Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I am amazed

I really am. I'm amazed at the number of Gurus who presume you know all about FTP and podcasting and recording and exporting to mp3 and a whole lot of other stuff besides.

Hey, I've been teaching people to use the computer for almost 20 years, and I STILL get gobsmacked by things like RSS and podcasting and yes, even measly ole FTP. So where does that leave the average net newbie? Feeling VERY downcast, I suspect.

Let's take a case in point. In the early days of my own attempts to get onto the net, I signed up for the only internet package that was available in India at the time and was given a CD, a letter with my secret login ID and password and a book about the Internet.

Since I was rather diffident about getting onto the Internet right away, I decided to read the book first. BIG mistake.

The book, written by one of the foremost computer Gurus in India, started off with "One of the prime questions people have is, 'who owns the Internet'?"

Now, that question had never occurred to me. I didn't care who owned the Internet. I only cared about whom I had to pay to get onto the Internet. Yet the book devoted an ENTIRE CHAPTER to that question, throwing acronyms like ICANN and ARPANET and other nonsense at me. So I asked others who were also embarking on the Internet journey. "Do you wonder who owns the Internet?" I asked. "Owns?" was the reply, "Who cares?"

That was the beginning of my realisation that almost ALL net Gurus have it all wrong. Over the years of my using the Internet, that realisation has only been strengthened by every "newby help" site I see. They aren't helping newbies. They're just tom-tomming their knowledge.

I hope this site will be different. I'm not interested in showing you how good I am. I am VERY MUCH interested in helping you enjoy, and profit from, your own net presence.

So anytime any of you see me trying to answer a (self ideated) question like "Who owns the Internet?" I hope you'll post a caustic comment to let me know I'm trying to show off rather than help you.



  1. Hear! Hear! You hit it with this posting, Deepak...I've been playing around with technology in some capacity since about 1982. I remember my first mouse. My boss bought it for me and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was supposed to do to make my job easier. Didn't I already have a keyboard? What I found out was that it was great for my friend, Kerry, who was into playing games so I gave it to her. I still prefer the keyboard to the mouse. I've taught several computer classes for senior citizens over the last few years and am always amazed at their tenacity and their total disinterest in HOW something works. They just want to know the steps they need to know to pick up their e-mail and how to send it. Anytime I ever started on the background, I saw glazed eyes so I learned to just tell 'em what they wanted to know and we all went away happy!

    Thanks for cutting through the gobbledygook and identifying the best way to help out the newbies!

  2. Anonymous4:38 am

    Deepak! You're darned right the gurus don't know about podcasting and RSS and all that fun stuff. The reason is because if they're smart gurus, they saved up a little Monopoly Money for this internet gig of theirs and paying other people to take care of it while asking no questions.

    Now, me on the other hand... well, I would much rather have the inside, do-it-yourself info. Even if one day I can afford to pay for labor, I still want to know exactly what this "labor" entails. It's a nice way not to be ripped off.

    Share, share, and share some more. And what you don't share, charge people for.




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