Spanish, French, Italian, Latin … these are some of the languages that are typically the answer to the question, “What other language do you speak?” “Web-speak,” is not a typical answer to that question. However, if someone were to ask me that question today (or maybe in a couple months), I would proudly and excitedly say just that.
Growing up in an age where from as far back as I can remember, I have always known how to use a computer, and more specifically was able to navigate the Web like Magellan navigated the seas, it never dawned on me that my knowledge of its operation was comparable to my then-ability to speak beginner-level Spanish. After all, I was the IT-girl for my family (IT as in information technology, not ‘it’ as in cool, unfortunately). If someone had a question, I could answer it. If someone had a problem, I could fix it. Little did I know, there was so much I was missing!
In light of my recent job, I have realized just how little I actually knew about ‘web-speak.’ Google anayltics, web site design, search engine optimization, key word relevance, programmers, developers, internet years, Flash players, and more all took on more significance in regards to and have increased my knowledge of the Internet. I’d say I’m currently on an intermediate- to conversationalist- ‘web-speak’ level.
With any language, the only way to truly master it is to immerse yourself in the culture and engage in conversations with locals. So, immerse myself I am. Every day, all day, I speak with ‘locals.’ And true to form, my speech has improved and knowledge of the language increased. I feel comfortable using terms like ‘content management system,’ ‘back-end development,’ ‘e-commerce site,’ ‘Cloud servers,’ and ‘secure socket layer certificates.’ Even more, I understand what they mean, why they’re important and how to explain them to all the self-proclaimed ‘IT-people’ out there.
As with any profession, you can only really declare yourself an expert when it is your job to be one. For the sake of my clients, and my industry, and the fact that I am now supposed to be an expert, I am learning as much as I can, so I can soon claim to be trilingual, with ‘web-speak’ as my third language.