I stopped being surprised by what people didn’t know –and didn’t care to learn– about “the Internet” a couple of years ago. My analogy was online ignorance was like not knowing how to use the telephone. As always, Seth Godin makes the point more clearly and forcefully with a little quiz:
- Can you capture something you see on your screen and paste it into Word or PowerPoint?
- Do you have a blog?
- Can you open a link you get in an email message?
- Do you read more than five blogs a day?
- Do you have a signature in your outbound email?
- Do you have an RSS reader?
- Can you generate a PDF document from a Word file you’re working on?
- Do you know how to build and share a simple spreadsheet using Google Docs?
- Do have a shortcut for sending mail to the six co-workers you usually write to?
- Are you able to find what you’re looking for on Google most of the time?
- Do you know how to download a file from the internet?
- Do you back up your work?
- Do you keep track of contacts using a digital tool?
- Do you use anti-virus software?
- Do you fall for internet hoaxes and forward stuff to friends and then regret it?
- Have you ever bought something from a piece of spam?
“Can you imagine someone who works in a factory that processes metal not knowing how to use a blowtorch? How can you imagine yourself as a highly-paid knowledge worker and not know how to do these things… If you don’t, it’s not hard to find someone to teach you.”
I don’t use an email signature but frequently sign smays.com which is almost the same thing. And, for now, no need for anti-virus software on the Mac.
Anyone reading this almost certainly knows how to perform these simple tasks. If you don’t, find someone to show you. Quickly.
PS: If you were only going to read 3 or 4 blogs… Seth Godin should be one of them.