The Digital Divide

On the first episode of Season 8, we discuss the digital divide including how we’re going to deal with those out of touch managers and asking how significant is the web anyway.

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Paul Boag:
On the first episode of Season 8, we discuss the digital divide including how we’re going to deal with those out of touch managers and asking how significant is the web anyway.

Hello and welcome to Season 8 of Boagworld.com, the podcast for all those involved in designing, developing and running websites on a daily basis and Happy New Year.

Marcus Lillington:
Happy New Year to you all.

Paul Boag:
To my new…my co-hosts this week, Marcus and Leigh. Hello?

Leigh Howells:
Happy New Year, Paul.

Marcus Lillington:
Hi Leigh.

Leigh Howells:
Happy New Year, Marcus.

Marcus Lillington:
Do you know I’ve turned over many new leaves.

Paul Boag:
Yes, what was your New Year’s resolutions, in the middle of December.

Marcus Lillington:
Obviously I have given up smoking again and I am not drinking for a month and I am vegetarian from now on, full stop.

Paul Boag:
Did you have a good Christmas?

Marcus Lillington:
It was lovely, yes.

Paul Boag:
And what about your Christmas.

Leigh Howells:
Oh it was amazing. Yes, I ate too much you know.

Marcus Lillington:
It was great.

Paul Boag:
I was in the Maldives obviously, and of course there was that hurricane and the earthquakes

Leigh Howells:
Yes how was that?

Paul Boag:
We’re recording this, alright we’re recording this the end of November. So it hasn’t – none of those things have happened yet but I’m presuming that they will be accurate.

Marcus Lillington:
None of the things I said will happen.

Paul Boag:
Not at all. Well, I am hoping none of the things I said would happen to be quite frank, but there you go. So how are you guys? We are having a bit of kind of a company get together today. So there’s lots of people outside.

Marcus Lillington:
Paul’s thrilled.

Paul Boag:
I’m thrilled, I just want to have a lie down in a quiet place.

Marcus Lillington:
You can have a lie down. After this you can go have a lie down.

Paul Boag:
Can I go and have a lie down?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Awesome. And also there is the whole conversation of that I don’t actually like any of you.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, you have to really try and pretend for a few hours and then slink off.

Paul Boag:
I mean you’ve got to – me and Leigh, we work from home. We’re not used to other human beings in our lives.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, I am still in a kind of state of bewilderment of being around people. It takes about half a day.

Paul Boag:
There is too many.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, I’m quite like that. It’s a small space.

Marcus Lillington:
Maybe that’s the majority of the time. I know everyone listening to this is really interested in this. There is only five or six people in so we’ve got an office that seats eight. So when you get more than eight, which we’ve got 10 today.

Paul Boag:
Me and Leigh are sharing a desk.

Marcus Lillington:
And it’s also really loud and people are shouting all the time.

Paul Boag:
Which of course we’re now doing and distracting all of them out there.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes but we’re in the meeting room.

Paul Boag:
Yes but that does nothing, that bit of glass between us and everyone else. We need soundproof glass. Otherwise how are we going to discuss who we’re going to fire next?

Marcus Lillington:
It must do something.

Leigh Howells:
Can we have secondary glazing in here as well. I’ve noticed we’ve now got secondary glazing.

Paul Boag:
Very exciting. But we still have no broadband because Marcus…

Marcus Lillington:
No, I’ve spent my most of my morning trying to get connected to anything, anyone.

Paul Boag:
We’ve been in here like months now and Marcus still hasn’t arranged any broadband. What are you doing?

Leigh Howells:
Come on, Marcus, sort it out.

Paul Boag:
How can we be a web design company with no internet access?

Marcus Lillington:
Hit him.

Paul Boag:
He is on my side.

Leigh Howells:
It’s outrageous, coming down here to an internet company with no internet.

Paul Boag:
Who picked offices in a listed building? Where you’re not allowed to put new cables up the side of it.

Marcus Lillington:
You did.

Paul Boag:
I…

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, you did. I wanted the other one.

Paul Boag:
Actually you’ve got a point there. Damn that backfired on me – shucks!

Leigh Howells:
I think it’s a good thing that they’re preserving Winchester’s heritage without people spoiling it.

Paul Boag:
Oh screw that.

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t disagree with what they call the historical environment department person, but the point of the fact that this building is already being ruined by the people who didn’t get any authorization. That’s another subject…

Paul Boag:
Oh is that what happened, somebody just ran it up without asking?

Marcus Lillington:
According to the department all of the wiring into this building is unauthorized, all of it and the stuff inside.

Leigh Howells:
They should just write it off the list now.

Paul Boag:
It’s not worth saving.

Leigh Howells:
It’s been soiled.

Marcus Lillington:
Basically yes, there are some unpleasant options that we could take but I just thought sod it. I am just going to cancel the cable order and go for the copper wires that are already here. Such is life.

Paul Boag:
It will still be fast enough I am sure, considering we’re used to the barn.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Where you had to run down to the local internet exchange.

Leigh Howells:
It ran on gravy.

Paul Boag:
I’m just going to say you had to take the packets manually down to the exchange.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes. On the back of a cow.

Paul Boag:
With a USB stick in hand yes that’s how it worked at the barn. I don’t like being in the middle of Winchester. I spend – every time I go into town it costs me a fortune.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s a good thing.

Paul Boag:
It costs me a fortune.

Leigh Howells:
It doesn’t matter, what’s wrong with that. Great. Money is for spending.

Paul Boag:
God, I wish we had Chris in the room right now. That would be so great. I can see him shiver – I can see him shivering, going up.

Marcus Lillington:
What are you going to do? You’re going to throw it in your grave, when you’re dead? Spend it.

Paul Boag:
No, I am going to spend it later.

Leigh Howells:
I’ve just already spent it all, that’s the problem.

Marcus Lillington:
Well, obviously.

Paul Boag:
I mean Christmas cost a lot and we’ve just have that, so that obviously took a lot of our money, as we’re now in the New Year, we mustn’t forget that.

Leigh Howells:
The January lull.

Marcus Lillington:
Except we just said that we actually aren’t, didn’t we?

Paul Boag:
Oh yes, I forgot that. So there we go. Season 8.

Marcus Lillington:
Season 8.

Paul Boag:
Season 8. How exciting is that?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, astound us. What are we going to be covering?

Paul Boag:
Well, you know this because I’ve mentioned it repeatedly on the show. It’s a big advert. The whole season is a big advert for my upcoming book digital adaptation available from all good book shops.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay.

Paul Boag:
See though there is two ways, because we’ve been debating it, right? It’s now got to be decided because it’s going on the cover of the book. Is it digital adaption or digital adaptation. They are slightly different words.

Leigh Howells:
Adaptation sounds like a conversion from like a book to a film or something.

Paul Boag:
What I was going after. No, I was going on the kind of adaptation to environment like in evolution. You know it talks about adapting to your environment.

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t like the word, adaption, there you go, so it should be adaptation.

Paul Boag:
I agree. Yes, I agree. That’s what we’ve concluded.

Marcus Lillington:
It sounds wrong.

Paul Boag:
Why are we having this discussion nobody cares?

Leigh Howells:
Yes, anyway, yes, okay.

Paul Boag:
So yes, available from Smashing Magazine and all good retailers. So really only Smashing Magazine. Oh and Amazon, but that’s not until March. So this is a build up. This is to get your juices flowing and excitement building.

Leigh Howells:
You’d better get really good at selling this then.

Paul Boag:
It’s going to be a phenomenal best seller, right.

Marcus Lillington:
Harry Potter.

Paul Boag:
Dan Brown, Harry Potter, The Bible. Digital Adaptation

Leigh Howells:
What’s the plot then, Paul? Tell us a story.

Paul Boag:
The plot is – I am going to read you the very beginning. Do you want…

Marcus Lillington:
Go on.

Paul Boag:
Because it starts off like a story it says, it was a gorgeous summer day in the summer of – let me start again, it was a gorgeous sunny day in the summer of 1997 and I was stuck in a featureless air conditioned meeting room at IBM where I worked. As I sat listening to a group of middle aged, middle class, middle managers bickering about what should appear on the homepage of the site I was building, I could almost feel my soul being sucked from me.

Leigh Howells:
Little did you know that when you were middle aged…

Paul Boag:
Well it then goes on and later says, ironically over 15 years later I once again find myself sitting in featureless air conditioned meeting rooms discussing the web and digital. However, this time I am the middle aged, middle class consultant, fortunately looking in from the outside I come to it with a very different attitude.

Leigh Howells:
It’s poetic, poetic, Paul.

Paul Boag:
It is.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Basically what I’ve done, you know all these trendy books, these Malcolm Gladwell type books The Tipping Point and all that kind of stuff.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, you’ve copied them.

Paul Boag:
I’ve copied them. I’ve looked at how they do it. And basically all they do is they make a point, tell a story, throw some stats around, make it sound researchy, and sell them for a fortune. So that’s exactly how I am doing it. Make a point, tell a story.

Marcus Lillington:
Do they really sell them for a fortune?

Paul Boag:
They do. Malcolm Gladwell’s books sell very well. They are not individually very expensive but there’s a lot of them.

Marcus Lillington:
Really glossy. The artwork is amazing.

Paul Boag:
Actually I am really excited about – you’ve seen the cover my book, looks good doesn’t it?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, the cover is really really good. I knew you hadn’t done it.

Paul Boag:
Yes, so like proper grown-ups are producing this book. So it is really exciting. Anyway my point is basically I am a great believer in reusing shit. I don’t like to have to do more work than I have to.

Marcus Lillington:
Re-using, re-using.

Paul Boag:
Recycling.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, recycling.

Paul Boag:
I’m being environmentally friendly. Basically I am lazy and don’t like repeating myself. So I thought let’s use the book as a basis for the show, alright.

Leigh Howells:
You just didn’t have any other ideas, did you?

Paul Boag:
No, I have actually I’ve got season 9 already worked out.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay.

Leigh Howells:
Crikey.

Paul Boag:
But…

Marcus Lillington:
That’s the one when we do everything in mime.

Paul Boag:
Awesome idea, I like that but the problem that I’ve got is if I do everything on the show, then why would anyone buy the book?

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
So I’ve got a problem.

Marcus Lillington:
Leave cliffhangers at the end of every show.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
And then the really important thing happened next…

Paul Boag:
Yes. So what I’ve done instead is kind of I’ll give a brief kind of overview of what – the subject area we’re looking at and then I am putting them out just like I did with the debate season – questions on the blog and we’re kind of discussing around those questions. So for example the first kind of area that we’re going to look at this week is the digital divide, the idea that there is a big gap between companies that get digital and companies that don’t. And that kind of has led to two different questions that we’re going to discuss this week which is first of all how significant is the web really for most businesses and secondly how do we deal with the fact that senior management don’t understand the web. So, Leigh, you’re going to solve both those issues right now.

Leigh Howells:
Okay, buy your book.

Paul Boag:
Good answer, Leigh. You win.

Leigh Howells:
Are you still writing this book? So what about if people say really good things, are you going to like put them in, sneak them in.

Paul Boag:
Don’t you think I hadn’t thought of that, obviously I won’t quote them.

Leigh Howells:
Obviously not.

Paul Boag:
I will take the ideas as being mine. That’s you know the way it works.

Leigh Howells:
Genius.

Paul Boag:
Now I’ve written the first draft, but I am going back through and adding in other people’s stuff is the idea and I will – I may give them a mention.

Marcus Lillington:
You may. So, Paul, have we got natural break points?

Paul Boag:
Yes, we have.

Marcus Lillington:
From an audio point of view.

Paul Boag:
We have got natural break points but we’re not…

Marcus Lillington:
Should have discussed this before the show.

Paul Boag:
Yes. We’ll put in the do do la do or whatever it does. What does it do?

Marcus Lillington:
Boagworld, Boagworld, echo echo.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
Who is that who says that?

Marcus Lillington:
That’s my daughter, when she was younger. Well, when did we start doing it, 2005?

Paul Boag:
I think it’s about time we had new music really.

Marcus Lillington:
Oh I like doing new music.

Paul Boag:
You’ve got all over Christmas before this episode comes out.

Marcus Lillington:
This is true.

Leigh Howells:
You’ve just given Marcus a Christmas tree, his face.

Paul Boag:
So between now and this episode going out.

Marcus Lillington:
But I’ve done two new musics since she did that little divider.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Marcus Lillington:
Because I’ve never come up with one that’s any better but yes, she must have been 13?

Paul Boag:
Marcus is great, Marcus is great.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, young teenager and now she is 21.

Leigh Howells:
I thought it was a boy. I didn’t realize…

Marcus Lillington:
It was her putting an American accent on.

Leigh Howells:
Oh right.

Paul Boag:
Why is she putting an American accent on?

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t know. I can’t remember doing it this is well what, eight years ago?

Leigh Howells:
So your challenge is, are you going to – if you redid it, would you keep that in or do you think you could…

Marcus Lillington:
I could just do an audio thing with no voice on it couldn’t I just completely change it.

Leigh Howells:
Do you think there would be uproar? Outcry…

Marcus Lillington:
There probably would be.

Leigh Howells:
Bring back the echoey voice!

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
So yes, I will do some new music.

Paul Boag:
Awesome. So people can hear that new jingly bit right now.

Marcus Lillington:
Well no, they would have heard it at the start.

Paul Boag:
Oh for crying out loud.

Marcus Lillington:
They would have heard it at the start of the show.

Paul Boag:
Yes but the jingly bit goes in between the sections.

Marcus Lillington:
Oh that new bit.

Paul Boag:
You just ruined it now.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, but I thought we we’re talking about the entire new intro-y bit.

Paul Boag:
No, they’ll have heard the intro-y bit, but they’re going to hear the new jingly divider right now.

Just how significant is the web to business?

Just how significant is the web to business? Is it enough to maintain a good marketing website, or are there more fundamental changes they need to consider? Do you see the web as having a profound impact on the way businesses interact, how they are run and how they manage their staff?

Have your say

Marcus Lillington:
But people are going to be really confused because we’re talking about me doing new music after I did new music after they heard new music and then we’ll be talking about doing it, my brain hurts.

Paul Boag:
Well, we’ve also confused them by saying it’s after Christmas, no it’s before Christmas, I wouldn’t worry about it. I don’t know what you thought, Leigh, but I thought that was really shit.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
I think you should have done something that would have been much better.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah I’ll redo it tonight.
Paul Boag:
You do the next divider. Right, we have another one coming up in a minute. Right that’s a really good idea.

Marcus Lillington:
You’ll have to be organized, Leigh.

Paul Boag:
So you’ve done the first one, Marcus; Leigh you do the second divider, and then people can vote. Yes, then I haven’t got to do anything.

Marcus Lillington:
Actually I have realized something.

Paul Boag:
What’s that?

Marcus Lillington:
We’re talking about doing this, when does this need to be published, Paul?

Paul Boag:
This isn’t going out till January the 10th.

Marcus Lillington:
Oh right, so I can do it over Christmas. Hurrah.

Paul Boag:
Yes, you’ll need a rough cut edit, so we can send it to the transcriber, but it doesn’t need…

Marcus Lillington:
I’ll do it without the music.

Paul Boag:
Or do it with the existing one or whatever, with the existing music.

Marcus Lillington:
Which will end up being the real one and it’ll end up…

Paul Boag:
Then what have we been talking about for the last…

Marcus Lillington:
Paul, talk about something different.

Paul Boag:
Yes, let’s talk about our first subject, right? So in the first chapter of this book, a lot of what I am spending the time doing is talking about how radically the web has changed the world and in particular how much it’s changed business.

Marcus Lillington:
Can you imagine if there wasn’t any internet?

Paul Boag:
I do yes, because I was alive, it wasn’t that long ago. I was at uni, which in my head…

Marcus Lillington:
That was 20 years ago. That’s quite a long time.

Paul Boag:
20 years…I’ve been doing the web for 20 years.

Marcus Lillington:
But yes, of course I can remember what it was like before the internet but just like that, bam, now.

Paul Boag:
If it went off today?

Leigh Howells:
Just sitting there staring into space.

Marcus Lillington:
You’d have to start writing letters and posting.

Paul Boag:
Well most importantly, nobody would be listening to this podcast which is obviously far more important than the lack of email.

Marcus Lillington:
We’d have to have a proper FM radio station.

Paul Boag:
Yes, we could be pirate radio and you’d have to kind of drive all the way to Winchester to get the signal for it.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes. Well we could have – we could be on the BBC.

Paul Boag:
We could post tapes to people.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes. Well, I am not saying digital recording doesn’t exist any more, the internet doesn’t exist.

Paul Boag:
Yes, but I mean it’s amazing, isn’t it. If you think about it, how much culture has changed because of the web, you know from.

Marcus Lillington:
People don’t talk to each other any more.

Paul Boag:
But you think about all the governments that have been overthrown in the Middle East, that was primarily driven through social action online.

Leigh Howells:
Information flow, yes.

Paul Boag:
Because they wouldn’t have been able to organize in a pre-digital world. It has profound effect but then of course.

Marcus Lillington:
The scope of the riots in England, as well.

Paul Boag:
Yes. Yes, absolutely. It really helped to organize those rioters which is great.

Marcus Lillington:
Made it spread across the country.

Paul Boag:
And it was very easy for people to then post the pictures of the riots online which encouraged other people to riot. So yes, absolutely, really, really good. From a business point of view, of course which is mainly what I talk about in the book, it’s devastated sector after sector. First of all the music industry was devastated, retailers, music retailers in particular HMV and these kinds of things went into administration, Tower Records closed down because all music moved online.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, it’s kind of coming back to… Obviously it’s never going to be back to what it was but people, particularly actual LPs, banging the microphone, people started buying those, well I know I am buying them again. So it’s kind of like.

Leigh Howells:
But it just made people kind of wake up, they probably had it a bit too easy, so it was just a period of reinvention, I mean how to reinvent themselves.

Paul Boag:
But it caused that reinvention.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
In the same ways, you’ve seen the same thing happen with cable TV with Netflix coming in and changing the existing business model. Newspapers is another example of it. So sector after sector have had to reinvent themselves.

Marcus Lillington:
Does anybody know how well The Times does on its pay model?

Paul Boag:
No idea.

Marcus Lillington:
Because it just annoys me, every now and then I do want to search The Times once in a blue moon. And it’s like and then I go away in disgust.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, I know what you mean. How much does it cost?

Marcus Lillington:
I think you have to subscribe; a fiver a month?

Leigh Howells:
I’m subscribed to The Guardian and it’s like 69p a month. I think that’s a good payment, 69P a month.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes. I think it’s quite a lot more than that, I’ll have a look.

Leigh Howells:
I don’t know whether that’s Android I don’t know.

Marcus Lillington:
Oh I can’t look, I’ve got no internet.

Paul Boag:
No internet, how ironic. But my kind of point – my point in this chapter is that the argument I am making is watch out everybody, you are going to have to reinvent yourself. If you haven’t already, it’s going to be happening very soon. And to be honest, my argument is actually there are very few businesses that don’t need to reinvent themselves with the web in mind. That just shoving up a website is not enough. There is so much more you could do to transform or revolutionize your business but then I thought is that actually true? Is it true? Is the web as significant as we make out or have we got it out of perspective because we work in the web industry?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, and no.

Paul Boag:
Right go on then. Really helpful, good job we’re not in the debate season otherwise you’d say it depends.

Marcus Lillington:
It depends, I think there are some businesses, the hotel next door.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Where probably the majority of their bookings and I am guessing here, I’ll go and have a word with them downstairs. I suspect people phone up.

Paul Boag:
I think that’s a huge area where I disagree.

Marcus Lillington:
Premier Inns, that sort of thing, maybe.

Paul Boag:
No. I disagree.

Leigh Howells:
But they have to be found in the first place and…

Paul Boag:
Trip Advisor, reviews are massively important.

Marcus Lillington:
They are. They are.

Paul Boag:
If an overseas person from America for example coming to Winchester, historic town, stay in a nice hotel, part of the experience, you do that all online. That happens entirely online, you used to go all through travel agents.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
So it’s kind of that’s been transformed, go on name something else. Chicken incinerator company.

Marcus Lillington:
Or the sandwich shop at the end of the row.

Paul Boag:
Yes. But again even with that kind of thing, I’ve seen small little local businesses like that making use of social media to build up a real reputation and following online and…

Marcus Lillington:
But they don’t need to.

Paul Boag:
It depends.

Marcus Lillington:
They really don’t.

Paul Boag:
No, they don’t if they are happy with the status quo but the trouble is…

Marcus Lillington:
Well no, because that’s just implying that you have to go on social media to break out…

Paul Boag:
What I am saying is, is that if a sandwich shop opened next door that did all of that stuff and they didn’t, they are going to be at a competitive disadvantage.

Marcus Lillington:
Maybe.

Leigh Howells:
Just like being able to see their menu online or perhaps them being able to order a speciality sandwich online and have it ready at a certain time; one shop over the other.

Marcus Lillington:
I was queuing out the door when I went down there, about 1 o’clock to be fair but I don’t know, they may do all of these things.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
They are doing all of it, it’s all word of mouth, because we’re in a busy city.

Paul Boag:
Yes, but let’s say if somebody opened next door, right and they used the internet so you could sit at your desk, you could log on and say I am coming down in 10 minutes to pick up my sandwich, I pay via PayPal, you walk straight in, pick up your sandwich and walk straight out.

Leigh Howells:
You don’t need to queue.

Paul Boag:
Are you saying you wouldn’t pick that one over the one next door that didn’t do all of that.

Marcus Lillington:
I would pick the one that did the best food full stop.

Paul Boag:
Yes but that’s because you’re just a pig.

Leigh Howells:
Okay what if they were both very similar? Which one would you pick?

Marcus Lillington:
Probably to have a wander out of the office at lunch time is a bad example. I am not saying I wouldn’t use an – that particular example I am not bothered, I am quite happy to go and just daydream away 10 minutes of my lunch hour so that’s fine.

Paul Boag:
But you can see how…

Marcus Lillington:
It’s about the quality of the food, full stop.

Leigh Howells:
You’re supposed to say the one with the ordering and picking up.

Paul Boag:
He is just being contrary, Leigh. We’ve put forward a really good argument and he is just having to argue just to make the show good.

Marcus Lillington:
The bottom line is ROI and it’s probably not worth their investment and time, it just isn’t.

Leigh Howells:
I did two things online yesterday to get here that I’ve never done before. I paid for my car park at the station because usually that’s like faffing around trying to find pound coins, because they don’t take cards and I bought my train ticket for pickup which I’ve never done before because usually I’m sort of standing in line at one ticket booth while somebody in front of you gets an annual train pass. And your train is five minutes away and you stand there fretting going come on, come on. And I’ve got on before without a ticket and been fined.

Paul Boag:
So then how did that work? Was it a good experience?

Leigh Howells:
The car park, well I’ll find out. No I have done it before I’ve done it once before. You don’t have to show anything.

Paul Boag:
That’s what – I do that and I always feel a bit nervous but it does work.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, this time I did leave a printout on the dashboard just in case they hadn’t come round last time so it was fine last time and picking up the train ticket. Well even though the machine didn’t recognize my reference number the first time.

Paul Boag:
You still had to queue up for a machine?

Leigh Howells:
No, no, there were two machines because everybody was queuing up.

Paul Boag:
One dedicated to pick up.

Leigh Howells:
There were three machines in total. One inside two outside, nobody was using any of them.

Paul Boag:
Right oh okay.

Leigh Howells:
For anything because you can book the ticket there or you can pick up.

Paul Boag:
Right, okay.

Leigh Howells:
But it was yes, it took about two minutes.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
And it was great.

Marcus Lillington:
About as long as it took me to say to the guard when I walked into the station can I have a single to Winchester please and handed him the money and he gave me the ticket. That probably took about 20 seconds.

Leigh Howells:
What time was the train though? Was it before 9 o’clock, the commuter train to London?

Marcus Lillington:
No it wasn’t.

Leigh Howells:
Because that was heaving. And again there was a single window open, queue of people.

Marcus Lillington:
But saying that…

Leigh Howells:
I’d be fretting.

Marcus Lillington:
The machine – not the person, but the pay machine is…

Paul Boag:
See there is another aspect here that you’re forgetting with both the sandwich shop and the train example. That, increasingly people are like me and Leigh that don’t like talking to other human beings you see so you can completely avoid that in both of those scenarios if you’re antisocial gits like we are.

Leigh Howells:
But also I didn’t want the cognitive load, I like saying that, of using the machine to book my ticket because that means you have to like think.

Paul Boag:
They’re harder to use than a website is what you’re getting at.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, you can do with the website.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, they can be tricky.

Leigh Howells:
You can do it on the website in your own time.

Marcus Lillington:
But that’s not a good thing about the internet that’s a bad thing about the machines, surely.

Paul Boag:
Yes, but all of this is about how the internet can ultimately improve your business, give you a competitive advantage.

Marcus Lillington:
I am not denying any of that.

Paul Boag:
Another great example that I think I use in the book is about utility companies. There was a time when you would just moan about your utility bill, costs too much, got to be on hold for ages before I get to talk to someone. Now with mine, I can just log onto the website, I can do all the shit that I need to do, give meter readings, get updated bills all of the rest of it and that they’re giving me a load of advice about how I can lower my energy bills. So in that and for me, I will pick a supplier that gives me all of that stuff over a supplier that does especially with something very utilitarian like that. Banking is another one.

Marcus Lillington:
Falling over.

Paul Boag:
Try not to fall over. Banking is another one where actually a bank is a bank for the bank, you know what you’re paying for is the good service. And again the web I think could help with that.

Marcus Lillington:
Well I can’t imagine a bank without a decent online banking facility.

Paul Boag:
They range quite heavily.

Leigh Howells:
Mine is terrible.

Marcus Lillington:
I’ve only ever known one. It works.

Paul Boag:
Yes, but there are some that are much nicer than others.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, mine is atrocious it really is bad.

Marcus Lillington:
Which one are you with, Leigh?

Leigh Howells:
Intelligent Finance which you’ve probably never heard of. Some spin-off of Halifax on their website is dire.

Marcus Lillington:
Well I’m just with NatWest it’s nothing great but it works.

Paul Boag:
Well First Direct, are really good for that kind of stuff.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Because they don’t have high street stores.

Leigh Howells:
They were the pioneers and that’s what they relied on so they had to be good.

Marcus Lillington:
That makes sense actually.

Paul Boag:
And a bank like First Direct could have never existed before the web. So again it’s about how even if you mister sandwich shop, you could argue, you could survive without the web now, will you be able to in another five years, when all of your competitors are offering these fancies/extras and you’re not, that’s the point I think.

Marcus Lillington:
My local pub, that’s a good one. There is no way in the world that they will, well I say no way in the world, ever is far too strong a word but there’s no need for them to do anything online.

Leigh Howells:
Booking tables online if it does – has a restaurant.

Marcus Lillington:
Not a chance, if you walk in – they only do food at lunch times and if you walk in and there is no table then everyone goes well I’ll just wait. That’s the way it is. It’s about the quality of the experience.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Yes. Where the web kicks in is where all other things are equal. If you have two pubs with identical experiences side by side, the web and you could book a table online with one and you can’t on the other.

Marcus Lillington:
Just to kind to push this a little bit further, their rusticness, their ludditeness is actually part of the charm.

Leigh Howells:
That’s only because…

Marcus Lillington:
Can’t pay by card. Cash only, and all this kind of thing.

Leigh Howells:
That’s only because of a generational thing which is going away.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
And then in 20 years’ time…

Paul Boag:
Because not being able to pay by card, I would walk out of a pub that I can’t pay by card in, I don’t care how wonderful it is.

Marcus Lillington:
There’s a cashpoint literally over the road.

Leigh Howells:
Do you expect Wi-Fi in your pub?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
Do you expect like some kind of digital music service?

Marcus Lillington:
Well I don’t expect it, there is Wi-Fi and we all use it.

Paul Boag:
So they’re not luddites then?

Marcus Lillington:
No they’re not but they don’t tell you, they don’t advertise it, we just know the people that live in it. So we just – but it is the spit and sawdustness and the fact that you can pay by cash and that kind of thing.

Leigh Howells:
But you’re all sat there on your phones using the internet.

Marcus Lillington:
Hilarious isn’t it.

Paul Boag:
Shall we actually have a look at what some other people have had to say about this?

Marcus Lillington:
This is an interesting discussion, Paul.

Paul Boag:
Michael Mates talks about libraries which I think is quite interesting because libraries are big area that’s been transformed by digital. He says my favorite examples of the transformative nature of the web are libraries. The library is more than just books now and very recently is becoming increasing a place to tinker and create. In the US, public libraries have successfully survived while statewide budgets are cut by making a case that it provides free access to technologies that wouldn’t normally be available to the general public, 3D printers that kind of stuff. So I think that’s quite interesting how…

Leigh Howells:
Really? 3D printers in libraries?

Paul Boag:
Very cool libraries in the US.

Leigh Howells:
That would get me into a library just to have a fiddle.

Paul Boag:
Exactly, yes. So that is something that has completed transformed itself because what it used to supply is no longer needed really.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, I mean it’s public access to things that people generally haven’t got, that’s the whole point of a library, if they didn’t have all the books and then they have computers and they had computers, so a 3D printer, yes, other things that might be made publicly accessible.

Paul Boag:
Yes. And it’s like even from the book point of view, my father-in-law is a great massive reader and reads huge amounts. And he for years and years he’d go into the library, buy his books and now he just logs onto the library website and gets them electronically and never actually goes in there and he can have any book he wants to and he reads it. I think they’ve got a quite progressive library down their way.

Leigh Howells:
I was going to say, he can just what – he borrows like e-pubs or something?

Paul Boag:
Yes. Basically, yes.

Marcus Lillington:
I nicked a book off one of my mom’s bookshelves the other day, she’s moving house. And it was really nice to actually read a book again. I haven’t read a book for two years.

Leigh Howells:
Yes. Could be a nice novel experience.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s just a nice thing to sit on your bed.

Leigh Howells:
Yes. Texture and smell.

Marcus Lillington:
Because this goes back to the music and the film type thing that I think there is a lot of pushback towards analog.

Paul Boag:
See, to me that’s just – that’s almost hipster type talk of.

Leigh Howells:
No it’s not.

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t understand the film thing, but audio.

Paul Boag:
I don’t get the book either. Oh I love this smell and the feel of a book. What a load of bollocks you don’t buy a book for that, you buy a book because you want to be entertained or you want to learn something.

Marcus Lillington:
98% of it is that yes.

Paul Boag:
Get a life.

Leigh Howells:
Not if it’s say a photography book or something, you want to see the beautiful images or wildlife or…

Paul Boag:
Oh okay, yes.

Marcus Lillington:
This was a genuine, I don’t know but you can appreciate the typography, the layout all that kind of thing, certainly as a designer.

Paul Boag:
You could appreciate that.

Marcus Lillington:
And it’s just nice to have a change. That’s all it was.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
It was nice for change. I love my Kindle, I love it to bits. So it’s just I think I was listening to a woman on radio 4 on the way home last night talking about film and making films on film. And she was very – the way she described what it brought to the process was beautifully put but she did say – but there’s things like they use – they use labels to make editing possible and nobody makes these labels anymore. So it’s actually being killed by the fact that the industry, I presume all the machinery for editing eventually will just go defunct.

Paul Boag:
Yes, I mean you need a certain critical mass to support any market.

Marcus Lillington:
Bu, what she was saying is that’s a shame, because it actually does add something to the way it looks. You can add – but then she finally finished off by saying that the kind of after effects that digital can add now are nearly as good.

Paul Boag:
Yes, and they will get better and better.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, so.

Paul Boag:
I think some industries are more susceptible to this kind of change than others, so which I guess we’ve already covered. David talks about companies supplying goods which can be readily digitized such as books or music and losing the ability to control supply and therefore prices through scarcity. There will be a limited print run of books or a limited number of albums created.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
They must either adopt an offering – adapt sorry by offering added value such as convenience extras or nurturing a sense of loyalty or price in such a way that it’s not worth the effort or risk of legally sharing content. I mean he talks about – this gets into this thing of where the distribution cost for a product drops to zero. It drives prices down and it becomes much harder to compete just on price alone. You know you end having to compete on added value kind of stuff. And I think convenience is a huge issue. I mean that’s the big thing that took the music industry so long as they are going come buy our albums, come buy our albums, yes, but not only can I get it for free online using torrenting, it’s easier than getting in a car and driving into town, but then they rescued it once they provide iTunes which is less hassle, a low price, then you pull it back.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah I mean I use iTunes all the time it’s like I guess if I was really poor, a student or something.

Paul Boag:
Yes, then you may go to the extra effort but that’s…

Marcus Lillington:
But it’s not – you’re right, it’s so bloody easy, I know whatever I want will be there and it will be 79p or whatever.

Paul Boag:
Well that’s why I now do Spotify because that’s even easier.

Leigh Howells:
I was going to say, yes, I mean yes, the subscription services have taken it one step further, you now don’t even have to manage your library.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
You don’t have to manage files, it’s just all there on the service Neflix, Spotify, everything else.

Paul Boag:
It’s interesting that Audible haven’t gone that route with audio books, because they have this credit system.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
So you pay quite a lot of money in comparison to Spotify or Netflix or whatever. Netflix you pay what £6.99, you get a huge range of TV programmes that you can watch whenever you want on-demand and films.

Marcus Lillington:
But I signed up for Netflix and just went uh.

Paul Boag:
Have you looked more recently?

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t want to watch any of this shit.

Paul Boag:
Yes, it’s much better than it used to be.

Leigh Howells:
And some of it you think you don’t want to watch it.

Paul Boag:
Then it turns out to be quite good actually.

Leigh Howells:
Stuff you would never have bothered with. It gives you the picture and the title and the description.

Marcus Lillington:
But I already spend 38 pounds a month on that.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
That’s where you’re going wrong.

Marcus Lillington:
No it isn’t.

Leigh Howells:
Is that sport is it?

Paul Boag:
Yes you pay for the sport. Anyway back to the Audible thing for a minute. With Audible you pay, £7.99 for one book.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, but do you know what that lasts me a month because it takes for so long to listen to one.

Paul Boag:
Yes, that is true.

Leigh Howells:
I don’t know why – if they gave me all books for the same price, I don’t think I would stick with a book, I would probably keep flicking between them.

Marcus Lillington:
If you want to buy a new book from Amazon, if you wanted to buy the latest by whoever that will cost you £7.99.

Paul Boag:
But interestingly now they’ve started this in America there is something called Oyster, I think it’s Oyster, that is like Spotify but for books. So you play a flat fee and you can have as many books as you want.

Marcus Lillington:
I thought, oh no Amazon have got a library service haven’t they.

Paul Boag:
There is a new thing about Audible that I really like. This is nothing to do with the web design particularly.

Leigh Howells:
It’s digital.

Paul Boag:
It’s digital.

Leigh Howells:
Adaptation. Adaption. Adapting.

Paul Boag:
Which is Audible. If you start listening to a book and you don’t like it, you can return it.

Leigh Howells:
Really?

Paul Boag:
And get your credit back.

Leigh Howells:
There’s a few I’d have done that for. Rather than sticking with…

Marcus Lillington:
One more word to go…oh I don’t like this one.

Paul Boag:
They tell you which ones you can return and over what length of time. So I think there is some criteria but I got a fair way into one book and returned it, because it was shit.

Leigh Howells:
That’s on the – that’s on Audible…

Paul Boag:
Audible website. You can’t do it through the app, you have to go to the website.

Leigh Howells:
I’ve not actually seen that.

Paul Boag:
I know it’s good.

Leigh Howells:
There’s been some sci-fi books which I’ve listened to, but I’ve had absolutely no idea what’s happening. And I just think why am I still listening to this I don’t know who any of these people are, what’s going on, which cosmos they’re in, I just don’t get it, why am I listening?

Paul Boag:
Anyway shall we move onto the next one, because we’ve spent quite a long time on that. It’s always so much longer once we get Leigh on, I blame him.

Leigh Howells:
I just prattle away.

Paul Boag:
Well I don’t think it is you actually I think you bring out the worst in us. Look Marcus is desperately trying to press the button.

Leigh Howells:
Go on, press it.

What can we do to tackle the senior management crisis?

As web professionals we love to complain that senior management don’t ‘get’ the web, but complaining achieves nothing. What can we practically do to tackle the senior management crisis?

Have your say

Paul Boag:
Because it’s Leigh’s jingle now.

Leigh Howells:
Is it mine?

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
Bloody brilliant that was, quality.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s one word for it.

Paul Boag:
Can we just stop at the word bloody. Right, next up.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, that’s enough said about that.

Paul Boag:
I’m desperately trying to get us back on track because I feel that we’ve lost control of this podcast. I hope this isn’t a sign of the entire season. So the next thing, right, here is an interesting one. In 2012, right, Gerry McGovern, we know Gerry, we like Gerry on this show, usability expert, nice guy.

Marcus Lillington:
He does sometimes say silly things though. So do you.

Paul Boag:
In 2012, he surveyed 1,000 web professionals, right. And the number one challenge that these web professionals came back with was not the competition, right, the biggest threat this was to their web strategy was not the competition but their own senior management’s lack of engagement and understanding.

Marcus Lillington:
Well these are people that were in house.

Paul Boag:
Yes, so in-house web professionals. In other words…

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, I can understand that.

Paul Boag:
Web professionals believe the senior management don’t understand the web or just don’t care.

Marcus Lillington:
Correct.

Paul Boag:
I was going to say is that true, but apparently it is, Marcus has spoken so it shall be.

Marcus Lillington:
No, in some cases, yes.

Paul Boag:
So this is something I get into…

Marcus Lillington:
They don’t see the value – the full value of it.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s just something that oh we need to make sure that’s done. A good example would be our clients over the water. I don’t expect they see their – the full value of their website.

Paul Boag:
I think there is a lot of people that kind of just dismiss it, I wrote a post on this last year. He says now which I’ll link you to in the show notes which was 10 things that the web can do for you that aren’t marketing because I do think people go ah it’s just another marketing channel right we do our TV advertising, we do our newspaper advertising and we need a website, oh and our brochure.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
And I think there is a lot of that kind of thinking in senior management.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
That needs dealing with. But what’s the answer to this? You know we complain that senior management don’t get it but what’s the answer, how do we deal with that. What’s our role as web professionals in that, do you think that we have a responsibility to get the senior management to get it.

Marcus Lillington:
We try very hard Paul.

Paul Boag:
We do.

Marcus Lillington:
To get in front of senior management but quite often even that’s really hard, just to talk to them.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
Too busy playing golf.

Marcus Lillington:
I think that’s a little bit unfair.

Leigh Howells:
Too busy managing.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
Yes. Not enough time for blue sky thinking type things.

Marcus Lillington:
But using the argument earlier about what about in 20 years for this business down the road.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
What about in 20 years, I suspect that the senior management in 20 years, this will not be an issue.

Leigh Howells:
They will have retired.

Paul Boag:
Yes, because it’s almost a generational thing in some regards, these people A, they haven’t grown up with the web, B, their training was for an entirely different economy, a mass media, mass market economy, almost an industrial revolution style. We work people hard, we’ve got untrained workers that we work hard. We give them standard operating procedures, we squeeze as much productivity and efficiency out of them that is how you manage a business. And it’s just not like that any more, you know I think the world is transformed around people and what was safe ground previously isn’t and I think a lot of senior management struggle with that. So I asked the community for some ideas about well how can you deal with that, you know how do you get management on board and I was really pleased with this first comment from Design Orchid because I think it hit a really good note. He says, it must be hard to work your way up in an industry for 20 plus years and suddenly be confronted with a total paradigm shift, we’ll forgive him for saying paradigm and being made to suddenly feel ignorant about your own business that you are running.

And he says, we need to foster an atmosphere of discussion about the web with everyone and help bring senior management in from the cold, in other words, don’t – we need to have sympathy for them and we have to not make them feel stupid but include them in a kind of transformational change. Now I think that’s really good, because I think it’s very easy as web professionals if you work in a company just to go uh senior management, uh, so stupid. And actually that does nobody any good, does it?

Leigh Howells:
But of course it’s never going to change because in 20 years’ time there will be something else.

Marcus Lillington:
There will be something else. Yes, management won’t get the new thing.

Leigh Howells:
There will be a new level, they’ll understand the web, but it won’t be just the web anymore.

Marcus Lillington:
I am not sure of that because of the massive change, no internet. I don’t think it will be that big of a difference.

Leigh Howells:
We don’t think it will.

Marcus Lillington:
Miles of microphone.

Paul Boag:
We don’t think it will be like that but then we’re going to be the generation that goes oh yes, this is exactly the same as what we did 10 years ago.

Leigh Howells:
Because we haven’t understood because we’ve been too busy doing something else.

Paul Boag:
Yes. But I know where you are coming from but I think what we’re seeing here is not just a change in technology over the last 20 years. We’ve seen a change in society, a change in business, a change in even running companies. I mean one of the chapters in the book we’ll come to later is about how to hire and maintain digital professionals because they expect completely different things from their working environment, going back to the factory line mentality that the industrial revolution mentality of you come into the office, you work 9:00 to 5:00, you follow your managers lead and do what they say and churn out stuff.

Leigh Howells:
That’s how it bloody well should be.

Paul Boag:
Yes, like turning a handle. I mean if we tried to run Headscape like that, we wouldn’t have any staff.

Leigh Howells:
I think we’d get a lot more respect, Paul.

Paul Boag:
I think we would to our face but maybe not behind our backs. So yes, there is a transitionary process involved in here. The other trends really is about kind of talking about hard data and hard evidence. Simon says if you provide them with empiric evidence that something works and then the hard facts help them make a decision. For example telling them they need to spend money on a responsive website because you know that it’s the right way to go, will not usually wash. So go and get stats, analytics and evidence to support your ideas for growth and improvement and Bobby kind of echoes the sentiment when he says the only thing I think we can really do is to just be consistent in our messaging to them. I’ve had some success by showing senior management numbers, analytics, user testing, AB testing results etcetera but the amount of effort that goes into this is just proves the point that it feels a bit ridiculous as 9 out of 10 times you know what is right already, but it’s a necessity, it’s something that you kind of have to do because you have to bring senior management with you and you have to prove that there is value in it.

Gareth talks about money. He says if you start talking about things in terms of monetary context rather than talking about technology it’s not very hard to get even the most dictorial of people on the board to change their thinking.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, absolutely.

Paul Boag:
And I mean that’s what happened when we went in with the RSPB, you know when we started talking about money and the impact that changes could have then people started to get it, then there was a realization.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, but also what the competitors are doing.

Paul Boag:
That’s always a good one.

Leigh Howells:
If a competitor – that’s probably the thing that will get their attention the most.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
They’ll say what? Really?

Paul Boag:
Yes, we must do that too.

Leigh Howells:
And there is money behind that as well.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
Just to show how well they are doing out of something, yes, that’s got to be the golden boy.

Paul Boag:
Yes, killer combination isn’t it, absolutely. So it’s quite an interesting area. I think there is a lot that we can do and I kind of explore this in a lot more depth in the book about in order to educate and bring senior managers with us and to help them kind of really realize about whether they’ll ever truly get it because they are not of that generation. Wow as I say that, I am not of that generation. You’re not, neither are you.

Marcus Lillington:
No you’re really old as well aren’t you, Leigh.

Leigh Howells:
Thank you.

Paul Boag:
Our formative years were all pre-web.

Marcus Lillington:
I was at band practice last night and I am the youngest by seven years.

Paul Boag:
Bloody hell.

Marcus Lillington:
So I feel like a baby, when I come in here, it’s like I’m old the old git apart from Chris obviously.

Paul Boag:
Yes. Mister I broke my hip.

Marcus Lillington:
So but that lot in the band, I mean they are like email, what’s that word then.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
And I am not joking.

Leigh Howells:
We’ve still got the presence, well not presence of mind, the interest to keep – on top of things to keep learning and keep looking around, to know what the channels are.

Marcus Lillington:
Anything that helps you do something that makes it easier, like for example iTunes makes me finding music, I just go bam it’s there, brilliant. I own it, it’s mine. Yes. I don’t have to go to the shop and all that shit. I will embrace because I am naturally lazy.

Leigh Howells:
And maybe the 20 year thing won’t happen because we’ll carry on in that kind of frame of mind of just keeping on top of things unless we give up that.

Paul Boag:
Yes, I can’t imagine me in being a person that is no longer interested in fiddling and experimenting, I mean that’s baked into my character.

Leigh Howells:
What else are you going to do in the own people’s home? If you’re not sat there with the latest console hacking it or…

Marcus Lillington:
One day…

Leigh Howells:
Coding something.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, the desire to get the latest thing will finally leave you and it will be like…

Paul Boag:
Oh thank goodness, no longer am I a slave…

Leigh Howells:
Now is the time to sit and dribble. And stare out of the window.

Paul Boag:
Well I look at my, okay my father-in-law I mentioned him earlier. He comes and stays at our place. He is retired, right. And he sits on the sofa from the moment he arrives to the moment he leaves with his laptop on his lap. What the hell is he doing?

Marcus Lillington:
Just anti-social.

Paul Boag:
I don’t think he is looking at porn but…

Marcus Lillington:
Because that leaves you apparently when you’re older as well. That’s another millstone.

Leigh Howells:
That one I believe.

Paul Boag:
And he just sits and he tinkers. He just plays…

Leigh Howells:
That’s not a euphemism.

Paul Boag:
Yes, I don’t think it’ll ever leave me; perhaps some people, I mean because you look at Chris and I am very conscious that Chris can probably hear us talking about him.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
But Chris will stick with what he knows, so.

Marcus Lillington:
A luddite.

Paul Boag:
A luddite. He is not a luddite.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s the third time I’ve said luddite. Luddite, luddite, luddite; it’s a silly word if you say it too much.

Paul Boag:
So it’s not a generational thing so much as a character thing maybe.

Leigh Howells:
Geeks, but tech geeks.

Paul Boag:
Perhaps it’s just the geeks haven’t made it to the board or perhaps we’re incapable of making it to the board.

Marcus Lillington:
Of course they’ve made it to the board, Google and Apple and.

Paul Boag:
Yes, okay but those are a different breed of companies

Marcus Lillington:
The biggest companies in the world.

Paul Boag:
Yes, but they are different breed they’re post web company.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay.

Paul Boag:
I talk about this quite a lot in the book.

Marcus Lillington:
Right.

Paul Boag:
I think there is – because they are even organized differently, they don’t have to – the same departmental structures that a normal business have, they don’t have the same reporting lines.

Marcus Lillington:
I thought Apple did.

Paul Boag:
Apple is a bit different, yes, Apple is quite hierarchical and quite grrr.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
But a lot of tech companies don’t.

Leigh Howells:
I mean a certain sized company with a certain amount of money at stake and a certain amount of stress, do you just not have time or the – I’ve stopped talking.

Marcus Lillington:
To have time or the inclination?

Leigh Howells:
Inclination, I think that was the word, the motivation and inclination to actually explore all these kind of things. You’re just too busy staying on top of things.

Marcus Lillington:
I think if you’re proper proper senior management in a really big company, then you will have teams of people doing research for you to tell you what you should be concentrating on. So maybe we should – what we’re talking about here are the sort of medium big size companies. Those people where yes maybe senior management or the board is concentrating on stuff and they are not being well informed enough by the people below them, I don’t know.

Leigh Howells:
Because that’s what we started talking about how do you inform them, so the lines of communication aren’t there you’re trying to establish them.

Paul Boag:
Well one of the things that I pick up in the book is I talk about how when electricity first came along, right, and companies appointed a chief electricity officer, right, which seems absurd, doesn’t it, because electricity is just so baked into everything we do. But at the time there was this new technology, they didn’t know what to do with it, the senior management didn’t get it, so they brought in an expert who sat on the board and was the representative. Who sat on the board.

Marcus Lillington:
Who sat on the board.

Leigh Howells:
Who sat on the board.

Marcus Lillington:
You need to have a digital representative at board level.

Paul Boag:
Yes. And I think that’s…

Marcus Lillington:
That’s the book done.

Paul Boag:
Yes. To be honest that’s a big chunk of the book is that kind of how you communicate that, how you get to that point but it is really true. I mean the other thing I talk about is the idea of mentoring. I’m probably covering stuff we’re going to be doing in upcoming shows, I am bit worried about that but…

Marcus Lillington:
You’re not that worried though are you?

Paul Boag:
Well I am because otherwise we won’t have anything to talk about in the other shows.

Marcus Lillington:
We have been talking for a long time.

Paul Boag:
Have we? Shall we stop then? Let’s leave it on a cliffhanger, we said we were going to do that. So there’s this thing called mentoring. Dum, dum dum.

Leigh Howells:
Cliffhanger, insert jingle.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s not going to happen.

Paul Boag:
No, no jingle. We’ve got too many jingles.

Marcus Lillington:
I’m going to insert a joke here.

Paul Boag:
Insert a joke. Actually that sounds painful.

Marcus Lillington:
Going with the theme of the show, this joke came to me via Twitter not via email. This is from Dan Ware.

Paul Boag:
I like that because it means it’ll be a short joke.

Marcus Lillington:
It is a short joke. I finally managed to sell my pet parrot, that’s a weight off my shoulder. Thanks, Dan. More please.

Paul Boag:
That’s good. We need to start a hash tag, BWJoke.

Leigh Howells:
Twitter’s the natural place because it keeps them short and they are better short.

Marcus Lillington:
Especially when I tell them, anyway.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, it’s less effort for you as well.

Paul Boag:
But perhaps we ought not to do BWJoke because I don’t think Marcus understands hash tags.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, they are far too modern for me.

Leigh Howells:
Your band members wouldn’t understand.

Marcus Lillington:
Oh god no.

Paul Boag:
Hash on the other hand, they would do.

Marcus Lillington:
Totally, absolutely 100%. Hashtag, Twitter, uh.

Leigh Howells:
Hashtag is like a label surely.

Paul Boag:
What’s that?

Marcus Lillington:
I mean a few of them are on – a couple of them are on Facebook and they make films and place them on Facebook which are hilarious.

Paul Boag:
But see Twitter, Twitter nobody gets Twitter. I mean what the hell is Twitter really? What is it?

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t really use it anymore.

Paul Boag:
I do use it a lot but I’ve no idea what it is.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, I have to consciously remember it’s there, I look at Twitter.

Marcus Lillington:
See now that’s a sign of you getting old.

Paul Boag:
Well, yes, I guess maybe it is and maybe.

Leigh Howells:
Or you’re just bored and want something new.

Paul Boag:
Yes. I am fed up with telling the world what I ate for breakfast.

Marcus Lillington:
Exactly.

Paul Boag:
By the way today I ate a Yorkie bar and a can of Coke for breakfast.

Leigh Howells:
That’s terrible, did you really?

Paul Boag:
I was quite proud of that.

Marcus Lillington:
Anyway we can stop now.

Paul Boag:
Shall we stop the show?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
That’s good. Right, so hopefully you’ve enjoyed this. Please keep an eye out on the blog for new questions for us to be discussing in future episodes of Season 8. If there is anything around this issue of adapting businesses for digital and how we get companies to engage more in digital then send in questions or comments or anything like that [email protected] I’ve gone to boagworld it’s because I’ve been in Scotland for a week.

Leigh Howells:
Oh yes, they called you Boag up there didn’t they?

Paul Boag:
Yes, they do. So yes, send it to me.

Marcus Lillington:
Boag. Boag.

Paul Boag:
Bogey. Okay on that. We shall now finish. Goodbye.

Marcus Lillington:
Goodbye.

Leigh Howells:
Goodbye.

Headscape

Boagworld