The IT shop around the corner

When I turned my attention to writing fulltime, I soon realized that I needed a better understanding of technology. I kept stumbling onto software programs and internet offerings that everyone else already knew about. An example: Dropbox.

The leader of the critique group in Alaska attempted to teach me and the other members of the group about Dropbox in 2011. I never really got it. The whole idea seemed foreign to me. I visit an internet website, download this program and read someone else’s writing before the meeting? Weird.

But when with my laptop started doing strange things, I feared that all of my words would simply disappear one day when this computer died, as laptops are wont to do. Per an article in a writing magazine, I downloaded (for free!) Dropbox and safely deposited my precious files in there. So when this laptop does indeed go belly up, my words are safe.

Even this blog that you’re reading has been a stretch for me. My daughter started it, but now it’s up to me to write the posts and publish them. Also, I think posts with pictures garner more attention, so I try to include a photo whenever I can, depending on the subject. But currently, the pictures I post are HUGE and awkward. There’s got to be a better way.

A fellow member of my current critique group told me about Tincan, a (for free!) resource for people re-entering the workplace who need help with new technologies. Yesterday, I attended a beginning blog class and stumbled onto what I hope will be a resource for me.

There were four students in the class, including myself. One of them was a woman who was applying for jobs with nonprofit groups; part of her job responsibilities would be to write a blog. Interesting. Blogging as a job requirement? Another attendee was a tech writer who told me about a group of science fiction writers in town and annually, they host a Spokane version of Comic-Con. How cool is that!

The instructor of this hour-long class offered to meet with me one-on-one and share her expertise in fine-tuning blogs and creating a website. I’m told this can be done via WordPress, the blogging platform I use. She told me that recently, a group she works with sought a bid for a professionally designed webpage. Guess how much? $6,000. Wow.

The “aha” moment of the class for me was when she told me she had actually read my blog! I couldn’t believe it. She said she’d seen a photo I posted of my husband. Was he a tall man with a beard? Beard, yes. Tall? Not so much.

But it was the catch phrase that I end every blog with that caught her eye: Arms and hands inside the cart, please.

Tomorrow, a dog’s purpose. 



Tincan offers free workshops on all kinds of topics, from internet basics to exporting and uploading videos. Their computer lab is located at 1317 W 2nd Avenue in Spokane.


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