’s happening on the web. It was well received, apparently, because I was invited to their annual conference to give a workshop. Thanks, Abigail and the others, for inviting me!
My workshop was provocatively titled “Getting Naked on the Web: It’s not what you think!”. The topic was transparency, the whys and hows. I figured the title alone might draw more attention than the average workshop at a conference full of PR people, and for the most part, I think I was right. I called the session an “un-workshop”, to try to encourage conversation and questions, and I think that worked out pretty well, too. I told the folks in my workshop that I would post my slides and links to the things I talked about on my blog, so here it is! You can see all of the slides as a photoset on Flickr here.
I started off with this slide up on the projector while people filed in and got settled. It’s taken from The Cluetrain Manifesto, chapter 3 “The Longing” by Rick Levine. Thought provoking, I hope, and helpful for getting people in the right frame of mind for the kind of conversation I was aiming for.
I saw this quote on Twitter from Chris “factoryjoe” Messina during one of the conferences or something he was attending recently, and it stuck with me. I used it as a jumping off point for some discussion about why transparency matters, and what benefits (and risks) it has. We didn’t spend a lot of time on this, because for the most part, the people in the workshop were a self-selected group that already “got it” on some level, but at the very least, maybe some of them will be able to use this quote as a way of explaining and evangelizing transparency when they go back to their companies and start actually implementing the stuff we talked about.
From there, we started talking about tools, and of course, what the heck is “Web 2.0”, anyway? I really only used this slide as an excuse to show the awesome video that Michael Wesch at KSU did, explaining how “the web is us/using us”. I show this video to people all the time when I’m talking about web 2.0/social media/the human web. It does a much better job of explaining how the web has moved toward a separation of form and content, allowing subscription, mashups, and all the cool stuff we love about the web. This video has been making the rounds – in fact, if you google “web 2.0 video”, it’s the first hit, but if you haven’t seen it, it’s a must watch. And if you have seen it, show it to your parents, boss, coworkers, and anyone else who needs it.
We got even more specific after that, talking more about tools. Again, I just really wanted an excuse to show another awesome video that explains RSS and subscribing to feeds in plain english. Watch it, share it, spread it around:
From there, the discussion was pretty open, which is how I wanted it. I had a couple more slides, talking about tools for using your voice (blogs, photo sharing, video, etc.):
That was pretty much it. I had forgotten to restock my supply of business cards the day before, so I only had a couple dozen in my bag (which turned out to be plenty), so I had this slide up at the end with all of my transparent details, in case anyone wanted to write them down to contact me later. I love it when I hear from people I’ve met at conferences, either asking more questions, or showing off something cool they’re doing, so if that’s you, and you’re reading this, drop me a line!
I’m not going to post the actual Keynote/PowerPoint slides, since it’s all basically here and in this Flickr photoset, but if for some reason you’d like it, let me know, and I’d be happy to send it to you. Nothing really special, and like all of my photos, blog posts, and videos, it’s available under a Creative Commons license.
And, of course, if you’re interested in having me come speak at your company or conference or meetup or whatever, I love to talk about this stuff, and judging by the number of invitations I get, I seem to do a decent job of it, so let me know. Thanks!