Every day, I find out about some new application or tool that’s going to “save me” in some way.  Some of these tools are truly helpful, others are added to the pile of things I should look into, others I start to play with, but rapidly become overwhelmed with the learning curve- how to learn to really use and adapt these tools into my functional everyday toolbox.

At conferences, I check out the stickers on people’s laptops- it’s like looking at a NASCAR vehicle, visual clues about what tools the smartest people I know and respect might be using this week.  Yet what I really need is some sort of database that not only tells me what tools are available, but cross compares features, and even gives a pro/con list to help me figure out what’s worth my time and what’s not.  I know I’m missing key things in my toolbox.  But the learning curve on what will work best for me is still kind of steep.

I’m thinking it might be fun to have a New Media Oracle- like the Oracle at Delphi who could see into the future and predict what you might need or what you should do.  Someplace where you could put in some information about yourself, and what you wanted to do, and the Oracle would spit out the latest and greatest tools, sorted by cost/convenience/reviews and point me in the right direction.  A Consumer Reports of New Media.  SEO optimization makes Google pick the most popular stuff, not necessarily the best, for example, so this won’t work alone for what I’m thinking about.

My time is my most precious resource, and there’s only so much information I can assimilate at one time.  I have decent tech skills, but hey, I spent years studying biology and law.  That makes me great at understanding things like motivations and outcomes, neurological basis of behavior, but this doesn’t help me read XML like a native or really understand PHP or MySQL.

Often I know I have a problem or a challenge, and I’m not sure who to ask to really help me make this all better, even if the money/time continuum now allows me to outsource some work- who do I go to?  Who has the time to walk me through stuff and point me in better directions?  Who wants to use me for a case study on how low entry barriers into the tech world let people get so far before they begin to stagnate/feel impossibly overwhelmed by all the infinite choice and possibilities available/simply can’t know it all so fail to optimize their online presence?  What is the next step?  I need to be able to have a conversation about these issues without feeling stupid about what I know/don’t know- I need to be able to come out of the “partially tech saavy” closet and get to the next level of competency.

Any one interested in becoming an Oracle?  Anyone interested in helping develop a Consumer’s Guide to New Media?  Contact me at ldpodcast AT gmail.com