Blog Post: Three-Tip Thursday – Shoulda Woulda Did

I’ve been working recently with both a web designer and a web administrator to have my new site up and running shortly, while still maintaining my old site so I can still be found.  Now… I’m a technical writer, so I can edit the heck out of a operations manual.  But, try to tell someone my technical issues on what I need as far as where to point my site, etc?  Fagheddaboudit!  I don’t even speak that language!

Here’s what I learned this week, and here are my shoulda-woulda-did tips for this Three-Tip Thursday:

  1. I should have gathered as much information as possible about my needs and wants before I started to communicate.  This includes: login information for any accounts that person will need, an example of what I want or what the problem is specifically, and some time.  Yes, I really should have invested some time to be clear if I wanted someone else to spend time to help me out.  My initial email:  “Hey, I need to make sure my site pulls up right, can you help?”  Huh?
  2. I would have been better off if I took the time to talk in person to my administrator instead of emailing what I thought was the description of the problem I was having.   I found myself using words like “thingy” and “not sure” and “what do you mean” without identifying what any of those issues were.  My justification:  I just don’t have the time to describe it, can’t he figure it out by my brief, choppy, rambling emails?  In reality, I kept expecting he would just know what I was talking about – doesn’t everyone have the same problem??  I know I wasted a ton of time on his part… and in the end… mine.  Poor guy.  I’ll bet he’s glad he’s done with me.  Or is he?
  3. I did pick the right person for the job, either way.  I have an “in-home” IT guy… you know, the one who lives with me but already has a full-time job that pays him so well he doesn’t have to figure out my little web problems?  I looked through my resources and business connections and found someone I’d worked with before on a team job and who I can pay to help me out.  That person made my issue a priority, offered a huuuuge amount of patience and it was a win-win for all.

Next time, I’ll be better.  Until then, I hope you’ll visit my site to see how I can help you with your writing and personal history projects.  And, I’ll reciprocate by keeping you posted on my new launch (with appropriate kudos to all involved, of course).

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