The "memories shoebox" is the way we relate to our information in daily life. If you had the chance to have a long recorded family history, you will get a bunch of memories recorded in some artifacts such as photos kept in shoebox in the attics. Without going that far, we keep sometimes memories of our past. We put that box there in a corner of a room or on the top shelf of a closet. Dust accumulates. One day, we open the box and we enjoy again the memories.
The Web industry and the memory lane.
A while ago, in a previous job, I was interviewing a person for a Web agency. I asked that person to talk about the Web. It said something which surprised me and destabilized me.
The Web is something very ephemeral. It's good to use the things of the moment and then to pass on the next thing. Web standards are mostly meaningless.
It made me curious. I asked him to explain how was he working on a day to day basis on the Web, what kind of projects he was working on. He started to explain that in his agency. he was using
mostly Flash and/or HTML5 family technologies to create flyers, contest, product advertisement Web sites. All of these Web sites were "irrelevant" 3 to 6 months after their launch.
That was an interesting discussion which shows how some people in the industry relates to what they create online. Not everyone has a deep concern about the duration of information online. I personally think that these Web sites even promotion Web sites have historical and brand values on a long term, but that is the topic of another post. My point is that we all have very different opinions on what is our responsibility with regards to the content we create on the Web. It's why often Call To Arms to Web developers are often ineffective, because they usually only convinced the people who already friendly to your cause.
Most of the time, in Web agencies, the developers have no control at all on the way the product has been designed, its budgets, its targets. The Project Manager, the Marketing department, the clients have the control. When a site is in production, there is little chance that a developer will have the right to fix the CSS or the JS. He/She will be able to do it only and only if the project manager had the go from the client to be billed for doing it. This is the reality of our business. And it is what we often tend to forget in our Web standardista discussions.
That doesn't mean we should not evangelize the best practices to Web developers. We have a duty to do it. But we have to consider the full ecosystem when we are doing it and integrate into the discussions the business ties of it. The project manager, the client manager, etc. Without them, any ideas we come up with is doomed to fail against the giant wall of the client billing.