Friday, June 12, 2009

"Educating" customers, printers and high school students with an A4 document

"If only customers understood what we can do" or "If only printers saw the opportunities in our equipment" or "If only these kids would learn what I'm teaching them." Each problem is usually engaged by spending more money doing what's always been done. The fact that it doesn't work is explained by the "stupid" customer, printer or high school student.

Printers and designers need to answer Print + TV + Web 2.0 = ?
"Understand" means being able to reasonably predict what might happen next month or next year for their business. Predicting means the ability to see the principles at work without getting distracted by what is happening now. What is happening now will, by definition, not be happening next month or next year.

If the question is communication, the answer has something to do with TV + Print + the Web. One useful approach is the lens of cultural anthropology. There is no way getting around it. Kernels of wisdom from pundits/experts will not be worth it, unless there is an in-the-brain set of concepts that organize what's seen/heard to get the sequence correct for a particular situation.

The bad news is that this can be time consuming to teach. The good news is that it can be learned with minimum time investment from the trainer.

The A4 has the following elements
1. A bunch of words.
2. A link to a video
3. A couple of questions for further thought and discussion.

The "educational" webinar, meeting, round table, etc. follows this sequence
1. Email a PDF with words, links and questions to attendees.
2. The user prints it out and follows the links to the video and other web resources.
3. There is a Q&A either in a face to face meeting, or on line.

In the case of "How does Print fit into Web 2.0", the first document takes you to the video below. It is over an hour long. But if you can't spend an hour watching TV, it means you don't want to learn about it anyway. So why waste all that time on traveling and refreshments to "educate?"

Gatherings are invaluable for sharing, networking and having fun. They can be a great venue for asking/answering questions and building a common culture. But, they are not for integrating previously unfamiliar ways of looking at the world.

Easily using previously unfamiliar ways of looking at the world is at the crux of learning.

The question to consider after watching the video is
"How can we turn Print's ability to fix the ongoing conversation in time and space onto a printed page that can be the object of compare/contrast lead to higher margin business opportunities?"

A Portal to Media Literacy

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