One of the absolutely consistent features of website development (at least in my neck of the woods) is thatÂ storytelling problems areÂ miscast as technology platform problems.
Here’s a typical example. I’m currently working with a department to move them to a third party vendor, and in demonstrating a sample site one of the possible vendors shows a Hall of Fame gallery that features a video of an interview with a Hall of Fame coach. And it’s cutÂ together nicely,Â with some original footage and Ken Burns style photo scans.
Cue oohs and ahhs. This is something they’ve wanted to do for some time.
But of course, the vendor didn’t produce the video. They merely put it up, a process that we could do on the current site if we had the video.
We don’t have a technology gap; we have a skills gap. We tell stories about our Hall of Fame coaches already. But we don’t have the internal capability to tell them in the way people now wish to hear them.
What’s changed from several years ago is where we once needed writers we now need full service media producers, and where we once could control the spin of a story, we now need to lay it out there a little more naked. It’s not enough to simply hire writers anymore. You need to hire a writer that can put together the sports video, take the photographs, and post it up on the web. Someone that knows how to both get the who-what-when-where-why and also how to do a simple video edit. Someone who gets the new culture of transparency and can write in the new web idiom.
In short, although I suppose every person in that vendor presentation would be shocked to hear it, you need to hire bloggers. For in the end, what would make more of a difference? Presenting the sports site on the new vendor platform? Or hiring a sports blogger instead of the average intern?
Which would build more of a following and have a greater effect on recruitment? Generate more alumni excitement? Have a greater bottom line effect?
My guess is for the majority of cases if you pit advanced technology against a compelling blogger, the blogger will always win. And organizations that begin to hire with that in mind will benefit.