Eternal September: Be Ready to Repeat Yourself. Again.

Last week I read this post on Seth Godin’s blog and loved it. I tweeted it hoping other people would pick it up. After reading Stephen Abrams post – What is Cloud Computing where he states

I’ve given a few talks lately and I was surprised to get a few questions about “what is cloud computing?” I guess I really do live in the bubble. Then again I have had my share of what is YouTube? eBay? iTunes? questions lately too.

leavesI decided to devote a blog post to Eternal September, its the idea that every fall new freshmen show up and you need to teach them the ropes, rules, guidelines, etiquette all over again.  New people show up on the internet everyday.  People who don’t understand how blogs work or what Twitter is or why they would use an aggregator & RSS.  It can be easy when talking amongst your cohorts to get caught in a bubble, when most of the people you interact with know what the cloud is and use Twitter everyday (or almost every day) you can forget that the majority of people don’t.  If you’re like me, you like (or even love) the web and all the awesome things it can do.  You probably want other people to do them too.  It can be easy to forget how much you’ve learned, how far you’ve come and how much you know that others don’t.  What you take for granted can be amazing, intimidating, daunting, foreign or just plain scary to new people.  When you’re talking about the web, stop and explain The Cloud or Twitter, even if you think everyone already knows what it is and how to use it.  People often feel dumb for asking.  Do it with patience and understanding.  Don’t just say how awesome it is, explain it in terms that matter to them, how they can use it, how it will save them time, how it will make their life better.

If you’re a leader or an expert or a presenter or even just a blogger you need to be prepared to teach the freshmen.   They are looking to you for explanations and guidance.  After all you are a senior. ;-)

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12 comments for “Eternal September: Be Ready to Repeat Yourself. Again.

  1. May 28, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Great post! I think that’s why many went into librarianship, to help people understand. In particular to technology, far too many are snarky are use the term noob when referring to people who are just starting to learn.

  2. Delcie Davids
    December 22, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Hi, what blog platform is this? Is it working for you or..? I would really love it if you could answer this question! Regards!

  3. March 29, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    RT @librarianbyday: What you take for granted can be amazing, intimidating, daunting, foreign or just plain scary to new people. http:// …

  4. March 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    @librarianbyday I think also that people are more often now not afraid to ask quests. I hope that’s why I get more ‘what is Twitter ?s.

    • March 29, 2010 at 1:29 pm

      @allonsdanser yep I think the key is to be sure to be welcoming & exciting and not – been there, done that!

      • March 29, 2010 at 1:36 pm

        @librarianbyday Agree! I tell people that librarians love to be asked questions.

  5. USABaldwin
    March 29, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    RT @librarianbyday: What you take for granted can be amazing, intimidating, daunting, foreign or just plain scary to new people. http:// …

  6. May 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I believe teaching a basic computer class puts the whole web into perspective. You need to change your terminology and attitude so as to make it accessible to someone who is learning about it for the first time. When I’m writing, I keep in mind that sometimes not everyone who is reading my blog might be aware of the issue or term or technology. Taking the time to include a brief explanation or link to one works wonders for people who might not otherwise know.

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