Beware geeks bearing gifts11/28/2012
Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping is over, but there’s still time to buy those gifts. Last week we provided suggestions for gifts to buy a geek. It’s incredibly hard to buy a gift for someone who already has what he or she wants, but think about how hard it is for geeks to buy gifts for non-geeks. They aren’t going to get you gifts from outside their expertise zone and are often very opinionated, having preferences for certain brands or technologies. The obvious example is the so-called “platform war” between Apple, Google and Microsoft. If the family geek prefers Apple devices, he’s going to tell everyone to get Apple stuff and gift it. But there’s a catch that geeks need to be aware of when giving gifts.
To the geeks: If you are buying gadgets as gifts to others, do not let your personal preference influence your decision. By giving them technology, you are putting yourself in the position to support it, so take that into consideration. If you don’t want to be 24/7 tech support for all their possible needs, make sure to buy them something that they can get help with nearby. A notable benefit to Apple stores is that they get paid to help non-geeks. Your current favorite tablet might be intuitive to you, but that doesn’t mean your parents will find it intuitive. Also, avoid buying devices that the recipient will need to invest in. If they already have a Netflix or Amazon Prime membership, a cheap set top box like Roku is sensible, but less so if they don’t already have any memberships to get content. Odds are, Craigslist will be booming with tech gifts that the recipient didn’t want to learn how to use (future shopping idea). CVRobert Anhalt is Director of Content at Geek Speak Forum and contributes to Cityview.