I've been doing a little bit of work out of the DK New Media offices the last couple of months and the other day I heard Douglas Karr with the Marketing Tech Blog give perhaps the best explanation of "the Cloud" to client I had ever heard. Now for those of us working on technology and specifically in Internet marketing, we don't have any problems understanding how the Cloud works or what it really is. If you're like me though you have a number of family members and friends and clients that don't quite get it or understand how it works. So, I share this explanation with you that was shared by Doug after a client asked how it worked.
Client: "What is the Cloud? How does it work?"
Doug: "You have electricity at your house right?"
Doug: "Where does it come from?"
Client: "A power plant somewhere"
Doug: "That's the Cloud. Electricity flows through a network of power plants all across the country. The Cloud is just a collection of servers (like power plants) that host and store all the data and information that's stored on their networks. When you need it, you flip the switch and the data (like electricity) flows to your computer or other device."
Client: "Ah, that makes sense."
Now, wasn't that easy? Doug was able to take something that the client was familiar with and relate it to how Internet networked storage works. Sure the client doesn't know all the in's and out's of how the nationwide power network grid works, but neither do they need to know all the specifics of how the Cloud works. They just need to get an idea of how it works.
What do you think? Would you explain it differently? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear your own spin on how you'd educate someone to how the Cloud works.