Guest Posts, Written Posts

Why Technology Isn’t Just for Geeks Anymore – a guest post from Bill Szczytko

4 Comments 08 August 2011

I hope you enjoy today’s guest post from Bill Szczytko (pronounced Sitko).  Super Nerd extraordinaire and IT Manager for Maryland Management.

Let me tell you a story about a boy. 4 foot 11, 120 pounds soaking wet, wrinkled Bugle Boy pants, his blond hair in a bowl cut, tousled. When he spoke his voice cracked and the things he used to say revolved around some device called the Commodore 64. He was awkward, always had his nose shoved in front of a computer, and was a social nightmare; it was the 80’s and he was your stereotypical geek.

Let’s fast forward to today. The boy has grown older, his voice finally dropped into something one would consider manly and woman finally realized that he wasn’t a total loser. (Okay only 1 did and that boy married her) This older boy looks out over the technology landscape and laughs at the 180 degree turn. People have their noses shoved in front of their cellphones Facebooking, emails and texts flow from their finger tips, and some tablet or notebook is being used to help them fall asleep. Seems we geeks knew a thing or two about how much fun all this tech really was.

To take the amazing irony even further, the people everyone made fun back then are the ones who’ve programmed the very devices you use today. If you had told your younger self, that you’d be making phone calls with a device no bigger than your hand or that you’d not only own a computer but you’d be able to carry it around with you, you’d probably laugh and say that “Only losers did that”.

I love this tech heavy world of today and so do most people. That’s why I’m still surprised when I see business who don’t embrace it. Facebook has over 750 million users and 50% of them check it daily. 78% of people in North America get on the internet. My point? If someone walks into your office to rent or buy something, chances are they heard about it online, researched you, or read a review about you, or did some online griping about you. The internet usage statistics support it.

Think about your daily life. You probably wake up, log in to Facebook, send some emails, arrange a meeting using Google calendar, check into your gym, spend the day typing random stuff on your work computer, GPS directions to dinner with your girlfriend, text your wife, surf the internet on your tablet, and just before bed you’re reading a book on your eReader from a hotel room. It’s time you’re all honest with yourselves folks. The GEEKS of yesteryear are now are YOU. Sure you’re not all computer experts, some still love to keep that CAPS LOCK KEY ON, BUT I WON’T FAULT YOU (oops) for that.

In addition to that, you’re all well informed Geeks. It’s because you’re so well informed, that we can no longer sit back and pretend that people have only heard about us through traditional marketing channels. When someone visits your property or store, you can no longer tailor your sales approach to assuming they haven’t heard of you or just know the basics. They know, they’ve read, they’ve interacted, and they’ve gotten information online. Stop denying it.

Sure I’ll beat a dead horse here. If 375 million people are checking their Facebook everyday, then you’d better have your message up there. You should be engaging, chatting, and informing current and future customers. Social media isn’t a fad and it isn’t going away. If you aren’t doing it yet then you’d better get started. Your competitors are already talking to your current customers and are steps ahead of you. Get it? Good. I’ll end my lecture on it here.

I’d like to talk to that boy who’s trying to find a way to make that BASIC program run faster (which was nearly impossible). I’d like to tell him about all this cool stuff that’s coming and what he needs to do to be ready for it. I think I’d also tell him that bowl cuts grow back and that girl I tried to date in 9th grade who rejected me…well let’s just say she hasn’t aged well. Happy renting everyone.

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