Digital communication is a gathering point for pretty much everything we’ve ever learnt. There is a never-ending list of different specialities that need to be utilised to produce the seemingly mythical perfect web presence.
Those of us working with digital communication (or, if you want, “the web”) work in a rapidly changing sector. Yes, we’re maturing as a profession, but the sheer vastness of what we are trying to learn, understand, and manipulate – combined with the speed of change, means that maturity isn’t something that will arrive over-night.
Human beings love compartmentalising things. So do organisations. Unfortunately that doesn’t work with web communication. You can’t work in silos. Each speciality can’t sit in it’s silo and produce the optimal result without genuine co-operation and co-ordination with other specialities.
Ignorance is bliss
One of the biggest problems is that many of these silos don’t realise that the other silos exist. That’s understandable. A specialist programmer isn’t going to be a specialist copywriter. Your marketing department isn’t your finance department. You aren’t expected to know the details of how the other professional/department/silo goes about it’s business.
Until we stop arguing about which discipline lies at the top (or bottom) of the pyramid (“xxx is king”), until we start linking these skills horizontally, until we stop boxing ourselves in and closing the lid, our organisations and clients will fail to get the best out of this fantastic medium.
Here is my 5 point manifesto that I will follow to help join the dots, get specialities working together, and ultimately make a better web:
- Share: Don’t hoard knowledge. Distribute and educate.
- Honest feedback: Always speak my mind. Never hold back from sharing an opinion.
- Good enough: Never aim for good enough. Aim for best.
- Your best interests: Do things that are in the client’s best interests, not in the interests of add-on sales.
- Web standards: As much as possible follow (and even create) web standards and best practices.