CNN Explains the Cloud…Badly

[qi:gigaom_icon_cloud-computing] Thanks to the amazing viral powers of Twitter, I found a series that CNN is running on cloud computing, complete with stories (I liked the one on server huggers) and fun video about an oddly named dog. The goal clearly is to explain cloud computing to the masses, but when you show someone hosting a photo at Picasa or Flickr and say, “You’ve just started cloud computing,” you’ve just messed up.

Storing data in the cloud is the same as storing it online. In fact, if they remade the video (embedded below) and replaced the word “cloud” with “web” or “online,” it all would still make sense — but that’s not cloud computing. Cloud computing is providing processing power on demand and charging for it on a per instance basis. Yeah, that’s far geekier, but it helps someone sift through all the hype around the cloud and cloud computing, something the CNN video and story doesn’t really do.

Not that many of the vendors who provide either web-based services like Google’s Gmail or actual cloud computing like Amazon really helped the poor writer out. Google refused to let him tour their data centers (no surprise) and Amazon’s Adam Selipsky, VP of Amazon Web Services, told him, “From a customer’s perspective, it is a cloud, and it can be magic.”

Wow, can we all try a little less hard to make this stuff easy to understand?