Monday, August 2, 2010

Geniuses in Community Computer Centers

I was at the Apple store the other night, and it dawned on me that Philadelphia's computer centers should employ Apple Geniuses. They should be intimate with the inns and outs of the machines in the centers. They should have a thorough knowledge of the city's technology infrastructure, what you can do with it, and how it can solve your problems. At each center the geniuses should report to the community they serve, as well as to the Division of Technology, maybe on alternating weeks.

This wouldn't just be of service to the technically challenged community members, but would also help the DoT keep a pulse on how city residents are trying to use the centers—what they're doing and what they'd like to do that they're not currently able to.

Now, I'm not just saying that you should put tech-savvy people in the centers. I have no idea how Apple trains and prepares their Geniuses, but the patience, warmth, and passion about the technology they're showcasing is what makes Apple's Geniuses work. Good customer service. That's probably the hard part, but it's also the most important. I'd take a passionnate and compassionnate person over an actual tech genius who was cold and impatient any day. Though, of course, I'd prefer a passionate and compassionate bona fide tech genius. Maybe it's something you have to select for in the interview process.

Todo: Do some research into how the city's computer centers are currently staffed/supported.

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