This is me thinking about the power of digital platforms: sashaying on my customized, red-carpet runway, strutting my business stuff.
This is me actually learning to use digital platforms–sweaty, red-faced, frustrated, and definitely not cute.
Setting up this blog took me back to the agony I felt working with WordPress for the first time 6 years ago. Those hours spent alone at my desk trying to figure out how to create my first post were excruciating, and by the time I ventured to attempt to edit the stylesheet, I was in tears. Even now, with a blog and a WordPress-based website that I work with on a regular basis, I still dread the frustration of being unable to add a line break or get an image to center, no matter how many ways I approach it.
The fact that I bother at all is a demonstration of my love of technology. I feel born to live in the age of the Internet. I love communicating and connecting with diverse groups on a large scale. My business runs on Internet technologies–blogs, apps, social media, PayPal, Spreecast, TimeTrade, Dropbox, Skype–I’m adding and upgrading web-based tools on a regular basis.
I have learned two very powerful tricks to success with digital platforms: ask questions and hire experts. I’ve benefited greatly from access to great resources and great people in my quest to conquer technology, so now, rather than sit alone at my desk banging my head against the keyboard, I know to ask experts, or even better yet, hire experts to reduce the learning curve and keep me sane.
I am very excited to be participating in an online learning program that takes full advantage of digital platforms. I am a little nervous to participate in an entirely online learning experience. I’ve always enjoyed the energy and collaborative energy of face-to-face interaction. In my business, I facilitate online programming through web-based tools,, so I know the woe, stress, irritation, and embarrassment that seem to go hand-in-hand with these tools, such as, the presentation that ran perfectly when I practiced, but is now live and has no sound, the live cast with video out of synch with audio, the webinar that no one can join. However, it was a great reminder, when I did a Skype interview with one of my fellow students, Nikki Edmundson, that online video goes a long way to making the virtual seem less distant.
So as I launch this my new online learning experience, I take the lessons of years of technological woe and create for myself a list of tips to make this process less painful:
- Ask, ask, ask, and when you think you know, ask again
- Save, save, save
- Backup, backup, backup
- Better done than perfect–don’t spend hours on something that really doesn’t matter
May the technologies gods smile on us all, so that I look like this:
and not this: