So, are you? Tech savvy or not?
If we discuss experience with the internet then the last thing I will say is I am a tech geek, tech savvy or tech anything really. I have loosely described myself as a techno-peasant and generally it holds true.
I used to think I knew a few things but noooooo…….
If you want to talk the merits of architecture and design and how they affect your world I’m your guy.
I really start sweating when I have to deal with stuff like Feedblitz vs Feedburner and CSS and sidebars and adding plug-ins and anything technical on the internet. So, right or wrong, when it comes to blogging technical design is a royal pain to me and I really don’t have the time (read: make the time) to devote to the technical aspects of running my website.
What does that really mean for me in this tech-savvy world?
Well two things:
1. If I really want my site to be kick-ass I will be forced to learn it or I may have to part with my own hard earned dollars and pay someone to do it. I am not an easy guy to work with. Just ask Chel Pixie. She knows.
2. I am potential prey. I am prey because I don’t know enough about the web world to necessarily judge what good practice is or not. I am not stupid but that doesn’t really have anything to do with it.
It’s all about gaining knowledge.
I am learning at a frenetic pace and because I like to think I have a learning mindset I am open to understanding things that will help me succeed but how much time do I want to devote to tech versus talking about my first love; design?
Yes, that was rhetorical.
I see a role-reversal going on.
When it comes to design I see a big difference between what I do as an Interior Designer and design in the web world. In the Architecture and Design industry we typically hire for talent and teach the technical. Teaching talent is very, very difficult. It’s not that it can’t be done but it is very, very rare.
In the web world see the roles reversed. Tech knowledge is the edge and design talent is the know how to use that technical knowledge to build a great site. It seems that without being technically proficient you can have all the great ideas but never be able to pull them off.
Then why does the complexity of many websites leave me with the sense that somehow something went wrong? Is it the same as leaving the design of a house to your contractor who likes to dabble and wants to move up to designing it too? Can he do it? Sure, but does he understand the fundamentals of design? Does he have design sensibility?
I sure hope so.
Hey, it may not leak, it may not fall down and it will certainly last but does it function as well as it could?
Does it really work both ways?
There is a place in the world for that and I am by no means qualified to critique the merits of good web design, however, understanding how to use that technical knowledge appropriately, regardless of your profession, is the basis of good design.
So when I think about building a website I can certainly learn and understand the basics of a landing page and I can gain a general sense of the psychology behind how “people” read websites (i.e. F Pattern – thanks Craig) but that doesn’t mean I have it right. The CTA (thanks Ruth), the location of a subscription opt-in box, not too much crap in the sidebar(s), images on the right not the left making copy easier to read and even breaking up your writing into manageable chunks are some of the fundamentals that I have tried to absorb over the past 15 months.
I understand just enough to be dangerous. To myself.
Can I learn to be a good contractor?
I look at posts that have been successful on my site and wonder why? What was in the water that week because nothing has changed on my site to make a discernible difference? Imagine if I had all the things in just the right places and my copy was killer? Imagine if I was a good contractor who is also a good designer?
Man, the possibilities.
So, no, I don’t have all the things in all the right places and maybe that will be seen as if I don’t care but I do. I really want to tweak things and make them better but other priorities (read: my day job) have kept me from doing much different in the past 3 months since my site became self-hosted.
Design is very important to me, it’s what I have chosen as a profession and I will never really see myself as a contractor. The vehicle, in this case, is forced to play a lesser role than the ideas which are hopefully reflected in my writing regardless of whether it is optimized for my website or not.
That is where I make my stand.
That’s my deal.
I will leave you with this.
If you are a contractor then please write me a proposal to renovate my house. Should I go Genesis, should I stick with my current WordPress framework or is there a better way or a better approach that will entice more people to this little corner of the web other than my motto of simply caring about who I visit or who visits me?
Does it need to be more than social?
I know it’s up to me. I know it’s about what I want from this experience.
But, I am all ears.
Oh, I do have a great feature on Facebook.
I offer a light-hearted joke to anyone who accepts a friend request from me. It’s just my way of saying thank you and is my appreciation for the start of a new (on-line) relationship.
There’s always that. No tech required there.