I was attending a convention a couple of weeks ago when the inevitable happened – equipment failure. One of the main presenters was using Power Point with a video embedded in it, and, just as he was trying to make an important point, the sound system hookup malfunctioned. Of course, we in the audience were unable to understand what the people in the video were saying.
So what happened? Rather than just going on to deliver his message without benefit of A/V, the distressed speaker put the audience "on hold" while the hotel’s technicians fiddled unsuccessfully with the controls for a long ten minutes. Needless to say, the momentum of the presentation was lost. ("Winging it" without the Power Point would have been s-o-o much more powerful!)
That little mishap started me thinking about different forms of presentations, and, since I’m a professional ghost blogger and blogging trainer, I came around to pondering the differences between business blogs and traditional websites. Websites are typically more formal, with a lot more thought and planning devoted to headlines, content, graphics, and layout. In that sense, websites are like the Power Point presentation the speaker had prepared. Not that I’m implying that websites "break down" – it’s just that they tend to be more static than blogs.
Blogs, by contrast, are more nimble. The content changes frequently (ideally several times a week), and that content is presented in a tone that’s conversational and informal. The comparison that occurred to me during that 10-minute awkward wait for the Power Point to be restored is this: Websites are ongoing. Blogs are for the here-and-now.
If business owners thought of blog posts as conversation, simply sharing a tip, discussing something in the news, explaining how their products work – just "winging it", in other words, I can’t help thinking that there’d be a whole lot more blogging going on, with a lot more engaged online searchers!