Geeky names put off those who matter
This is based on an old article lurking in my Bloglines account, which came out as a result of a market research survey on new technologies that found how few people know what blogging is - and mistaken it for dogging. This is despite the news that the blogosphere is doubling every five months.
At the Podcasting Roundtable at this year's SETT Learning Festival I aired the view that the names given to technologies - blogging, podcasting, RSS - leave the vast majority of people bamboozled. As a confirmed techy I do remember feeling uncomfortable with the terms blog, podcast and RSS when I first heard of them, even if I use all three on a daily basis now. It's taken me three years to be completely at ease with it all, having borken my way through the jargon to discover what is, in effect, fairly simple-to-use technology.
Are we just increasing the digital divide by exclusing vast numbers of people who are put off at the first hurdle: the jargon hurdle? Or should people learn the names as much as how to use the technology as part of their education in information literacy?
I honestly believe in the latter, but can't seem to see a way to democratise blogging and podcasting further - and quicker - in the education community in Scotland until I can help people over the yuk factor these terms seem to inspire.