The Production Revolution Isn’t For All: Technology

As I noted in my last column on the subject, the Production Revolution (the ability technology gives us to make many media and technical products) isn't going to make everyone an instant author/artist/whatever.  There were multiple limits, and the first limit I noted was some people don't have time time.

So let me continue, depressingly, on another factor that's going to keep the talented from realizing their goals.  Technical Skill.

In some cases a lack of technical skill is an obvious detriment to getting out your indie dream product if your product, say, is a video game.  But a lack of technical skill can hold you back in the Production Revolution no matter what your media inclination is.

If you are an author, artist, writer, musician, etc. you need the right technical skills to take advantage of the Production Revolution for a simple, obvious, and all-to overlooked reason.

The advances in the Production Revolution *are* technical.

Yes, we can get books to people on e-readers, but that means nightmarish formatting conversions.

We can get our art up online, which requires scanning, saving, sizing, and web page setup.

We can get our music to people if we can manage to work that editing software.

All the powerful things at our fingertips are technical, and they're often less than properly documented, often as they're new.  As helpful as the designers of these powerful pieces of technology may be, it's not always easy to explain something so new or revolutionary.  We need to be on top of this tower of tech.

If not, then we're left out from the Production Revolution.  Like it or not, graphics format, book formats, music editing tools, and production websites are things you're going to have to learn.

It also means people who won't or can't learn them, who start with a deficit in technical knowledge, aren't going to be able to take advantage of all the power out there.

And all my ranting so far has been about using the tools and services for creating and producing media.  Even if you have the technical chops to produce your product and get your vision into people's hands, you've got other technical challenges as well.  The ability to create is only part of it.

There's the ability to promote and distribute your work – which these days will involve, of course, technology.  You'll have to know how to work a blog or twitter, use online ads, promote via social media, etc.  You've got to add all the other technical knowledge that goes with getting a product out and available to your current store of "production knowledge."

Ask yourself how many people have, can get, or will get, all the technical knowledge they need to both make and promote their work.  I can guess the answer you're going to find.

Technical skill is just another barrier in taking advantage of the Production Revolution.

Steven Savage