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Computers don’t work

There’s no picture on this blog post today, because I had to re-image my computer (that’s geek-speak for erasing everything and starting over) and some of my tools aren’t working yet. I can’t change files on my Web site yet because somehow the configurations that I swear I used before aren’t working. And I’m not getting e-mail at my mikemoran.com address. And I can’t reinstall the Microsoft Office applications. I am trying not to get frustrated over this because I try to remember that computers don’t work. Once you accept that, everything gets a bit easier.


I’m also having my first colonoscopy today, which for the uninitiated means I have been fasting and drinking vile liquids because you need to clean up the house before company comes over. But when I clean up my hard disk, everything gets worse. Because computers don’t work.
They don’t work because the things you need to know to make them work are still way too hard. I am an engineer (a distinguished one they tell me) and I can’t figure it all out. I had everything backed up but the new “system image” has different stuff on it than the old one, so some things still don’t work.
Yeah, I know that Macs are easier and that’s great. But someone who does computer stuff for a living like me should not be stumped by any machine that purports to be for normal people.
I am keeping my frustration in check by remembering that computers don’t work. Oh, they work most of the time—just enough to get you to depend on them and then they’ve got you.
So I ask you, why does the computer keep its operating system in the same place as all my programs and data? Why can’t it clean out its colon without wiping out its brains? I’m re-imaging my system because the operating system hosed itself (yeah, I hear you Mac types), but I have to reinstall every blessed tool I have and get the configurations set again.
And the problem, folks, is that everything that uses these blasted computers doesn’t work. If anything is holding back Internet marketing, it’s the complexity. There’s always some new thing to make it all better, but it makes it all harder to understand and to manage. The good news is that Internet marketing is (mostly) free. But unless we all resolve to demand that it become easier, there’s a natural limit as to how effective it can be.
Well, it least most Internet marketing is more fun than a colonoscopy.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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