Who You Gonna Call? or Being Your Own Tech Support


This past October, I had a day where I described myself as going into “full apoplexy mode” thanks to a modem problem. You know the drill: nothing works, so you have no internet, no phone, etc. When you feel like you are your own tech-support person, it’s not a good thing.

Today started out as a normal day, but when I went to correct a typo on a previous blog post (I’d accidentally written you’re instead of your – horrors!), I suddenly found myself in WordPress Hell. I hadn’t even known such a place existed, and now it was just like that October day all over again.

Of course, because I’m a writer, I had to get some blog mileage out of this experience. Instant Topic: how do you deal with tech issues as a sole proprietor and non-technical person?

My wonderful wife is the kind of person who will pull a flat screen TV out of the box, start hooking it up, and play with the buttons on the remote until she figures it out…which takes all of ten minutes. Me? Anything more technically complex than a lightbulb, and I’m in trouble. If I tried that stunt with the TV, I’d probably end up blowing it into a million shards of glass and simultaneously giving my credit card information to some scam artist in Calcutta.

I’ve learned WordPress on the fly while running my business, mostly by following the lead of the designer who set up my website. In other words, I need to find time to take a WordPress course, because I don’t know shiznit from shineola about it. Being my own tech support, I couldn’t tell if today’s problem was just my WordPress-blog-related ineptitude, or something bigger. At first, I couldn’t log in; then, when I could log in, I couldn’t get my change made; then, when I could get my change made, it wouldn’t update; and when my change finally did update, I couldn’t see it in real time. Was the old page cached, or am I just a techno-moron?

Ultimately, it all worked out, and I felt duly proud/semi-competent. It did make me wonder something about my fellow sole proprietor/author/freelancer brothers and sisters: who do you call? Do you pay for a webmaster, something I would only do if the budget allowed? Pay some kid who knows ten times more than you about high tech stuff? Get a tech intern? Comment below, and if I end up using your guy or gal, maybe I can give them a free plug here.

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