It's Quite Hard to Explain.

So my Dad and I were talking at WalMart the other night:

Dad
So how do you like your new job?
Me
It's great Dad, it's really fun.
Dad
So what does your company do again?
_* Insert semi-blank look._
Me
You know that thing that Steffi uses called LiveJournal?
Dad
Yeah.
Me
Well, the company makes a competitive product, which is WordPress.
_* Insert nervous smile._
Dad
Oh okay.

Ever experience this? Well, I’m sure in one way or another, a family member (whom isn’t very fluent in our industry) has asked you the question of what you do. In my case, my dad’s usually the one that asks me about the details of my job. We had the same sort of awkward conversation when I was asked what Facebook did, and later on that night when he asked me about what I would talk about at conferences. It really puts you in your place when you know what you do, but can’t explain it in any other way to those who aren’t in the know. Like my dad for instance.

So you know that thing called blogging? No? Ok. Um…

I don’t believe there is much of a point to this. My head’s burning and I think I’ve cooked myself in the summer sun, but that’s besides the point.

But if I think about it, it was more of contemplation as to how many other people frequently run into this. Again, it shows you that we’re in a niche. I mean, shouldn’t we have an easier time talking about what we do for a living? Come to think of it, a paleontological microbiologist (does that even exist?) would have an easier time explaining what they do than we would. Does “I write stuff in a journal that’s available to the world” suffice as a good enough explanation? What do you think? How do you describe what you do for a living to those who are unfamiliar with our world? Maybe those who are more experienced in storytelling can give us novices a bit of assistance.