Consider Your Audience

I wrote about this around a year and a half ago, but I guess it’s time I revisited it (see Isn’t Everybody a Geek?).

The other day I was talking to Paige about some of the things I’ve been working on and she said “Now I’ll have an even harder time telling other people what you do.”

To me it seems so simple – I’m the Director of Technology for a school district. I’m in charge of making sure teachers and students have access to the technology they need to teach and learn.

What I hope to be doing soon is selling web applications. I’ve written a couple of interesting apps, and I’m working on a few more. I spend 2-3 hours a day studying web frameworks and programming languages.

But that’s not all. I’m following 22 people on Twitter. I’m subscribed to 113 RSS Feeds in Google Reader. I have 3735 3736 e-mails in Gmail. I have 4101 bookmarks in Delicious. I have accounts on every major social networking site.

Guess what? 99.9% of the world doesn’t care. I’ll bet 90% of the people that know me have never even heard of most of the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Sometimes that drives me crazy. I want to round up everyone I know and say “Look at all of these awesome things! Now you can have instant access to everything that’s happening online 24/7.”

But then I realize, regular people don’t need to know about everything that’s going on 24/7. Most people still don’t know the difference between the address bar and the MSN search bar on their home page.

Those of us who live online are a different breed. We do things every day that the average person will never even understand. But that’s OK.

To most people a computer is a tool that helps them do their job. And it’s my job to make their jobs easier.

One thought on “Consider Your Audience”

  1. Interesting timing on this post. I just got back from church and turned on the tv and there is an advertisement for where you can login and join CSI in Second Life. If I told most people I know about that announcement they would stare politely and wait for me to explain to them what Second Life is.

    Today was a bad day. I shouldn’t whine because I don’t have many days like this. I like to make people happy – regardless of any whining I may do. I would venture to say that the biggest problems I ever have at work are because I have a hard time saying no and over commit. Some of the problems I had today were because of that. Ongoing lab scheduling conflicts which may have caused some fallout to land on you, doing a favor dealing with a personal mac that took up more time than I had, and a pile of little things that cropped up.

    I have been replaced teaching email and I’m still trying to decide how I should feel about that. I should think we would have room for basic and advanced stuff – at least I would hope so. I’m going to wallow for a few days and then find I am too busy to worry about it.

    I have 2886 bookmarks in, close to 5000 emails in gmail, and I don’t know how many feeds I am subscribed to because they are spread between pageflakes, google reader, igoogle, bloglines, and netvibes because I wanted to try them all. I’m not on twitter but I have been giving it more thought since the k12 online conference has had updates on it. I’m on a couple of social networking sites but since I am not going to be using them for contact for career advancement the only thing I have used them for is contact with family and a few old friends.

    I guess where I was going with all this is if people don’t know what I’m talking about how do you think they are ever going to get you??

    I would be glad to be a webapp guinea pig by the way – you know how I love to break things.

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