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There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t. - Unknown

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 There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

                                                                                             - Unknown

I saw this posted in the Association of Shareware Professionals newsgroups today and couldn’t resist
sharing: What really happens at an internet help desk

Although it’s a humorous video clip, it illustrates a pretty common societal frustration. It can
sometimes be difficult for geeks and non-geeks to get along when it comes to computers. There’s
such a huge lack of understanding by the typical non-geek as to how to perform tasks that we
computer geeks would consider basic. To use a computer effectively still requires a fairly high degree
of intelligence and skill, although I suppose that depends on how you define “effectively.”

I’ve been comfortable with computers since I was 10 years old (I’m 33 now), so it’s difficult for me to
even understand what it must be like for people with low or average computer skills. How do they
live? To not have the strong technical skills I’ve developed over the years… would be like losing one
of my senses.

The great thing about technical skills is that they’re so versatile. Take this web site, for example. I
whipped it up from scratch in a few days. To me it was easy, and many of my fellow geeks could do
the same thing and also consider it easy. But think about all the technical skills that we just take for
granted to make a fairly simple site like this. Registering a domain name. DNS. Configuring an
Apache web server to host the new site. HTML. PHP. Making forms. MySQL. CSS. FTPing files. SSH.
Finding, installing, and configuring the script for this blog. Search engine submissions. There’s no
way a non-geek could even begin to attempt something like this on their own. They have to find a
geek to do it for them. In some cases that can be cost-efficient even for a geek, but if you have the
technical skills yourself, it’s often far faster just to do something yourself than to try to explain it
someone else. But for a non-geek, they’re often stuck with a great deal of limitations on what they
can do without having to pay more than it’s worth to them. This is probably why so many small
business web sites are poorly maintained.

What would it be like for a geek to wake up one morning and suddenly lose all his/her technical
skills? What kind of career might you pursue?

It’s interesting that as I transition towards writing and speaking as my primary career, I’m doing so
in a very geeky fashion. While I’m speaking at least 1-2x per month locally to build up skill, I’m
mainly focusing on adding new content to this web site and building an online info products business.
First there will be lots of online articles (great for search engines and links). Then I plan to put up
some downloadable audio content. Then maybe podcasting support. Lots of geeky features. But I
think my technical skills give me an edge that other writers and speakers can’t easily take advantage
of (unless they have lots of money). But even prominent speakers that do have lots of money to
spend on their web sites will often hire someone that gives them an overanimated flash site or one that
isn’t well optimized for search engines because virtually all the text is done as graphics (and no ALT
tags to boot). It’s rare to find a non-geeky speaker that has a really well-done web site, and many of
these sites aren’t updated, some listing speaking schedules from 2002 and earlier.

                    Visit www.wisdomthought.com for more free inspirational articles 
What it will be like to transition to working in a non-geeky profession while doing so in a geeky way?
I’d be curious to hear from any fellow geeks who survived such a transition and if/how you used your
technical skills creatively in your new career.

                                                                                Wisdom Growth by Steve Pavlina

                   Visit www.wisdomthought.com for more free inspirational articles 

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