You're in business, maybe shopping for a Milwaukee web designer. You don't speak a word of Geek. Why, then, are people like me talking Geek at you on their websites? I really don't know. It doesn't make sense. They must be assuming that you're a marketing director or IT person from a big company. Folks like that do at least know enough Geek to bluff past the gatekeepers.
At www.javelincommunications.com, we never assume any insider knowledge on the part of visitors. Sitewide, we bend over backwards to avoid Geek speak. If there's absolutely no way around it, we try to explain it in clear, simple terms. See, just like you, I gag on jargon. My eyes are just as apt to roll back into my skull. I've always had this violent reaction when people make things more complicated than they need to be.
There's a lot of that in this industry. Sometimes it's deliberate.
Using exalted babble is a time-tested strategy for putting forward oneself as a brilliant sage who possesses infinitely valuable secret knowledge. If you make what you do sound magical and mystical, won't people pay more? And is it not also a means of gaining and holding power over others? Think back in history to all the secret technical societies, starting with alchemy.
Most of the time, though, I suspect the failure to communicate is unintentional. People are trying hard; they just don't know how. They have advanced technical training, but little training in how to effectively communicate their knowledge to people from other walks of life. Nobody ever taught them the art of translating. On top of everything else (forgive me) they may have an autistic streak.
I know how frustrating this can be for you the customer. There's no easy way to address it industry-wide, however. I suppose I could offer a class in people skills for geeks. Lord knows where that would lead. As the proverb says, the longest journey in the world begins with one step.
Alas no, this little rant of mine can't change the world. But maybe I can improve our little corner of it. When Javelin strays off-course and inadvertently starts talking Geek to you, do us a favor and call us out. Help us stay true to our commitment to always give it to you straight, in plain English.
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