Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You should listen to the non-techies too

Michael Stephens presented a small but interesting post today by Mick Jacobsen on "Love thy luddite" that makes some simple and good points. It resonated with me because one of the problems I have with the whole L2 phenomena is that they often do not listen and that they tend to push way too hard to get people to use whatever the toy du jour happens to be. This point was particularly interesting to me:

"Don’t push too hard (if you can avoid it). Sometimes all it takes is talking to them at the right time. Understand their schedule. Some people are ready to play at the start of the day, some after lunch, some while eating lunch, etc."

Very often it is a simple as it is just not the right time for some people to try X or Y. If you push too hard, not only will they be turned off, they may as well be turned off from other things because of that one experience. The schedule thing was interesting. I tend to be fairly productive in the morning and then a bit more right after lunch (since I tend to take short lunches anyways). For personal things like my own blogging, evening at home tends to work too. It just depends on what it is I am doing or need to get done.

But it also depends on the tool or social software site. For instance, Twitter is something I personally do not get. Well, I see the appeal for some people. But in my case, if I want to mini-blog, I can do that, to an extent on Facebook. In fact, I have been doing just that when I post links I find of interest that I am sharing with others since I usually add a small comment to the link. The comments I make are short, probably about the length that Twitter allows. So, if it is just for something like that, I don't see the use of opening yet another account on yet another online service. I can barely keep up with the ones I have as it is on some days. What makes you think I want to add another one, with another password to remember, so on, just to try it out? I like experimenting as much as the next guy, but sometimes having to sign up for yet another thing of dubious usefulness (to me) may not be worth. Give me some time later on, I may reconsider it. Push me, and I will tell you to (insert four letter word here) off.

Sometimes it may be something else. Library Thing is another example. In my case, my issue is simple: if I want to record more than what the basic free account allows, I have to pay. For me, that is a big deal since I do not like using a credit card online. You know, that whole phishing/identity theft thing going around for one. But two, for just keeping track of my personal reading and doing a little of social sharing of that reading, Good Reads works for me, and it is free. I already have over 300 books tracked there. And while Library Thing is not pricey per se, the fact I have to pay for something online that I can get free, for what I do, just does not seem worth the effort. And notice that as I talk about what I do, I do emphasize the concept of "what I do" or for what I need it. What I am saying is that some things work for me and others do not. If they work for you, more power to you, but please don't get all pushy about it and try to convert me. That just puts you in the same bracket as religious fundamentalists who want to convert everyone and hold the view of "I am right; I have the truth, and you do not," and I hate those people with a passion. If you are a promoter of 2.0 technologies, do you really want to be in the same category as fundamentalist bullies? My guess is probably not.

So please, I would appreciate it if certain people chill a bit. I am not a luddite by any means; I am blogging, aren't I? And if you look on the right side column of my blogs, you find the links to my other online tools. But I can certainly see the point of some non-techie people that they may just not be ready or that they do not find a particular tool useful. Maybe like me, they just prefer a different tool, or they prefer not to use something at all. That is not a bad thing.

And yes, I also agree you probably should not label those people as "luddites."


mrs. blogoway said...

I understand what you're saying but in defense of twitter, I have to say that it really is a cool idea. Twitter is all about staying connected with people that you don't see on a day to day basis. We feel closer to people when we share the minute details from our daily lives. Yes, facebook has updates but people don't generally update more than once a day and don't seem to be as creative as on twitter.

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Hey, don't feel the need to get defensive. I did say, and I have always said, that if the tool works for you, go for it. It does not follow it has to work for me, and if it is not useful to me, no amount of defense is going to convince me otherwise. If it works for you, go for it.

Mick said...

Great post. You very much caught the essence and expanded on meaningfully of what I was going for in the TTW post.

Thank you.

Mick Jacobsen

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Thanks for stopping by Mick. Best, and keep on blogging.