“Markdown is the New Word 5.1” by Kevin Lipe

This morning I was looking at my iWork ’09 box that sits on a shelf thinking about how I never use anything in it. Then I read this post by Kevin Lipe that explains why.

I get .doc files just about every weekday. People send meeting agendas in Word documents attached to an email instead of just writing an email containing the agenda. I think it’s easier to write Markdown/MultiMarkdown in Textedit and Marsedit1 than writing conventionally in Word or Pages, but I can’t figure out how to teach that to non-geeks.

I think the difference is these people learned2 how to write for paper, but not for media where pages no longer apply. Writing tools are at this weird point stuck between the old and the new ways of publishing.

  1. I love writing in Textmate for its syntax support and Twilight color scheme, but haven’t gone beyond the trials because I don’t understand anything else about it like Macros. I wish there were a light version of Textmate just for plain-text, Markdown, and Multimarkdown. 

  2. They learned the basics. Most people I’ve met don’t understand things like defining styles or how to do page breaks. When they want start a new page they just pound the RETURN key until they’re on a new page.