Struggling with learning about an online microbiz? Oh MY but there are many skills involved with technology and social media, eh? You are likely quite skilled in other areas and yet finding it frustrating to get a handle on this process and all the different skills and strategies involved. I get that.
In fact, this post is a rant about online forums and tutorials. Over and over again I see these words…“Oh that’s EASY!” I want to KICK those people! Why? Cause dammit if it were ‘easy’ I would not BE here! Know what I mean?
“Never look down on someone unless you are offering a hand up.”
Yes, and without intending to do so – a remark that X skill is ‘easy’ may be heard as a put down. Think twice.
What is ‘EASY’ for one is nothing more than a reflection of that person’s experience and skills. Learners do not give a rat’s A## that you think it is easy, they only want step-by-step clear instructions until is is ‘easy’ for THEM. It is not ABOUT you.
I’m a former teacher, yet I don’t think it’s rocket science to have empathy for the struggle of learning something new and challenging, regardless of the skill involved. I have a Master’s degree, read and write daily and like most people I am very talented at some things and yet clueless about others.
Still I never stop learning, love it and yet some things I have zilch interest in EVER learning. However, know this… if I come to you for guidance about X topic, I really don’t care that you think it’s ‘easy’ – all I care about is whether you can make it easy for ME! Can you relate?
Here’s a few examples:
I got a smartphone a few months ago. I often wonder whether I will live long enough to be smarter than my smartphone. Who’d have thought we’d have to stop everything a take a CLASS to learn how to use a damn telephone? I did not do that, am WAY too stubborn.
Ask a teenager? HA! Most teenagers figure anyone over the age of about 25 is a complete moron. I have teenagers and many of my friends do too. It’s a jungle, raising teens can be like nailing jello to a wall. They may know how, but teenagers tend to be the worst teachers EVER. You might find one who will fix something for you, but the patience to teach YOU to do it? Rare. Forgettaboutit.
Last year I finally began learning WordPress. I’d been publishing online for many years on other free web platforms. There were many ongoing issues and it was clearly time to move on, but I procrastinated that move for way too long. I had peaked at WordPress a few times, looked about as clear as mud to me. Writing and creativity is what I enjoy. Fighting what I call wars with ‘technobabble’ drives me NUTS!
Finally I am getting the hang of WordPress. I still have struggles and questions now and then but am beginning to like it. One day I might even find WordPress to be ‘easy’ but if I utter those words aloud then just shoot me!
I’ve asked WordPress questions in online groups and that can be frustrating too. One gal who had just commented about how ‘easy’ WP is, in response to a question in the same thread replied, ‘well it’s not that easy!’ HA! Other discussions went something like… “… doing all the coding at WAMP need to upload to iPage, want to get MySQL database …”
Easy??? Right. Coding, WAMP & SQL database. Is that English? I call it technobabble. GEEZ!
In fact, I’m convinced that many use online forums as ego food. They enjoy posting sarcastic comments about how ‘easy’ X is and putting down others with names like ‘noobs’. Egos the size of Wyoming! The Warrior Forum is particularly full of this type of nonsense, helpful to no one.
There are several free online tutorials about WordPress, but I did not find them to be much help at all. The first video WP tutorial I tried was about an hour long, and this gal went SO fast, ADHD on steroids! Her cursor was zigzagging all over the screen while she says, “Click here now click there and see? Isn’t that easy?” I wanted to smack her!
Most free online tutorials have an agenda beyond teaching a skill, what they really want is to sell you something. Most will breeze through a quick tutorial, then launch into their real reason for being there, to launch their X Must Have product. Yawn.
Finally I found a talented trainer and this was my turning point. Once I began the process there, progress was quick. The process of learning WP was broken down into over 20 separate videos. Each one is about 10 minutes long, step-by-step with no stone uncovered – no assumptions of prior knowledge with a slow and steady pace. Each video session was followed up with action steps related, ‘Now go apply this before proceeding to the next step and if you have questions, post them here.”
Now THAT is teaching, folks. THAT’s the way it should be. Rather than ‘it’s easy’ there’d be comments now and then like, ‘now I know this may seem complicated and confusing, but just take it one step at a time. Then repeat it until it begins to feel comfortable. You can always replay the video…’
And WordPress is just one section, this membership site has literally thousands of similar video tutorials. All are presented in the same format of about 10 minute segments followed by action steps – and NO BS upsells!
Santa Claus also brought me a new Kindle this year, just to make sure I had plenty of new techno toys to boggle my brain. Like the smartphone, my Kindle knows how to do WAY more than I do.
Once I borrowed a friend’s Kindle for a week or so cause she has all of the ’30 Shades of Grey’ books on there. Curiosity killed THIS cat, I just HAD to read them and see what all the hooplah was about. So just when I got to some of the really hot parts, I hit some button that made the text HUGE. Not knowing how to change it back, I had to tap that page turner thingy about every 10 or 20 words to keep on reading! Ridiculous!
Ah technology…the more we learn, the more we learn there IS to learn, geez! All I want is to be proficient in my own little tech corner of cyberspace. None of us can ever know it all. Don’t even try and just as important, connect with first rate trainers. WELL worth it!