After yesterday's post, which was written in haste after the long drive home and before I'd eaten, I felt I ought to enlarge slightly on my theme and sound rather less curmugeonly than I did. I am so aware at these gatherings that I have barely scratched the surface of technology, and that I have no more interest in knowing how an application works than I have in the bowels of my car. All I want is for it to work and fulfil some need in my life. But once I have found (or been shown, more like) such an application, I do have the skills to make other people like me enthusiastic, and this is what I felt was needed yesterday - unless, of course, a meeting of like minds means it's ok to mumble in a monotone because everyone'll be interested anyway.
Perhaps that's the problem. Current technology - and this'll be out of date even as I say it - enables global mass communication on a scale no-one could have dreamed of ten years ago. You don't need to talk to someone if you text them, or use IM, or post photos. Many blogs are not particularly well written, but if they contain info which you need you overlook the comma-splice and other unpleasantness. Unless you're someone like me, or my friend abf who comments in this parish. And people like me need to be brought on board, convinced that this is all good and useable stuff - and you don't want to put them off by inarticulate mumbling. Nor do you want to blind them with geekery, because for us arty-farty types it's a bit of a turn-off.
So come to the point, huh? I suppose it's this: everyone can't be as specifically gifted as some of the people I saw yesterday. But the skills which would complement such gifts, skills like being audible and audience-aware, can be learned, and there are people around who can teach them.
Let's hear it for Demosthenes!