Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Forget cursive handwriting. Teach kids HTML.

Cursive vs. HTML

It's not like we still make kids learn how to write cuneiform. And the last time humans used hieroglyphics was 394 CE. So isn't it time to stop teaching kids cursive handwriting and start making HTML a mandatory language in grade school?

It doesn't have to be complicated programming, just start with some simple href's, div's and br's. By the time kids can write a paragraph they should be able to create a simple blog post sans WYSIWYG editor. Then offer optional, more-complicated courses in high school. After all, it's something they'll actually use when they grow up.

I can't even tell you the last time I hand-printed anything longer than a post-it note. Everything is digital today. Even newspapers, an ancient dying media, are printed with digital fonts. So what purpose do cursive handwriting lessons serve to better our youth? By the time this generation joins the workforce, there may not even be paper to write on (despite HP's best effort to prove its need).

Coding and programming -- especially HTML and HTML5 -- are the language of the future. So why not prepare our future for the digital tomorrow?

Just "new" it

Just new it
Please don't change it. Just "new" it.
Everybody hates change (Facebook's user interface updates, Google's social search, McDonalds' new fry oil, Star Wars special edition) but everyone loves something "new" (Apple's new iPad, Wendy's fries with sea salt, Nolan's The Dark Knight). It's the key to product updates.

But, honestly, there isn't any difference between a new product and a changed product. It's all in the packaging. Not the physical packaging, but the marketing.

The way a product is branded by marketing will inevitably create the consumer perception of the product's update. If marketing can create a "new" perception of the product, like the always brilliant product marketers at Apple did with the iPad 3, consumers will buy in. It's much more difficult to sell a product that's just "changed."

Just think about it. What are some other "new" products that were well-received by consumers, and some poorly-received product changes? Add them in the comments below or Tweet them at me @RyanPratt.