Making an ASS out of U and ME

by Martin Malden

I’ve had two reality checks in the last 24 hours:

Firstly, I was helping a friend with something last night when he asked me to explain one of my articles to him (this one).

And I thought I wrote clear, jargon-free posts!

The second was a question someone asked in the Warrior Forum: ‘What is WordPress’?

And I’d been thinking for ages that everyone (at least everyone working on-line) knew what it was.

Both those incidents made me pause and think.

Here’s why:

I write this blog for people who are new or fairly new to working on-line. So to have someone who’s been blogging for a year ask me to explain one of my articles is a rude awakening.

I’m clearly not writing for the people I’m targetting.

Likewise, the person who asked what WordPress is. I’ve never explained that on this site – yet I’m targetting on-line newbies.

So what’s the lesson I learnt?

To get out of my head and into the heads of the people I’m writing for.

It’s too easy to assume a level of knowledge in others, whether you’re writing for them or talking to them.

And people don’t like to tell you they don’t understand what you’re on about for fear of looking dumb.

Which leads to the huge likelihood of a botched communication.

I’d forgotten a great lesson I learnt years ago: don’t assume. If you do, you’re likely to make an:

ASS out of U and ME

So my apologies to everyone who I’ve confused in the past, and I’ll do my best to be clearer going forwards.

And in return, a favour: if I’ve not made my points clear please give me a hard time in the comments section.

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