Mar 27, 2010

Reality Check


So I've been managing my son's Little League team this year and decided that I'd take advantage of some simple 2.0 tools to make everyone's life easier:
  • A very basic Google Blogger blog where I could put up practice schedules, rules, game notes, etc. and where, by dint of tagging the post with their team name, other managers in the chain could also post updates.
  • Invites off Google Calendar for practices. (The chain is using Google Calendar to manage scheduling for seven teams, so we don't all wind up on the same field at once.) And I'm talking literally just sending invites via email off the Google Calendar app once I'd scheduled a practice so that parents could enter it into their calendars with just one click.
I am 0 for 2.

The blog, which uses one of Blogger's attractive new templates, has been complimented for being nicely designed, but I'm not sure any of the parents use it and certainly none of the other 6 managers have even touched it. (This despite my sending out fairly explicit illustrated instructions on how to post, which, if you've ever used Google Blogger, is remarkably simple.)

The emails sent from the Google calendar, are getting caught in spam filters, by AOL in particular (a number of families still use AOL as their main email address) and so it's decidedly not the effective "you can put it on your calendar straight from the email and Alan can keep track of who's not going to be able to make practice" tool  I had hoped.

Now here's why this is important: The parents in question here are all highly educated, affluent C-level types in their 30s and 40s: exactly the sort of people you'd expect to be familiar with and/or open to these kinds of tools. But they're not: it's just not all that important to them right now and they're not feeling like they're missing anything by opting for a simple group e-mail as their preferred method of notification/communication.

We tend to get all hopped up about the new tools available to us, and since most of us spend our days surrounded by people with similar priorities and web use habits, it's important to remember just how far ahead of the curve we really are.

Which is not to say the rest of the world won't eventually catch up, but it's not happening as quickly as the conventional wisdom inside the bubble says it is.

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