Question of Confidence: Why am I cloudy about the cloud?

question mark of confidence

Have you ever been at a function, and everyone’s talking about the newest technology? The newest gizmo? The newest social media buzz?  The newest tech terms?

And you have no idea what it all means?

You are not alone. Technology is changing at an alarming rate that it’s difficult for most of us to keep up. Relax–it’s not your area of expertise. You just need to ask questions.

But—here’s the rub. Many of you are afraid to ask. Afraid you’ll look foolish. Afraid you’ll look out of touch.

Don’t be. It’s how you learn.

The “cloud” has been one of those tech terms that has been thrown around a lot in the last year or so. Most of the people I ask have no idea what the cloud means. In fact, at a recent panel discussion I attended, 5 tech experts were asked, “What is the cloud?” The question was asked by me.

The reaction was astounding. The audience buzzed loudly, and looked at me in shock. The shock wasn’t that I didn’t know. The shock was that I raised my hand to ask!!

Here is the answer that came from the expert panel. I quote, “The cloud means that your information is stored somewhere…..out there.”

Really? Are you kidding me?

My response: “Well, I guess your description of the cloud is—well—cloudy!”

They didn’t dispute it, and I didn’t get my answer.

So—I collaborated with another great source–the internet—and I found some simple and clear answers.

Here’s an excerpt from one article I found in PC Magazine:

In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. It goes back to the days of flowcharts and presentations that would represent the gigantic server-farm infrastructure of the Internet as nothing but a puffy, white cumulonimbus cloud, accepting connections and doling out information as it floats. [For the full article:,2817,2372163,00.asp]

Simple, yes?

Confidence comes to you when you have the practical knowledge you need–when you truly understand what you need to know, and you are no longer intimidated by not knowing.

So, gain confidence—ask. And if you don’t get answers that make sense to you, ask some more. Explore.

And always remember: there’s a cloud of information “out there” that can make your world crystal clear.


Copyright 2014 Michelle Kerrigan

Excerpt from PC Magazine, copyright 2013


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