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Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Jargon

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Kathy Sierra at Creating Passionate Users has a terrific take today on why expert users should stop worrying so much about whether using jargon is offputting to newbies and simply accept the fact that talking to other people who share your passion-and its special language-is more fun and stimulating than talking to people who think you are a babbling lunatic.

    One of the biggest mistakes I see community builders make (however well-intentioned) is fretting over inclusivity and newbie-friendliness. They want the beginners to feel welcome, and few experiences are more daunting than stepping into a new domain where you have no idea what anyone’s talking about. It feels uncomfortable. Confusing. Discouraging. But in our quest to cut the jargon and perceived (or even real) elitism, we risk ruining one of the biggest benefits of sticking with it. Not only should we allow domain-specific jargon or expert-speak, we should be driving it! We should help invent short-cuts and specialized words and phrases to make communication among our most passionate-our experts-even more stimulating and useful.

The trick, as Kathy notes, is to distinguish jargon, which is the legitimate insider argot of any speciality and an indispensible form of shorthand, from buzzwords, which are the refuge of the bullshit artist.

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Jerry Bowles has more than 30 years of varied experience as a writer, editor, marketing consultant, corporate communications director and blogger. For the past 20 years, he has produced and written special supplements on new technologies for a number of magazines, including Forbes, Fortune and Newsweek.

http://www.enterpriseweb2.com

Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Jargon
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About Jerry Bowles
Jerry Bowles has more than 30 years of varied experience as a writer, editor, marketing consultant, corporate communications director and blogger. For the past 20 years, he has produced and written special supplements on new technologies for a number of magazines, including Forbes, Fortune and Newsweek.

http://www.enterpriseweb2.com WebProNews Writer
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