It seems these days that everybody has a blog or website, and so everybody needs web hosting. Unfortunately, some, if not many of those people, are so far behind technologically that they still think the abacus is a good invention.
How can we as an industry effectively communicate with people who have little or no knowledge or understanding of even the most basic hosting concepts?
It has always been the case in any area of life, or profession or industry that those in the know quickly get to the point where they can’t imagine not understanding their industry-specific terms. This leads them to get somewhat confused when trying to talk about these things with someone outside of that industry. It’s kind of like learning to speak another language.
Unfortunately this is how it is for many people when they’re trying to get information and assistance from people in the hosting industry. Even though they natively might speak the same language, one party is constantly using words and phrases which mean absolutely nothing to the other. Even worse, there are times when each party to the conversation has a different understanding of certain words and phrases, thus creating constant misunderstandings and miscommunication.
In my experience in the web hosting industry, I have seen that there needs to be a radical rethink of the way we communicate with people. As the industry is growing and drawing more and more people in, we must find ways in which we can close and even bridge the gap in knowledge and understanding between those who think and operate in 21st-century terms and the millions who are struggling to catch up and keep up with the pace of innovation and change in the new millennium.
Most importantly, this change needs to be industry-wide. We need to find ways to simplify, yet still keep secure, some of the technologies which are common across all hosts and software, and find simple new language to use which is then adopted universally for the benefit of all.
I, personally, use various different illustrations in my book and when doing training, which are designed to parallel various web technologies with real-world concepts that people already understand. When they can see how something marries up with another concept they’re already comfortable with, it enables them to accept and thus come to understand these things much more quickly and easily.
One of the hardest things, one of the biggest stumbling blocks for people when trying to learn new technologies, is the deep-seated belief that those technologies are too difficult for them to understand and they are not capable of comprehending them.
By likening and comparing a new concept with something they already know, understand and do not have that same negative feeling towards, we can circumvent the things that are holding them back from fully grasping web technologies. In doing so, we give them the opportunity to enter what is for them the brave new world.
It’s time for the web hosting industry to join together to become the teachers and leaders who will not only supply the services, but also the education the people need as they increasingly step out of the real world and into the digital one.
About the Author: Peter Pollock is the author of Web Hosting For Dummies and have been in the hosting for over ten years. An Englishman now live in sunny California and an admitted unashamed total geek. His passion is to help people understand and thus get the most out of their web hosting.