Learn A New (Digital) Language

Mitch JoelPosted by

**Sure, who doesn’t have the time to learn a new language?**
Wondering about the intersection of marketing and technology can be exhausting and exhilarating – all at the same time. Feeling the desire to learn a new language – as romantic as that does sound – is also something that most people need like a hole in their heads. We get older. We don’t want to change. We can all talk about being agents of change, but don’t confuse the landscape shifting beneath our feet – and a panic to keep up with it – with our natural instincts and comforts of habits as we get older. I’m as eager as anybody to better understand how marketers can make hay with [Snapchat](http://www.snapchat.com “Snapchat”), while being as angry as anything when my favorite restaurant closes. Ahh, to be a creature of habit in an ever-changing digital world.
**Still, change is good.**
Someone recently asked me when I switched over to [Apple](http://www.apple.com “Apple”) products. I was late to that game. Very late. I was a PC user for as long as PCs were available commercially. I was also a [BlackBerry](http://www.blackberry.com “BlackBerry”) customer since their first device was released. It was a black and white screen, and was only able to do email. No phone. No nothing else. Early days on both technologies, and I went along for the ride. I switched less than five years ago. I switched because I was trying to understand what it must be like to be someone who wanted to use these tools, but didn’t know where to begin. On a random Saturday morning, I put my [Dell](http://www.dell.com “Dell”) laptop and BlackBerry aside, and bought a MacBook and [iPhone](http”//www.iphone.com “iPhone”). I wanted to live and feel disruption. I wanted to see what it’s like to be a consumer dumped into this new world. It was an experience. The adjustment happened fast, but several years later, and I still don’t think I know these Apple devices as well as I knew my PC and BlackBerry.
**It’s time to learn to code.**
Learning to code is on my bucket list. Every child should be trilingual. They should be able read and write in their mother tongue, another globally used language (Spanish, Mandarin, etc…) and code. You don’t have to be fluent in it, but having an understanding will – without question – be a highly competitive advantage for all individuals entering the workforce. Personally, I decided to take some baby steps. Recently, I ditched the blog writing software that I had been using for over a decade. With that, I decided to re-calibrate all of the software that I use to write. For blogging, I am using [MarsEdit](http://www.red-sweater.com/marsedit/ “MarsEdit”) for posts that are replicated every week (like the “six links trading” every Saturday or the podcast ones on Sunday). For writing, I am using [ia Writer Pro](http://writer.pro/ “ia Writer”) (beauty and simplicity) and, for book writing I an using [Scrivener](http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php “Scrivener”). I had a chance meeting with [Joseph Michael](http://www.josephmichael.net/ “Joseph Michael”) (via [Jeff Goins](http://goinswriter.com/ “Jeff Goins”)), and he invited me to take his online course, [Learn Scrivener Fast](http://learnscrivenerfast.com/ “Learn Scrivener Fast”). I loved it (and highly recommend it for anyone who writes long-form content or books). Within the course, there is a module on using Scrivener for writing blog posts. I was skeptical. I was even more skeptical when Joseph recommended learning [Markdown](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markdown “Markdown”) language. I submitted to the online course and experience and, guess what? I’m now a Markdown language writer. I can’t believe how easy it is to use – and now it’s the only way that I write my blog posts and articles.
**Don’t be skeptical.**
I made the mistake of thinking that this would be laborious, painful… and mentally exhausting. It’s not. It’s simple. So, if you write online, if you blog or whatever, you too can learn Markdown. Don’t believe me? [Watch this video](http://youtu.be/6A5EpqqDOdk “Markdown Tutorial”). It’s the one Joseph uses in his course. Within ten minutes, I was comfortable with the language and ready to go (and you will be too… I promise).
**The bigger lesson.**
Learning a language sounds hard. Changing your writing habits sounds harder. Learning new codes, sound silly in a world of touchscreens. As someone who likes to write a lot… and fast, all of this stuff (new software, new languages, new commands, etc…) seemed like it would just slow things down. It didn’t. It was a relief. After pushing out a few pieces of content written in Markdown, I felt liberated. Free. The chance to write (and have it be ready to post – formatted and all) could now be done in any simple text editor. The words, suddenly, became more powerful. Plus, a new skill set was taken in. All of this, after a short fifteen minute video.
**What are you waiting for? [Go for it](http://youtu.be/6A5EpqqDOdk)…**