Secrets of a Zenmaster

August 20th, 2013

Secrets of a Zenmaster

Deep in the heart of a hollowed out mountain somewhere in the Rocky Mountains potential Zenmasters undergo a rigorous training. The goal: to ensure they have the skills and knowledge necessary to help you create and customize a beautiful Web masterpiece to showcase and sell your work. The training can be arduous (like typing on two separate keyboards at the same time to two different people), and not all make the cut, but the ones who do are invited to our headquarters to learn the most important skill of all: good communication.

While some have claimed that all Zenmasters have telepathy and can communicate with one another by thought, we are merely mortals, so we have to stick to more traditional methods. Mainly, written communication. Of course, perfecting the art of written communication with people we’ve never met before takes constant, ongoing training. So, like many other workplaces, Zenfolio has inspirational posters to help remind us how even seemingly innocent responses and forms of writing can be misinterpreted. These posters are like secrets — they are too good not so share. In return, we hope you’ll feel free to borrow any of the following inspirational suggestions when writing to us.

1. ALL CAPS are for bottles.

Over the past few years it has become generally accepted that writing in ALL CAPS is the equivalent of shouting. And since shouting is clearly not in line with Zen we want to make sure not to communicate in this way. Also, it’s really, really hard to read something in all caps. TAKE THE EXAMPLE OF THIS SENTENCE VERSUS THE REST OF THE POST AND WE THINK YOU’LL SEE WHAT WE MEAN. (Sorry, we promise we’re not shouting at you).

2. There is no sarcasm font. 

Trust us, we checked our keyboards (was that sarcastic?). The point is, in written form sarcasm can easily be misinterpreted so we try to avoid it. Don’t get us wrong, we still appreciate a little sarcastic wit in a good movie, but Monty Python doesn’t work as well in emails.  

3. Our crystal ball is out of service.

In other words, we want to avoid assuming what your question is. If you’d like to help your Zenmasters with this one may we suggest asking clear and concise questions? That way they will be more likely to provide fast and helpful answers. 

4. Even fortune cookies get it wrong.

It’s true! The same thing goes with Zenfolio. Sometimes a Zenny is looking for a feature that has not been created yet or doesn’t work the way it’s expected to. But don’t worry, all is not lost. Zennies can make suggestions in the feature request forums to help make Zenfolio even better.

5. Leave the boxing gloves in the ring.

Despite all of our training and experience there are still some areas that Zenmasters may have trouble finding a quick solution to. Just know that the Zenmasters are always in your corner.

6. A little humor goes a long way. 

Spending all day in front of a computer can make it easy to forget that real people are on the receiving end of the messages and chats going on. So Zenmasters are encouraged to keep it human by interjecting a bit of humor into our conversations. Feel free to do the same when you contact us.

7. The golden rule is always in effect.

We don’t think any explanation is needed for this one.

So there you have it. Seven simple steps to help facilitate better communication with the Zenmasters. We hope you’ll keep this in mind when writing us (we’ll leave it up to you if you want to make posters out of them and hang them up). After all, it’s the Zen way.