Technology – a help or a hindrance – Technology was suppose to save us time!  And that is true for many processes we encounter every day – crunching numbers, finding directory information, researching, word processing, taking pictures and sharing them, etc., technology has made life much easier.

But . . . . go outside the main stream services and products just a little and . . . . BANG!  . . . . your time disappears into a black hole of technological marvels all telling you what each widget can do.  Great! 

Programmers – Lots of great programmers coming up with lots of new tools.  What they don’t tell you, are the glitches with applying each one.  You have to go here and you have to go there and you have to ask this person and that other support person and then you have to ask more questions (because they know their stuff but you don’t know what they know) – the time consumption is horrendous!  And, of course, you find out in articles that if you happen to pick the wrong basic thing and combine it with another wrong basic thing, you’ll have to start all over again!!! 

Segmentation & Specialization – The industry is so segmented and each component is so specialized, there’s no one out there thinking through the business aspects and linking everything.  – oh – correction – there could be – but another chunk of hours trying to find them because you’re likely not using the right terminology! . . . .I could be asking for an orange but I was suppose to ask for a navel orange . . . !!!!

Yes, it’s okay to have specializations – it’s necessary – the same as a mall – you have a clothing store, a shoe store, a drug store, a grocery store but they are all linked into one common thread – shopping and there’s a path from store to store.  Stores display their wares – warts and all – and store people help you figure out if something is right or wrong for you.

For instance, someone told me to start a blog on WordPress so I did and I have found it to be a very interesting process.  Because I’m learning, I have been doing a lot of research and am now starting to understand how I turn blogging into an on-line business. 

So, I think up an idea, I want to try it only to find out that I cannot do that on .com but I need to go now to .org of the same name company – huh????  For non-techie’s, this simply doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.  Why not just simply include it in upgrades and make it seamless for the consumer.

Now I have to figure out the difference between the two, find a web host, download .org software, and I’m on my own for all kinds of things like controlling spam.   Makes no sense at all to me.

If I were the company, I’d make it possible to add on some widgets on the sidebar the same as Blogger does – I don’t have to go to to do it – and I still get all the same coverage as just the regular old Blogger – simple – easy! 

Some can explain and their services are easier to integrate – I have spent hours now talking to AWebber who are so terrific in explaning technology easily and making their services so user friendly, it’s incredible!  If all online services studied AWebber about how to explain their to services to clients and how to make their product easy to use as well as how to use their product with other products, then all of this process would be simple.  AWebber know their stuff and are willing to help – they know they are the technology experts and the people using their services are often not nor do clients have the time to “figure it all out”.

Chewing Time to the Nth degree – So, the moral of the story – technology can chew up time like there is no tomorrow.  If you are entering into a new part of the technology world, expect to spend a huge amount of time sorting what’s what and practically becoming a techie yourself. 

It’s like this – getting into new technology is like buying a car in parts – you have to research and pick your own body, engine, drive shaft, transmission, ignition, etc  and understand what each part does, figure out if they are compatible and then you have to put it together yourself, do the mechanical repairs yourself and monitor your car with all kinds of gadgets to make sure it’s all working properly!  Oh, yes, and you’d have to know little tricks too like adding the transmission fluid – if you didn’t know these tiny little facts that likely no parts person would tell you, your transmission won’t work!  If anyone had to buy a car this way, there would be few people buying cars – in fact, the car industry would likely never sold a one!

Those who can help – yet another story – They say, well, there are techies who can help you.  Ah . . . . but . . . . that’s a whole other story altogether – which one?  for what purpose?  Unlike a car, there is no car mechanic who knows all the systems, how they are all work together and how to fix problems.  No, in technology, even for a small thing like a small website, you need a designer, a graphic designer, a SEO expert,  and the list goes on for just a simple website.

 Yes, you say, well get one already made.  Really?  Then, you have to figure out if the the company which is offering these “ready mades” will stay in business, are they reputable, do they offer large enough bandwidth, the amount of downtime they experience or not and the list goes on and on and on and on.  And, when you do arrive at the be all and end all of prefab websites, then you have to figure out all the plugins, shopping cards, merchant accounts, entering new products, creating new descriptions, uploading pictures (& hosting picture), and, there again, the list goes on and on and on.  See a Yahoo store – so popular today and some of the best prefabs you can get  – but it takes 1Choice 4 You – a whole company – to help you put it together properly so it all works as well as possible!  Great looking stores – prefab – but, again, it chews up time like mad!  Yes, it’s true – you can go to forums and blogs and get help – guess what???  More time is chewed up finding the good forums/blogs/etc. . . . .

And that time doesn’t include all the other things you need to do in order to give it yourbest shot at creating a viable business – business plans, product sourcing, capitalization, newsletters, customer service, etc. etc. etc. 

The difference – You say, well, if you had a brick and mortar store, you’d have to do leasehold improvements too – maybe – and once done, it was done – not so with websites – you continually have to work on them and keep them fresh.  Then you have to be connected to Twitter, Facebook, LindedIn – then you have webcasts, podcasts, webinars, etc.  And you have to intergrate all the old fashioned stuff too into your business plan – and both kinds – traditional paper and untraditional online advertising and promotion!

We are so connected to the internet now and the industry is still so “unconnected”, the challenges for the average person are overwhelming not to mention trying to understand lingo and instructions that don’t work because they missed a few steps that “you, the customer, should have known”. 

The industry needs work – Lots of great people in the industry – great online help in some cases – but if they only could sit where I sit and so many other people are sitting, they would be amazed at the maze created by the internet and technology.  It’s no wonder that many people just sparingly use the internet for find a phone number or get an answer to a question but to actually use the internet in any other way for most people is very, very difficult and time consuming.

For instance, if my blogging software company just made a “mall” type service as its business, it could be making a lot of money.  A person shouldn’t have to know from the beginning that there are 2 different categories of  – .com and .org and that each allow the user to do different things.  Make it one company – one thing – then offer people options as people who choose to grow with the software can take advantage of. 

Support only goes so far – Yes, the Support  has been terrific in answering questions but after 3 days I still have no idea what the transfer will take in order to do what I want to do.  It should be seamless – what I want to do is so simple, it should be seamless and should really take no more than a few clicks to accomplish – it’s just a matter of adding an opt in box onto my blog – simple.  Over 3 days of trying to get that done and I’m still nowhere!  All I wanted was to put an opt in box on my blog from AWebber!  That’s all – and all of this for just that!  The amount of material one has to read to do the simplest task is extraordinary!

So . . . small business people . . . be prepared for a long haul or throw money at it – and, then, again, you’ll have to make sure the money goes to the right people to do right things for what you want – in addition to just regular ‘getting into business’ processes.  Prepare for one heck of a journey!

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