I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. David Pogue, The New York Times popular personal technology columnist, gave the keynote at today’s Bulldog Reporter’s conference on advanced PR technologies in New York.

He strode in – tall, lean, clean-cut, dark suit, very corporate looking. Within two minutes he was hopping up and down at the lecturn and screeching, making fun of everything related to “social” media (“I hate buzz words,” he said). Think Robin Williams (except tall and lean, etc.) and you’ve got the picture.

I suspect some of his jokes went right by the earnestly intent audience of PR professionals gathered at the Yale Club to learn the latest and greatest about corporate blogging, online video, wikis, SEO and online measurement. All of his slick-looking PowerPoint charts were fake (I rode down in the elevator with him and he confirmed this.)

One slide was labeled “Movie Tickets Sold” and underneath “in gazillions.” Another purported to show the explosion in social media between now and 2009. “These things are new and there’s going to be a lot more of them,” he dead panned. The legend explaining the hockey stick curves included “splogs” (OK they do exist),”klogs” and “phlogs.”

“I love making these charts with PowerPoint,” he said. “It’s so easy.”

Some useful tidbits…

On Social Media

Blogs are self-expression via text; podcasts are self-expression via audio; V-logs are self-expression via video. “These tools are NOT equivalent,” he said. “Social media as one entity doesn’t exist. Some people don’t want to appear in front of a camera. Anyone can write a blog. The ability to speak well for a podcast is less common.” (I’m paraphrasing.)

On Web 2.0

His slide showed a giant ugly brown spider clinging to a web. “This Web 2.0 thing,” he called it, “is where the audience provides the content.”

The New York Times on blogging

“It’s like an elephant trying to put on ballet slippers – very tentative, very conservative.”

Social media ideas for PR practitioners

Off the top of his head, he said, some ideas for PR folks. Use blogs, podcasts, online video for: 

– behind the scenes glimpses of corporate life

– focus groups at Microsoft showing users trying to click and navigate confusing user interfaces

– design prototypes

– videos of employee’s cubicles (all the stuff they hang up)

– customer submissions (videos, fan sites, etc.)

Useful Links

Pogue’s blog

Pogue’s videos for The New York Times (he makes them himself – no staff, no special equipment, no studio)- can’t find the link.

I’ll add more later…