Mind of Murph
This year my mind was filled with 'You' at Intuit's VCon.
Gary has given you a lot of statistics in his daily reports from the VCon but I want to take an opportunity to sum up my own impressions of the 3-day training event. You guessed it, you are such smart readers, the title says it all, “Informative and ‘Fun’.”
Even though I participated a little at VCon in the past, I never dreamed it could be so much fun while at the same time a learning experience. Usually in the past I would log-in and go straight to the specific session I was interested in hearing; I am not even sure I ever went into the exhibit hall, I mean I didn’t see any advantage if you couldn’t pick-up a free pen, or some candy. So while VCon was informative in past years (for me) it wasn’t much fun.
But this year, I spent a lot of time in the exhibit hall; of course most of it was in the IA booth, but I also stopped by several other booths to chat with vendors about products, or to obtain information for possible future articles. I found chatting ‘the VCon way’ so easy, I mean a lot of times in a live booth there is only one or two representatives and you usually find yourself standing around listening to a conversation between them an someone they already started the ‘sales pitch’ with. But at VCon you can just chat away, so what if you are interrupting, you have the same ‘foot in the door’ so to speak as everyone there, your chat entries are just as valid and don’t get crowded out by any others.
At our own IA booth, I was absolutely surprised not only by the number of people who came by to say ‘hello’, but who stayed and visited (and of course complemented me on what a FAB job I am doing in this new venture). There were also a lot of people who stopped by to ask ‘What is IA’, and they were soon to find out that we are your ‘informative and entertaining’ source for all things relating to your ProAdvisor and Accounting practice. I would venture a guess that our readership will have doubled out of this one ‘booth’ experience.
While ‘virtually walking’ back-n-forth from the Auditorium to the booth I also learned that there are “Murph groupies”, although I am still not convinced that they are not simply homeless people following me around looking for the few pennies that might fall out of the hole in my pants pocket. (I suspect the groupie definition is just wishful thinking on my part.)
So you ask, ‘Did Murph learn anything’ at VCon, since he said it was ‘informative’? While I admit that I didn’t attend a single Instructional session as a listener, I was on the Q&A panel for a lot of sessions. The Q&A experience was a learning environment in itself and showed me that you, my colleagues, are full of intelligent questions, you are eager to learn more about a wide variety of topics (which IA should be covering), and some of you want to know not only the nuts and bolts of new features, but the exact ‘sizes’ and ‘numbers’ of those nuts and bolts. This tells me that IA needs to provide three levels of articles about new QuickBooks features in the future; you want an overview summary, you like a short and concise review of each feature covering the basics and how to, and then, at least some of you, want to know the ‘why’ and ‘how do they do that’ (the back-side and inside-out) of each feature.
Some of your Questions also told me that IA should be writing more on technologies we have only yet touched on over the last few months, and that means we at IA can then serve a wider readership in the future. So while nobody at the IA booth said ‘Murph you need to write about this or that’, the Questions I read clearly indicate a hunger for information IA has been lean on in the past. While IA cannot be ‘all things to all people’, we can definitely strive to be ‘most things to most people’, and that is what I will attempt to do in the months to come.