In the last year or so I’ve done a fair bit of tutoring family and friends on how to get the most out of their Macs. In many instances these were people who were brand new to the Mac or people that were returning to using a Mac after many years of using Windows as a primary machine. I discovered two things about myself in the process of tutoring in the last year: first, that I really enjoy tutoring others and second, that I seem to be pretty good at it. All of which brings me to this site.
My long hiatus from writing for this site coincided with our putting the finishing touches on our sports and social media textbook, which will finally be published in the spring. Writing a textbook has proven a long and arduous process but I’m grateful that we’ve now put the final touches on the first edition. So given that I’d just finished writing about sports and social media exclusively over the course of the last year or so I found that I needed a change. I started tutoring more and my focus shifted gradually from writing about sports and social media to writing more about Macs and tech and productivity, which has sort of become my own little niche in the last year or so.
Between writing for Macworld, tutoring for the Mac, reading Mac and productivity centric blogs and connecting with people on App.net, I’ve really spent the bulk of my time focused on technology and productivity more than anything else. I’m still passionate about sports and social media but not in the same way that I was when I started writing for this site, mostly because the things that were exciting and innovative in the social space a year or a year and a half ago are now commonplace and have been replaced by new things. It’s the nature of social media and technology in general.
So I’d like to change things up for a bit and spend more time writing about the things that interest me now, the things I listed above. I still care about sports and social media very much but now I’m more interested in helping people with technology than explaining why a particular athlete isn’t a good fit for Twitter. And so I’ll be writing more about Macs and tech and productivity and less about sports and social media, at least over the next couple of months. I figure I can always come back to a topic later if I feel like I should.
I’m not the first person to write about any of these topics but I’ve learned a lot over the last year from a number of excellent people and resources like the outstanding Mac Power Users podcast from David Sparks and Katie Floyd; the work of Lex Friedman, my Macworld colleague; and from blogs like Federico Viticci’s MacStories and Shawn Blanc’s eponymous blog. These people do a fantastic job covering these subjects and more and I’d like to do something similar, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Over the course of the next few months I’m going to write about my workflow on the Mac, my favorite applications and the ways I think people can get more from their Macs. I’m going to write for a more general audience, as if my parents and my friends’ parents and grandparents were sitting down to read this blog because they wanted to learn how to do something new with their Macs. I intend to focus on my favorite applications and why they’re my favorite applications and the ways they can help people get more from their Macs. In many cases these will be programs that you and I love but that our parents just haven’t tried, no matter how many times we’ve mentioned them or, perhaps, installed them on their computers.
My tutoring taught me that people want to do more with their computers but they’re often intimidated or just unsure of how to begin. I hope that I can help shine a little light on how to do things and I’ll be happy if I make using the computer easier for just one person. I hope to have my first post up in the next few days and to continue writing one longer post each week. Ideally I’d like to add in a shorter post or two if something interests me but I’d rather just post when it suits me rather than follow a strict publishing schedule. Thanks for reading and for sticking with me during this transition. I hope that you enjoy what’s to come.