Friday, November 10, 2006


What's wrong with Web 2.0 Presentations?

Many Web 2.0 presenters are slick in terms of delivery but yet they will ultimately fail to capture the hearts and minds of the enterprise. Let me tell you why...

Have you ever thought for a moment how folks in large enterprises use Powerpoint? If you have, you might have realized that its usage for presentations is secondary. Its primary goal is documentation...

So, if you give an enterprise person a Web 2.0 presentation and he habitually uploads it to his Microsoft Sharepoint site so that others can read later, will they be successful? While I have no credible metrics, I am of the belief that for every attendee of a live presentation in corporate America there are at least twice that amount who didn't attend that will read the slide decks after the fact.

I wonder if the Web 2.0 folks have ever considered that their presentations are also information dense? Many corporate folks aren't used to such density and they may be overwhelmed with such tight delivery. In overload situations, folks will also revert back to the desire of reading things later even if they were in attendance which you now have robbed them of this chance.

Web 2.0 also changes another corporate behavior. How many enterprise architects do you think are capable of creating compelling presentation material from scratch? The masses need to borrow from others to carry their message. The habit when studied is actually interesting and has many parrallels to the legal field. Lawyers love precedence because it provides them with guidance. Lack of precedence makes folks work harder. Luckily, most of the stealing still comes from large analyst firms, but the enterprise would be in trouble if they also jumped on the web 2.0 bandwagon.

The biggest problem though is that when folks do Web 2.0 style presentations, others aren't capable of stealing your presentation. Throughout my career I have had thoughtful original presentations lifted where the presenters simply subsituted their names for mines. This gets incredibly difficult to do with presentations such as Dick Hardt as stealing becomes harder work than actually being original. It simply wouldn't work unless I changed my name to Dick or at least decided to behave like one.

Maybe, if some industry analyst firm that truly gets Web 2.0 were to do a study on enterprise behavior and the usage of Powerpoint, they may be catapulted into fame. Besides what would be more amusing that studying a bunch of silly little humans who work in large enterprises...

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