If Only Every Complex Topic Could Be Explained This Way

Show of hands: your IT or web provider is telling about some issue or another and even though you’re nodding away in agreement you have zero clue what s/he is talking about. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every tech issue could be put into terms you can easily wrap your head around?

Adaptistration People 057For example, the topic of why installing theme and plugin updates on an open source website publishing platform (WordPress, Joomla, Drupla, etc.) are important but how installing said updates can also cause problems if you don’t go about it the smart way.

If that sounds important but your eyes are still glazing over, then I have a treat in store for you today!

Aaron Overton, my Lead Technical Developer for the Venture Platform, published a fantastic article at ArtsHacker.com today that provides one of the best examples I’ve come across for explaining a complex topic using an accessible non-tech example anyone in our field will understand in a heartbeat.

When an orchestra plays, each musician has his/her own part to follow. They are designed to work together by a single composer to create a cohesive whole, a production with real polish.

But now imagine that each part was written by different composers who are supposed to be following some central guidelines, but are largely able to do whatever they want. And now imagine that these composers can “improve” their own scores and introduce them into the overall production at any time, including in the middle of a live performance.

One word: cacophony.

If you use a lot of plugins on a WordPress site, or any open source publishing platform such as Drupal or Joomla, this is almost exactly what you are doing, especially if you have auto-updates activated.

Read The Pros And Cons Of WordPress Plugin Updates at ArtsHacker.com

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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