Webinars shouldn’t hurt

The Spring ’11 release preview webinars were today and I have a complaint.

First, some background.

The first hour is about the Force.com platform, and covers changes to Apex, governor limits, Visualforce etc.  I found it engaging, informative and yet not too in-the-weeds.  It made me want to go back and re-read the release notes!  Now, I won’t be able to use most of the new technology covered in this webinar, but it is good to know it exists.

The second hour is more about the “clouds” (Sales, Services, Collaboration, etc.).  It covers the new stuff that will be visible to your average Joe User and seems to be geared towards the least computer-savvy of audiences.

The tone of this second webinar was painfully simple.  There was an exchange that went something like this (a bad paraphrasing):

  • Presenter #1: New in Spring ’11 is the “Like” button in Chatter.
  • Presenter #2: You mean I don’t have to type an update, I can just click the “Like” button?
  • Presenter #1: Yep, and all your followers will see that you liked that post.

Now, I ask you, how long has Facebook had a “Like” button?  Years?  Heck, my 86-year-old grandfather has “liked” my Facebook status as recently as 2 weeks ago!  Am I supposed to believe that Salesforce.com users are less sophisticated and less unable to grasp the concept of a “Like” button than my 86-year-old grandfather?  It came across as scripted and condescending.

At that point I knew the presentation had jumped the shark.  I continued to watch the slides but hung-up the phone in disgust.

So, I humbly ask that Salesforce consider a third release preview webinar.  A hybrid of the two. A webinar for the folks who are administrating Salesforce all day.  One for those of us who want to learn and evangelize.  Releases provide enormous value to our organizations and we want to be ready.  But please, for the love of the cloud, please don’t ask me to sit through scripted banter.


8 Responses to Webinars shouldn’t hurt

  1. I missed today’s webinars. Things kept blowing up. I always wonder what I miss- was it a gem or a dud. Sounds like today’s was a dud. Sometimes it seems like Salesforce tries to hard to explain the whole internet to us and forgets that we live in a constantly changing world. It’s one thing if they invented the Like button, quite another to take if from an already established platform.

    • Amber Neill says:

      Agreed! It is also one thing to explain new features to an end user and another to us seasoned admins. We need a separate presentation.
      Felt reminiscent of Dreamforce where lots of the sessions were either too simplistic or waaaay too developer-y.

  2. Tim McDonald says:

    Hey, look at that! I figured out how to “like” this blog post! Wasn’t sure I could do it without watching the webinar! 😉

  3. SteveMo says:

    Missed the webinar (too many fires to put out) agreed that SFDC has to add an Admin/Power User Webinar to the mix.

  4. Bryan says:

    I too would like to see an Admin/Power User Webinar or a slimming down of the script. Amber, have you posted this to Ideas? I’ll vote for it!

  5. Mike says:

    I agree! Salesforce isn’t the only company guilty of this! Reminds me waaaay too much of this.

    [Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston explain Windows 95]

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