Friday, July 09, 2010

Dear Roy....Love, David Pogue

There's an article in
The New York Times by David Pogue and I think it was written just for Roy.

Roy, in case you didn't know, is a really really smart person. He knows a lot about psychiatry, and maybe more about technology. The only thing is, he sometimes assumes that everyone else knows what he knows and speaks his language, and often that language includes a lot of technospeak. Try writing a book with someone like this! Oh, I did. So glad to be done for the moment.

So Mr. Pogue tells us that The New York Times editors asked their writers not to use the word "tweet" anymore for fear that readers wouldn't understand. Mr. Pogue writes:

“We don’t want to seem Paleolithic,” he wrote. “But we favor established usage and ordinary words over the latest jargon or buzzwords.”

That the Internet’s reaction was so swift and harsh only proves the point: the techno-savvy population can’t even conceive of the existence of a less savvy crowd. If you use jargon every day, you can’t imagine that millions of people have no idea what you’re talking about.

I do a lot of public speaking. And even today, when I ask my audience how many know what Twitter is, sometimes only a quarter of the hands go up.

The article goes on to define the basics for the uninitiated: Facebook, Twitter, Yelp (my favorite), Foursquare (Huh?), and Linkedin. Mostly, though, I liked that it made me think of Roy. So Roy, can you imagine a world where three-quarters of the people don't know what Twitter is?