I’ve found it interesting, misleading, motivating, embarrassing, and sometimes frustrating trying to explain what I do (or the perceptions around it). My focus area(s) are simply too nacent for the hump of the crowd to get it. I realize that I’m doing something that’s new (but yet so old), let me share with you the challenges:
My wife Shirley went to dinner with an old female classmate last week –they dined in high fashion at a swanky SF restaurant for nearly 4 hours. Of course her friend asked what her husband did for a living, ultimatly something about ‘blogs’ came out. Shirley’s friend asked “What’s a blog?” so I don’t think the conversation could go to strategic at that point –heh.
I also remember about this time last year, I had several of my closest buddies at a bar with me (it was actually a pre-bachelor party) and I told them about blogging. Some were interested (maybe becuase I had them pinned to the back of the booth) and some got it. It’s intersting, nearly a year later, several of them have been blogging, and one of them called me last week to get some advice on starting a business blog. (at a major software company in silicon valley)
One of my cousins in college was speaking with Kevin (close friend and Cousin) they were having an interesting conversation around the future of her career –as she has an interest in web, design, and of course spends a lot of time on MySpace. I was amused when I heard him explaining to her that my career is much like building MySpace for large companies. In many ways that’s true. Her eyes lit up when I told her about what I did.
Another family member of mine was really perplexed to hear that I was working on blogs, that’s silly “Isn’t that what kids do?” heh. There was no issue of awareness, however it wasn’t clear.
High Level Conversations with Grandma
There are some good things however, some of my business friends and family totally get it. I saw my Grandma last week, I’m not sure how well she can use the computer but she apparently is reading my blog with the aid of my mom and auntie. “Web Strategist” made sense to her, and she even was able to converse at a high level with me –she’s an impressive Woman to say the least –but of course she’s going to love whatever I do.
Help me explain it
So What do I do? Am I a Web Strategist? Count Blogula? Snoop Bloggy Blog? A Web Prophet? Social Media Expert? I often want to pull folks that don’t know too much about blogging into a 15 minute discussion (rarely do I have the time, a laptop, or do they have the interest) to explain it. I want to show them how customers and citizens are taking charge, why this is the first time the common man has ever been able to publish his voice, and how companies that don’t wake up may suffer damage, and companies that harness this can really benefit.
I do want to share my passion, and I know it’s important to people and companies so. Help me boil it down to a one breath phrase for the uninitiated, how would you describe what I do?