Forming your digital team

This week on Boagworld Web Show we discuss the need for in-house digital teams and what roles they should include.

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Paul Boag:
This week on the Boagworld web show, we discuss the need for in-house digital teams and what roles they should include.

Links mentioned in the show

Show transcript

Hello and welcome to Boagworld.com, the podcast for all those involved in designing, developing and running websites on a daily basis. My – I should have taken a breath in that sentence. Joined today as always by Marcus, of the Lillington clan…

Marcus Lillington:
Hello

Paul Boag:
…and Leigh of the Howling clan.

Leigh Howells:
Hello

Paul Boag:
You’re not howling at all but…

Leigh Howells:
I do have the domain “howelling.com”

Paul Boag:
That doesn’t surprise me.

Leigh Howells:
But it’s not spelt like you think it was. So it’s really rubbish

Paul Boag:
So it’s a useless domain. You do have an extra E and an extra L in there, doesn’t it? Howelling. Howelling.

Leigh Howells:
I forgot I’d actually got that domain ‘till the other day

Marcus Lillington:
So there we are

Paul Boag:
So, I didn’t know where to go with that really

Marcus Lillington:
So we’ve got this open – Oh, we’ve got one more listener.

Leigh Howells:
We could have gone into a “domain you’d bought and forgotten about” conversation.

Paul Boag:
Oh, so many of them

Marcus Lillington:
I think I bought “Lillington.com” once.

Paul Boag:
Did you? But you have no idea where it is.

Marcus Lillington:
No I tried to buy it, because it’s actually a town in the States, quite a big town. So I suppose…

Paul Boag:
It is quite interesting, it’s like…

Marcus Lillington:
It’s also a little village in Wiltshire.

Paul Boag:
There you go.

Leigh Howells:
I usually remember when I get an email saying it’s about to be expired. You think, Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about that. Damn, I had a great idea.

Marcus Lillington:
I had “strokethetoad.com”, obviously

Leigh Howells:
That was probably quite easy to get

Paul Boag:
Well, I don’t want to mention that’s that difficult to get that

Marcus Lillington:
No, it wasn’t.

Paul Boag:
We’ve never managed to get Headscape.com have we?

Marcus Lillington:
Nope.

Marcus Lillington:
I’ve tried – on that one, I can remember, maybe you got in contact with the owner years and years and years ago and they wanted $60,000 for it and we were like, “Pfft”. And now, I’m not going to spend $60,000, but I wouldn’t mind spending sensible money to purchase Headscape.com. I don’t get any responses. I send them an email once a year because that’s the only way you can get in contact with the owners.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
Nothing. It’s like, well, I am here, willing to, not spend silly money, but some money would – I would be willing to part with…

Paul Boag:
Perhaps, they are not even using it. It’s a parked domain, isn’t it?

Marcus Lillington:
It’s making out it’s a web design thing but it’s not.

Leigh Howells:
Really?

Paul Boag:
Alright. I haven’t actually looked at it. Now I’ve got to have a look at it; this is much more fun than doing the podcast. Headscape.com.

Marcus Lillington:
That was all part of my plan.

Paul Boag:
Was it?

Marcus Lillington:
A picture of a pretty oriental girl and links to sports and listings

Paul Boag:
Oh, no. This is just a hobby page.

Marcus Lillington:
Medical web design. There you go. What does that mean?

Paul Boag:
I don’t know. I daren’t think. We now have more people listening to this than are actually subscribed to the show. We’re up to 12. So that’s a result, that’s good.

So, Leigh, important question: You’ve read my book?

Leigh Howells:
I have listened to your book, yes.

Paul Boag:
How did you listen to it considering I haven’t narrated it?

Leigh Howells:
I found an Android app that read…

Paul Boag:
Oh, text-to-speech: how to really ruin any decent book.

Leigh Howells:
No, no. It was good. It wasn’t bad. I tweaked all the settings because I like to have a little fiddle around with the settings and slowed it down, made a bit deeper. And it was alright. I’ve listened to worse narrators on Audible.com

Marcus Lillington:
[In a deep voice] This is Paul Boag:’s book.

Paul Boag:
Darth Vader narrates my book.

Marcus Lillington:
Now that would be good.

Paul Boag:
That would be awesome.

Leigh Howells:
I need some of your book to read.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, you haven’t even got it.

Leigh Howells:
I probably wouldn’t have made it through reading it – it was very interesting!

Marcus Lillington:
That’s why I haven’t read it; because I don’t want to tell Paul that I’ve started reading it. He’ll ask me questions about the second last chapter and things like that.

Leigh Howells:
I certainly wouldn’t have made it through.

Paul Boag:
It’s not that long a book.

Leigh Howells:
I wouldn’t have made it through in one sitting though.

Paul Boag:
And this is what you did? Did it in one sitting?

Leigh Howells:
I did it all on the train this morning.

Paul Boag:
My word. Cor, there you go. So did it have anything useful in it?

Leigh Howells:
It did. It was a really nice kind of broad picture of stuff that I don’t really spend enough time considering apart from when I hear you speak about, various things in meetings…

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
Most of the books I read are, they’re very specific.

Paul Boag:
Kind of UX-y?

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
This is a whole book just on forms

Leigh Howells:
It’s not thinking about…

Marcus Lillington:
Quite exciting those ones aren’t they?

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, but you feel like you’re learning something useful for the task you’ve got to do. This is a kind of umbrella around it all isn’t it?

Paul Boag:
Marcus is now belching on the podcast. This is the new…

Marcus Lillington:
It’s because I am starving myself at the moment.

Paul Boag:
Oh are you? Are you on diets?

Marcus Lillington:
I’ve got to sit on a beach with very few clothes on.

Paul Boag:
Oh right, yes, don’t take photographs.

Marcus Lillington:
Well, I will take many photographs

Paul Boag:
Yes, you could take as many as you want, just don’t let anyone photograph you

Leigh Howells:
You don’t have to sit on the beach with not many clothes on. You could wear a massive great…

Paul Boag:
One of those muumuus

Marcus Lillington:
Just my head out the top.

Leigh Howells:
Bury yourself in the sand or just stay in the room.

Paul Boag:
Aren’t you now of that age where you just wear a big Hawaiian t-shirt, you know, Hawaiian shirt thing.

Marcus Lillington:
Not quite.

Paul Boag:
No?

Marcus Lillington:
No, because I am not hugely fat yet. When I am, then yes, of course.

Paul Boag:
Yes, so I don’t – it’s not even something I want to consider.

Leigh Howells:
Marcus is getting his beach body.

Paul Boag:
Well, it is ridiculous, isn’t it? For the amount of difference it really makes

Leigh Howells:
Does your bikini fit nicely now then, is it – looking good?

Marcus Lillington:
It’s not really – I am just supporting Mrs. Lillington.

Leigh Howells:
Alright.

Paul Boag:
There is… there is…

Marcus Lillington:
She’s on a diet and it’s like, oh right, I will join in then, yeah.

Paul Boag:
There isn’t quite ….

Marcus Lillington:
Sorry, Paul, anyone would think it’s your show. I have actually managed to bring my belt in by one notch. So I am quite pleased with that.

Paul Boag:
There is a great iPhone app that can help you. Oh, dear. Is that supposed to have come off? I’ve just pulled a bit off the mixing desk. I’ll put it back on.

Marcus Lillington:
A great iPhone app.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Like that stupid iPad app you showed me earlier on with your pen that doesn’t work properly.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, that wasn’t the best demo ever

Leigh Howells:
Does it actually make you lose weight?

Paul Boag:
No, nobody–

Leigh Howells:
That would be an app.

Marcus Lillington:
No but it gives you electric shocks every time you eat something.

Leigh Howell
Move it around your body…

Paul Boag:
It doesn’t make you lose weight. But it does insult you and you don’t, right?

Leigh Howells:
How does it know?

Paul Boag:
It’s really good. It’s called Carrot

Marcus Lillington:
Alright.

Paul Boag:
… and there is actually – it started off originally as an alarm clock app that when it wakes you up by insulting you and if you hit snooze, it gets really quite angry at you. And so it gets progressively more angry the more times you hit snooze. Then they did a ‘To-Do’ app which just shouts at you if you don’t do your to-dos. Now, they have done a weigh-in app which, when you weigh in, if you put weight on it, it has a go at you.

Leigh Howells:
I like that. A judgmental weight app

Paul Boag:
So that’s, really I think, quite good.

Marcus Lillington:
I found some of Paul’s book.

Paul Boag:
Have you?

Marcus Lillington:
It was a gorgeous sunny day.

Leigh Howell
That’s um…

Paul Boag:
No, that’s a… I don’t know what that is.

Marcus Lillington:
What’s his name?

Paul Boag:
I don’t know.

Marcus Lillington:
Schwarzenegger

Paul Boag:
I think that’s possibly the worst person I can think of to narrate any book.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, I’m not going to try it again.

Paul Boag:
I want – What’s the guy who played Darth Vader – he’s got a really good… He was on Big Bang last week.

Leigh Howells:
The guy who played Darth Vader, he’s not real, what?

Marcus Lillington:
The voice of Darth Vader was…

Paul Boag:
I want to say Samuel L. Jackson but that’s not right.

Marcus Lillington:
Way before Samuel L. Jackson.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, but anyway, he is good. He’s got a good voice.

Marcus Lillington:
Darth. Vader. Voice.

Paul Boag:
Oh he’s looking it up now.

Leigh Howells:
James Earl Jones

Marcus Lillington:
James Earl Jones, yes!

Paul Boag:
Has someone told us in the chatroom? I am not keeping up with the chat?

Marcus Lillington:
No, no, no. I just Googled it.

Paul Boag:
No, okay.

Marcus Lillington:
Where is the chatroom?

Paul Boag:
But you did that without touching the keys.

Marcus Lillington:
Well, I’ve got skills, you know.

Paul Boag:
It’s amazing. What’s that?

Marcus Lillington:
I’m playing stuff in the background, I probably shouldn’t be doing that.

Paul Boag:
No. You’re– join in in the podcast. So yes, if you too want to enjoy Leigh’s wonderful experience of reading my wonderful book, then go to digital- oh, no, that’s wrong, shit, I don’t even know the URL. It’s boagworld.com/adapt and you can sign up for notifications when the book comes out. And I’ve got proper proofs coming through now; all the illustrations are done and it’s all very nearly there. And it’s really exciting.

Marcus Lillington:
We do like those illustrations, don’t we? As I’ve seen, they keep appearing on things. They’re actually on the homepage of the Netscape site.

Paul Boag:
Yes. I know overuse them for everything.

Marcus Lillington:
We’ve got some original art work, let’s use it on everything.

Paul Boag:
It’s consistent branding

Marcus Lillington:
It is, yeah.

Paul Boag:
Right. So this week, we are discussing some of the issues in the book. In particular, we are talking about the role of in-house digital staff, what the make up your team should be, whether you need a team or not and stuff like that. So, shall we actually kick off with something…

Marcus Lillington:
No, because we haven’t talked about the weather yet.

Paul Boag:
Oh, we don’t need to talk about the weather, for crying out loud.

Leigh Howells:
What about rain?

Marcus Lillington:
Well, we talked about it last week and said we probably wouldn’t be here this week, but it’s got even worse

Paul Boag:
It was pretty bad driving into work, but now it’s lovely and sunny out. What’s the problem?

Marcus Lillington:
It’s…

Paul Boag:
Do we really need to discuss the weather? Could we be more British?

Marcus Lillington:
People expect it.

Paul Boag:
No, they don’t. Anyway the Americans…

Marcus Lillington:
What other inanities can we talk about?

Paul Boag:
The Americans have got far worse weather than we do at the moment. They have got a polar vortex.

Marcus Lillington:
That’s so dramatic isn’t it? I thought that had gone away now.

Paul Boag:
Was it?

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t know.

Paul Boag:
That’s a bit disappointing.

Marcus Lillington:
We haven’t had any cold weather at all.

Paul Boag:
No.

Leigh Howells:
It’s just been pouring with rain and blowing a howling gale and it is the Americans’ fault.

Paul Boag:
Howling. See, there we’ve got the URL there.

Marcus Lillington:
We could do with an exciting term like vortex to describe our rain

Paul Boag:
No, we have just got a big puddle.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s because of the jet stream which is caused by the cold weather in America. Now the jet stream is going twice as fast as it normally does and it’s going right over the top of us which is why we keep getting, it’s like a conveyer belt of storms, I saw this on the BBC.

Paul Boag:
Oh, must be true then, unlike a polar vortex. Basically, they have got– it’s a little bit nippy and they’ve called it a polar vortex to sound cool. Right. Can we actually move on now and talk about web design-y stuff because we have been going, what? Three, four hours now and not actually talked about anything.

Marcus Lillington:
10 minutes.

Paul Boag:
10 minutes? Is that all?

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Feels like a lifetime.

Marcus Lillington:
Every minute with you, Paul.

Paul Boag:
There we go.

Marcus Lillington:
Right. I’m going to stop now.

[Music]

Paul Boag:
Okay. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to look at whether a company should hire internal staff or whether they should use outside agencies.

Marcus Lillington:
Do you want me to answer that?

Paul Boag:
Marcus, I know what you’re going to say. But actually…

Marcus Lillington:
A bit of a short show this week, isn’t it?

Paul Boag:
A lot of businesses rely on outside agencies all the time and with the web becoming increasingly business crucial, perhaps now is the time that more of that moves in-house.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, I think we promote to many of our clients that we will help educate their internal teams…

Paul Boag:
What– he did this big open gesture there like he is going to give the internal teams a big hug.

Marcus Lillington:
So that they can look after their new website going forward and they don’t have to rely on us.

Paul Boag:
Absolutely.

Marcus Lillington:
So, no.

Paul Boag:
Oh, Leigh’s just arrived in the chatroom, I’m going to be totally be distracted by this chatroom.

Leigh Howells:
Oh, yeah.

Paul Boag:
I feel like I have to minimize it.

Leigh Howells:
I have haven’t I? Because he kicked me out.

Paul Boag:
Right. Oh, can I do that? It would be awesome if I can.

Marcus Lillington:
Of course you can, if you have the skill.

Paul Boag:
I can. Right. Anyway, let’s keep on the topic.

Marcus Lillington:
Should they or shouldn’t they, it depends, Paul. There you go.

Paul Boag:
Right. Okay, let’s reword it. Do we think that most companies should have at least one person dedicated to digital?

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Most companies?

Paul Boag:
The vast majority. I mean I am not talking about your little sandwich shop downstairs but a company bigger than us…

Marcus Lillington:
But that person…and, yes, it’s my opinion. That person, if you only had one, should be a content person.

Paul Boag:
See now, it’s really – you’ve immediately jumped on to the second segment of the show.

Marcus Lillington:
Okay.

Paul Boag:
So I’m cross with you, Marcus, you’re very naughty.

Leigh Howells:
I would say, yeah, but that one person needs to train everybody else. So everybody should know…

Paul Boag:
Again, you’re jumping on to the next section of the show. That’s alright. Let’s screw the format. Let’s just go with it. Yes, I completely agree that…

Marcus Lillington:
Somebody’s scratched our table.

Paul Boag:
I completely agree with you that I think – yes, I think most companies should have somebody dedicated to…

Leigh Howells:
Did you say that in your book, as your one reader so far, I might just be repeating things you’ve said now. I don’t know.

Paul Boag:
Well, it’s interesting here…

Leigh Howells:
Suddenly I’ve got all these ideas I didn’t have yesterday.

Paul Boag:
Let me read you a little bit about – let me read you some of the stuff that some people commented on the post. So David Prince writes, to introduce a separate silo of digital completely misunderstands and underestimates the transformative nature of digital. Changes are– Changes are at– what? Changes are too the very essence of how a company operates both in the internal organization and external environment. It is not enough for a single employ or business function or unit to take responsibility for digital. Furthermore, a separate digital function would simply cause another bottleneck, another cost base, more tension and more bureaucracy.

And DJ also followed up with this similar kind of thing. He said if digital is silo-ed under one board member’s responsibility, it will always be their problem, not the whole organization’s. I prefer to have each senior exec understand their own function’s role in creating the transformation in the business needs of– to drive a digital agenda (that’s a bit of a mouthful) by allowing open contributions and collaboration to this agenda and the approach unite people and hopefully align more closely to the business strategy rather than creating a new digital empire with some execs being wary or even threatened by that.

And that’s what you were getting at; that needs to be spread across the whole organization.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, yeah.

Paul Boag:
But…

Marcus Lillington:
Which it kind of does, but it kind of doesn’t.

Paul Boag:
Yes. It’s really interesting…

Marcus Lillington:
Because it’s not digital on its own, isn’t – it’s a kind of – it’s a lot of things. It’s not one specific thing. So it’s not like accounting, for example.

Paul Boag:
Right.

Marcus Lillington:
So it does make sense what DJ saying is to spread it across existing senior management makes a lot of sense. However, if you’ve gotten nobody championing it, then it might not have the…

Paul Boag:
Impact.

Marcus Lillington:
…that it should do.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. This was what I– I was writing about this this morning – this particular problem, because several people brought it up in the comments and got me thinking about it. And my kind of attitude towards it is that your digital team and your digital lead are a temporary requirement rather than a long-term one. So if the ultimate aim is that digital should be like electricity, everybody within the organization uses it, it’s a part of everything we do, therefore everybody needs to understand it, which was your point, Leigh.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
But to get to that point from essentially zero, you need somebody to champion it – someone to encourage it. And so back in the day when electricity first came along, there was a chief electrical officer who introduced it and taught the organization and made it happen. And I think that’s how we need to think about web teams and digital teams. That they are a temporary necessity within organizations to get them to the point where digital becomes ubiquitous across your whole organization. But that takes time to get to, I think.

Marcus Lillington:
Interesting.

Paul Boag:
What do you think of my assessment of the situation, Marcus? Would you agree with that? You don’t know, do you?

Marcus Lillington:
No, it depends on – well, no, I don’t but I am thinking about it. You can see it– in the future you’re basically imagining going back to the previous models or the previous departments, if you like, with the same board director, it’d be– people representing those departments within the board. But – so each one of those departments would effectively have their digital people within them, digital people, little robots, which makes sense.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
Totally. But we are not there yet because it’s in some companies, you don’t even get a digital team on its own yet.

Paul Boag:
And I think, yeah, and the other problem that you’ve got here is you got to think that, at the moment, for a company to work effectively with digital, most organizations we come across with, come across need some fairly substantial reorganization. They are not very digitally friendly because they have lots of committees and are slow-moving. So they are not a very digital compatible organization which means that you need someone to come in and be a maverick, somebody to kind of stir the ship– to steer things up and challenge stuff. And existing senior management teams aren’t going to be the people for doing that because they are the ones that built the company the way it is now. So you kind of need an outside – not an outside necessarily, but somebody who is responsible for pushing the digital agenda and making sure companies adapt and I don’t think companies are very good at doing that.

There probably is a halfway house here as well which is that we might end up – the individual departments end up having digital staff that sits within those departments but report into digital lead. So somebody within marketing that is more up-to-speed with digital then maybe somebody who was just a normal marketing person, for example. So you might end up with that kind of scenario but I think– we’re in an awkward transition point, I think, that’s the problem.

Marcus Lillington:
I’m just trying to think it like a marketing person would have a specialty in DM, say…

Paul Boag:
DM?

Marcus Lillington:
Direct marketing.

Paul Boag:
Oh, right, sorry, yeah. I was thinking about the shoes.

Leigh Howells:
Because you bought some silly ones?

Paul Boag:
Because I bought some silly ones with Union Jacks on

Marcus Lillington:
How old are you Paul? Paul has got his clown shoes on

Leigh Howells:
I am amazed, I hadn’t noticed.

Paul Boag:
I am wearing a pair of DM boots, but with Union Jacks on the feet.

Marcus Lillington:
On the feet.

Paul Boag:
On the feet. What do you call it– the top bits. What’s the top bit of a shoe. I am sure it has a special name.

Marcus Lillington:
It does. The toe, let’s call it the toe.

Paul Boag:
The toe, yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, a special name.

Paul Boag:
Nothing more special than the word toe.

Marcus Lillington:
I can’t remember what we’re talking about.

Paul Boag:
No, neither can I. It probably wasn’t very interesting. So, okay, here is kind of the follow-up question to that, right? So let’s say you’re – set that argument aside that whether eventually you need a digital team or not but you’re going to have to get at least…

Marcus Lillington:
I remember, we’re talking about DM.

Paul Boag:
Oh, yes, that’s right, Direct Marketing, yes of course.

Marcus Lillington:
It wasn’t that – I wasn’t make – I was only kind of repeating a point I’d made earlier in a different way but as always: in the future, would that DM person be a digital specialist? Probably yes.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, I can imagine that.

Marcus Lillington:
So then everybody will do eventually.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, eventually, and people will have a greater awareness of all this stuff even if they don’t know how to do it, they’ll at least know it exists which is where you have to start. Like if you see at the moment– if somebody sees a nice photograph now, they might think, oh, that would make a nice marketing brochure but they might not think, well, that might be something I would put on to a blog or on to Facebook.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. Or equally if you work in the HR department, your natural reaction is: okay, I’ve got a job, I’m going to advertise in the newspaper. While five years down the line, in fact, they’re probably already at this point. They will be thinking, I need to use these sites or…

Marcus Lillington:
Again, it’s awareness

Paul Boag:
…these things or I work in a customer service department. Previously, we did telephone support. Now we do a lot of it online. It’s thinking about how – the thing with digital is affects such a broad range across the entire business, I can entirely understand people that say it makes no sense to have a digital team because it affects so much of the organization. But I just think for the next few years, most – a lot of organizations, not most, but a lot of organizations, they’re going to need that team to help them make the transition. But I think you need to be very clear upfront what the role of that team is, otherwise, it’s just going to become another permanent fixture of the organization. It’s going to become another little feifdom with internal politics and power struggles, all that kind of stuff. You’ve got to say the job of this team is to educate and increase awareness to the point where the team no longer needs to exist.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, yeah. So the silo-ing doesn’t even have an opportunity to happen because they’re not in a silo, they’re always reaching out and trying to educate everybody

Paul Boag:
Yes. And it’s never going to be a permanent silo anyway. You might even want a roadmap or when it eventually disappears hopefully. Have that as a goal that you’re working towards. So it’s quite interesting but, okay, here’s another one. So with people starting out with – if an organization so far has just outsourced its web design stuff, and they’re hiring or they are thinking about their first full-time person, you said it should be a content person.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
Why is that?

Marcus Lillington:
Because content is more important than design.

Paul Boag:
Yes. I’d agree.

Marcus Lillington:
So that’s just pretty much it. You don’t – without any content, you have nothing.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
The other way around, with some content, you do have something and you can then – you can look after the kind of vehicle that publishes that content via an outside agency first.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
It does – it’s just a logical thing.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
I repeat myself again, without any content, you have nothing.

Paul Boag:
I mean – I totally agree with that and I think a lot of…

Marcus Lillington:
I thought another reason why.

Paul Boag:
Okay, go ahead.

Marcus Lillington:
Content is business specific…

Paul Boag:
Right.

Marcus Lillington:
…more so than design is. You can argue that – a copywriter would be going “oh no, no, I can write copy for anyone” but I don’t actually agree with that.

Paul Boag:
No, I don’t either.

Marcus Lillington:
I think that you do need to be a bit more entrenched in an organization to be able to write for it and to create content for it. Whereas if you are, again, creating a vehicle or a website, in this particular case, then, I think you can talk to people and do research and understand what they are about and then create something that does represent their brand.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
So again, that’s why you need a content person first.

Paul Boag:
I agree with that. And a lot of companies start the wrong way round that they start with a technical person

Marcus Lillington:
Yes. We need a coder

Paul Boag:
Yes, it’s almost – always a coder first for some reason which strikes me as insane. I actually think I’d go a bit further than you. It’s along the same lines but it’s when I was writing up what I was recommending in the posts that are associated with this week’s podcast, I wrote that you need a digital lead first. So – and that person should be able to write copy and content but it’s…

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, someone that’s quite senior as well as– rather than…

Paul Boag:
Yes. I think I wanted someone a bit more senior that had the ability to stand up to senior management and argue the corner that can look at putting together a strategy because it makes no sense to me to hire implementers before you’ve got solid plan of what you’re implementing.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah. So a digital lead can decide whether a coder is needed.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Because they will have assessed the digital need and the opportunities…

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
… and then they will make the recommendations

Paul Boag:
And to begin with that, that person can do a lot of the things that your type of role suggests as well. So it can be doing some content stuff, he can be doing some social network stuff, but you’re looking for someone that’s more senior, that’s more business-focused, the person that can talk strategy rather than some junior techy.

Marcus Lillington:
I still think that could be a third-party person, a consultant.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, I think that can – you can help someone become that– a third-party consultant can help them do that. But I don’t think it would…

Marcus Lillington:
I was talking about…

Paul Boag:
Alright.

Marcus Lillington:
…let’s say, if you were a consultant on your own. You were Paulboag.com

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
…you didn’t work for Headscape.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
And you went out at probably half the rate that you’d go out for Headscape.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
A big company employing you for six months wouldn’t be beyond their realms, if you think.

Paul Boag:
But I still think it would fall flat when I left. I can give you two…

Marcus Lillington:
It would be your job to do all the things we just said.

Paul Boag:
I can give you two examples of when this happens. Well, let me just – I need to be a bit careful because I can’t mention obviously the clients. So a friend of mine; it’s one of those isn’t it.

Marcus Lillington:
A friend of mine…

Paul Boag:
It’s not my medical problem, it’s my friend’s…

Marcus Lillington:
I went to the doctors, this is swelling.

Paul Boag:
A friend of mine worked in an organization for six months, built up strategies, ways of coping – working policies, procedures, put a team in place, did all of that kind of stuff and as soon as she stepped out the door, the vultures came in. People, senior people in the organization, started picking things out against her – “I want that”. Saw digital as the golden lovely sighting things and started stealing out of it. And we had a very similar experience where we put together policies and procedures in a report and we handed it on a silver plate to the head of digital this wonderful, yes, the whole of senior management have signed off and said, “you own it, you run with it, you make this happen” and as soon as we stepped out the door, it was stolen away from him.

So I actually don’t think that it’s enough just to have somebody come in for a few weeks or even a few months to set things up. I think it needs someone– because we’re talking about business transformation and that’s not going to happen in a few months.

Marcus Lillington:
Yes, because somebody always loses.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Somebody high up always loses so they are going to fight their corner in a sneaky nasty way.

Leigh Howells:
Could the consultant be actually helping to employ the digital lead, actually selecting, directing the selection process.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, of course, it does.

Paul Boag:
That would be the way I would like to look at because unfortunately it might have to be that you do get an outside consultant to do it because it’s very hard to get good digital people with that kind of experience these days. You need somebody as amazing as me. And those are quite hard to find. I have already had someone on Twitter this morning telling me I was arrogant, so that’s…

Marcus Lillington:
No, they understated it. “I find you, sometimes, quite arrogant”

Paul Boag:
Oh, look, somebody left after I said that comment, that’s funny.

Marcus Lillington:
Oh, no, come back.

Paul Boag:
And so…

Leigh Howells:
Has anybody said anything?

Paul Boag:
It’s quite a tricky area, I think. But I do think getting somebody in that position is quite important. So here’s another question for you. Spin-off from that: Can that person be part-time and have other stuff as well or do they need to be– like somebody from marketing becoming the digital lead alongside doing traditional print marketing or do you need somebody purely dedicated to digital?

Marcus Lillington:
Doesn’t – it would be easier for them if it was their only thing they had to do but if they were really clever and really good at what they did, then, yeah I suppose. It depends what their remit was. How big is the company?

Paul Boag:
Yes. I mean it’s – I think it’s quite a difficult one. Shane agrees me. He says dedicated.

Marcus Lillington:
Well, but for example, you’re a good example for this. We’re a small company. You spend probably half to two-thirds of your time doing marketing, but the other rest of it you do design, you do sales, you do spread yourself out.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
And we’re a small company which makes sense. But I don’t know if we were 200 people it would be difficult.

Paul Boag:
But we are a sole digital company. I think one problem is: the way I can get away with it is because if I do some client work, that immediately then feeds into the digital marketing that I do. And I can reuse stuff. I learned something, part of the digital marketing work that I am doing and I can feed that straight into a client. So for example, I have been messing around with our digital marketing with LinkedIn recently, been doing a lot of stuff there and that will immediately go into the work that we’re doing for our U.S. law firm that uses LinkedIn a lot.

Marcus Lillington:
I really don’t like LinkedIn.

Paul Boag:
Well neither do I. but it’s…

Marcus Lillington:
I just find it so confusing.

Paul Boag:
It is terribly…

Marcus Lillington:
And I’m quite good at using websites but it’s like…

Paul Boag:
It is a very badly designed site.

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t know what it does.

Paul Boag:
Yeah.

Leigh Howells:
The app’s even worse. If you’re not careful they will be spamming your entire phone book. I logged in this morning, for the first time in ages and it tried to send everyone in my phone a LinkedIn message.

Paul Boag:
See I’ve never had that problem.

Leigh Howells:
It’s done it before

Marcus Lillington:
You ticked the wrong box or didn’t the right box.

Paul Boag:
But it can be quite good. So for example, we’ve got a…

Marcus Lillington:
Way of talking.

Paul Boag:
…yeah, I mean we’ve got a LinkedIn company page now (link in the show notes) and I am trying to gently persuade some of our clients to write us little references in it.

Marcus Lillington:
I couldn’t find those references

Paul Boag:
Couldn’t you?

Marcus Lillington:
No. There you go, that’s a good example. I went to LinkedIn, found our page, couldn’t find the references. Now, I am sure it’s right there in front of me, but it just…

Paul Boag:
Yeah, you have to click on Products and Services. They’ll only– , you can only write a reference related to a specific product or service.

Marcus Lillington:
Right.

Paul Boag:
So it’s confusing. I am not defending LinkedIn, but my point was, nothing to do with LinkedIn, it was a fact that it’s transferable.

Marcus Lillington:
Going off on a tangent, Paul, that’s never like me is it?

Paul Boag:
No. So I guess – I think it’s difficult. I think the trouble is, is if you’re someone within the organization whose got to– an existing role and digital was added on to that role and you’re not naturally somebody that is digitally inclined.

Leigh Howells:
That’s the key, isn’t it?

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
That it has to be somebody geeky and passionate about it.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
Not someone who just has it added on and it’s another thing they have got to do…

Marcus Lillington:
But whereas that person might be desperate to do it and they’ve still got these other things that they’d rather not be doing. But they have to do some of it. It does depend on how keen they are.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
Surely.

Paul Boag:
Yes. I think to be honest, I think that is the key. You need somebody that wants to do this and is excited about doing this or making it happen. Otherwise it’s just going to end up at the bottom of your priority list the whole time, isn’t it, which is a bit rubbish. I mean there is a couple of objections that seems to often come out of these kinds of conversations about whether we should hire someone to do digital and that’s first that they don’t have enough work to keep them busy full-time which always strikes me a bit of a kind of a false way of thinking about it, because there will be as much work as you want there to be.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, I mean but they’re thinking in terms of actual tasks and checking things up, it’s just learning things and that’s a never ending task surely. But nobody can quantify that.

Paul Boag:
And social media is something the more time you spend on it, more you get back from it, blogging, yeah…

Leigh Howells:
Blogging, you can spend as much time as you want.

Paul Boag:
It’s never – I find that quite hard. I think a lot of people really struggle with this idea of getting their head around the amount of time that these things can take. The digital – it has such big ramifications for an organization.

Leigh Howells:
I think it’s because things aren’t necessarily seen as being productive because they can’t see the immediate value.

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Leigh Howells:
But it might be a long-term value which they just can’t, they can’t visualize.

Paul Boag:
Blogging is a great example of that. I mean do we’re just driving ourselves around the twist with a client recently where they are really keen to do – or we’re really keen for them to do more blogging. They’re really keen to do more blogging but there isn’t the investment internally to make that happen, and it’s really difficult as well.

Another argument – another client I can think of, which we worked with were saying, oh we – because what works so well about blogging is that you become the thought leader, you’ve become the person to go to about whatever the thing is whether it’d be economics or law or web design or whatever else. So it’s very good at raising your profile especially if you are a service-based business, it’s a great way of selling your expertise. But of course the experts in it are the people that are being charged out to do the work, so there is always this feeling of, hang on a minute, I mean we can’t afford for those people to be blogging because we want them to be charged out full-time and I can completely understand that. But there are so many ways around that problem, you can get a kind of ex-journalist to be interviewing these people and finding stories and writing them up and doing video interviews and stuff like that. I have been playing around with video in the last few days and just to see whether I might do some more of that; link to YouTube in the show notes and actually it’s really easy. It’s not difficult once you – it’s about having the right – couple of right bits of kit, but it’s not expensive…

Leigh Howells:
It can be quicker than writing as well.

Paul Boag:
And it can be a lot quicker…

Leigh Howells:
You’re not picking over sentences and rewriting it, you just get it done.

Paul Boag:
So there is so much potential in a role there that I don’t think people can really see. They just go “so what will this person be doing all day?” And actually I think there’s easily a full-time position there if you wanted it.

Okay. So we’ve already answered who should we hire as our first person? You say a content person, I say a strategy type person, what would you say, Leigh?

Leigh Howells:
I would go with a strategy type person as well, because they can employ the content person. Or even better, a strategy person who can do content.

Paul Boag:
There you go.

Marcus Lillington:
Teachers’ pet.

Paul Boag:
A general suck up.

Marcus Lillington:
A generalist is what you want. Yes.

Paul Boag:
Yes. It is true. But you want quite a senior generalist, if you can get it. Me, or you actually. You could do that too, or Marcus. Even Marcus would be- even Marcus would be capable of that.

Okay. So we agree that really want more of a strategist person to an ‘implement it’ type person. And, yeah, that is pretty much, we were going to have multiple sections on the show but we’ve really kind of covered both sections, how are we doing time-wise, Marcus?

Marcus Lillington:
36 minutes.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, so that feels about right. We kind of squeeze things together this week. We should… that’s why it’s come out a bit shorter. I think, for me, the really interesting conversation here is the one around the – if you take on digital specific people, are you silo-ing them? Are you putting digital in this little box in the corner, and there is certainly a danger of that.

Marcus Lillington:
I had actually – I have to say I hadn’t even thought of that before today. So you do learn something new every day.

Paul Boag:
There you go. Yeah, it’s something I have been struggling with. I was struggling with it when I was writing the book, because I do actually propose that you have a digital team. And I know that Gerry McGovern, for example, often talks about how you shouldn’t have a digital strategy, you should have a business strategy with a digital component. And I do 100% agree with him. But then the reality sometime we – when we go into companies, they hire us. We couldn’t go in and say, you need a whole new business strategy, we would never get away with it. But we can use digital as a kind of in- to doing that kind of stuff. So you write a digital strategy, a lever, that’s the word. You write a digital strategy and that kind of is a lever or a door into influencing the larger organization. Because I think a lot of people, a lot of organizations aren’t at the point where they realize that there are these kind of bigger issues and bigger effects that digital has on stuff.

So yeah, the silo-ing is a difficult one.

Leigh Howells:
Every time you say silo-ing, I think of the IT – the IT Crowd in the basement.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, that’s the danger, isn’t it?

Leigh Howells:
Yeah. Perhaps, it is a kind of physical location problem as well. Where do you put this team? They should be accessible to everybody all the time. Put them in the café!

Paul Boag:
This is another thing I talk about in my book, there is a chapter on office environments and having…

Leigh Howells:
Yes, there is.

Paul Boag:
You haven’t read it!

Leigh Howells:
I have listened to it. I listened to every word.

Paul Boag:
And about – even down to having an open plan office where people are near each other and interacting with one another, and all of that, is a part of it. Digital is this horribly kind of complex area that affects so many things. I don’t think a lot of people grasp that. I didn’t grasp it, I wouldn’t have said, until the last two, three years. When you start, you get frustrated because projects are not quite happening or you hand over a design work and then it’s not implemented for a year. And you think “what the hell?” Or even somebody contacts you and says we’re going to send out an invitation to tender and then you don’t hear anything for six months.

And you think why is that? Or you implement a website and it’s all lovely and wonderful, and then it’s left in neglect for so long.

Leigh Howells:
Yes. So even having a label of digital, it to me, it seems weird because I can’t even imagine that people aren’t thinking about digital all the time through everything they’re doing.

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, but they know.

Leigh Howells:
I know but I just can’t get to grips with that at all.

Paul Boag:
And that’s why this phrase ‘digital by default’ has come, which basically is: “Think, can digital help in this situation?” before turning to the things you’ve always done before.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah. So we think of that naturally, that’s our natural first thought, isn’t it? We are digital by default.

Paul Boag:
And that’s what I say, yeah, you need someone like that in your organization. And someone that’s got the guts to kind of turn things over a little bit. Like recently another client – a prospective client that we’re waiting to hear back on. The client there, she’s been brought into a charitable organization and she’s got the knowledge – the main knowledge, the expertise, the drive and you know that she’s going to make it happen in that business. And I think that’s so important. It’s mind-blowing, quite how profound the impact to digital is and how much people underestimate it. Anyway, I think that about wraps us up. Except for your wonderful joke.

Marcus Lillington:
I don’t know if I already said this one.

Paul Boag:
One thing.

Leigh Howells:
If it’s funny, it doesn’t matter.

Paul Boag:
One thing you have to do on the show. Although, of course, we have been repeating ourselves for what, about 5 years?

Marcus Lillington:
It doesn’t matter, I probably could go back to some really, really old ones and I would get away with it. I have to do more than just a joke every week, Paul, I have to off the cuff come up with witty and interesting remarks.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, he has to set up the stuff as well.

Paul Boag:
He does have to set up the stuff, plug everything in. Look at this desk, it’s got loads… that is an excessive number of knobs.

Marcus Lillington:
It’s not really…

Leigh Howells:
It’s a repetition of basic knobs, one channel.

Paul Boag:
One channel. So what’s all this rubbish then?

Marcus Lillington:
They repeat.

Leigh Howells:
They’re just repeated.

Marcus Lillington:
So if we wanted to have six microphone on the table, we can plug them in, each one has their own… things.

Paul Boag:
Oh, ‘dooberries’.

Marcus Lillington:
This thing’s different, over this side.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington:
This is really interesting for people, I am just pointing at stuff…

Paul Boag:
You are pointing at stuff on the mixer desk.

Marcus Lillington:
Do you want to hear the joke?

Paul Boag:
Yes.

Marcus Lillington:
The joke is, a man walks into a bar with a roll of tarmac under his arm and says, pint please, and one for the road.

Paul Boag:
Say that again, I couldn’t quite hear.

Marcus Lillington:
A man walks into a bar with a roll of tarmac under his arm and says, pint please, and one for the road.

Paul Boag:
Oh, I see.

Leigh Howells:
I have not heard that before. And I laughed.

Marcus Lillington:
This is an old joke but I’ve always liked this one. It’s a much better joke, but I’m sure I’ve said this one before. So I went to the zoo the other day, there was only one dog in it and it was a Shih Tzu.

Leigh Howells:
I like that.

Paul Boag:
So while I’ve got people’s attention, and while, as the show is running a little shorter than normal because Marcus and Leigh completely ruined the whole format of the thing, I want to know what people think we ought to do for the next season. So next season picks up by about the begin – middle of March.

Marcus Lillington:
Can we talk about color?

Paul Boag:
And we need a theme.

Marcus Lillington:
And lining things up.

Paul Boag:
Color and lining things up, a whole season on color and linings things up.

Marcus Lillington:
And that the best one was… the one that people like the most was what’s new on the app store.

Leigh Howells:
Design apps, that you don’t need.

Paul Boag:
Fortunately, Marcus doesn’t get to decide what to do on the show. So if you’ve got a theme that we can cover on the show, drop me an email at [email protected] I’m thinking maybe interviews but they’re a lot of work for Marcus.

Marcus Lillington:
However, if we went back to my plan of doing half a show with an interview and half a show on what’s new on the app store…

Paul Boag:
And everyone is happy.

Leigh Howells:
I like the magazine format, having a little bit of this, a little bit of that.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. Do you know why I don’t do that?

Marcus Lillington:
It’s more work.

Paul Boag:
No…. well yes, it’s partly that, but partly because the whole Boagworld site is now built around themes, and I would have to un-build it all, and I can’t be assed to. Unless I just start calling it ‘Theme 8’.

Leigh Howells:
But you’re rebuilding it aren’t you?

Paul Boag:
Supposedly, but that involves having Dan’s time, which is like, you might as well try and ask for him to be gold-plated and delivered to my house.

Marcus Lillington:
He’d probably quite like that.

Paul Boag:
…What does that even mean? What’s the implication there?

Marcus Lillington:
You started it.

Paul Boag:
I started what?

Leigh Howells:
Moving on.

Paul Boag:
Anyway on that bombshell, as Jeremy Clarkson would say, we shall end the show…

Marcus Lillington:
We were going to have, sorry, Paul, I keep meaning to do this, we were going to have… One of the very first – first or second one of this series, we had – we need to invent a ‘what would Jeremy say?’ And I need to get his voice and find him saying “what would Jeremy say”? And I’m just too lazy. And then because you’ve asked for my opinion, you’ve asked Leigh’s opinion, and then we have “what would Jeremy say?” And it would be quite fun. Maybe we can do that for the next series.

Paul Boag:
Okay. So what would – well, let’s see if we can do what would Jeremy say – we’re going to finish this show eventually. What would Jeremy say if, about digital being isolated in the silo. He’d probably say “what’s digital?”

Marcus Lillington:
Yeah, “what’s digital? Who cares?”

Paul Boag:
Yeah, like that. But that’s going to be his answer to the entire podcast and everything we ever cover, he is going to [say] “we all manage perfectly well without digital.”

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, what would Jeremy Keith say, I think we need.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, because…

Marcus Lillington:
He would – what’s his favorite saying?

Paul Boag:
“I dismiss the premise of your question.”

Leigh Howells:
Every time, he used to say that every time.

Paul Boag:
Jeremy Clarkson would say: “The internet’s for porn isn’t it?” And that would be him.

Marcus Lillington:
Honestly, we could have some fun with this, if I could be bothered. Should we stop doing the podcast now?

Paul Boag:
Actually, apparently we’re supposed to have talked about “is this the beginning of the end of hand-coding?”, the post I put out this week…

Leigh Howells:
Oh, right.

Paul Boag:
…link in the show notes to Boagworld, which has that on. Shane wants to know. What was your feeling as to… just to summarize. Sorry, I’ve just extended the podcast, we weren’t going to cover this but somebody in the chatroom wants to cover it, and so we’re going to do that.

Leigh Howells:
So I wanted to talk about this because it was interesting.

Paul Boag:
Macaw is coming out, which is how would you describe Macaw, would you call it a “codesign” tool, which confuses everybody.

Leigh Howells:
I just wanted to start a new phrase.

Paul Boag:
So you tried to combine the words code and design…

Leigh Howells:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
…but you’ve just made it sound like a collaborative design tool by co-design.

Leigh Howells:
But only if you have a narrow mind and you just fall back to what you think is obvious. But, no, it was a code and design tool. It is drawing code basically.

Paul Boag:
Yes. So my question is: the code from Macaw looked like it was going to be pretty damn impressive.

Leigh Howells:
See, I hadn’t even considered these tools, you might end up wanting to use the code.

Paul Boag:
No, neither had I until I watched the demo.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah.

Paul Boag:
And it was pretty impressive.

Leigh Howells:
It was very clean.

Paul Boag:
Because you can basically go through and set your own Semantics for the HTML. And the CSS looked – did you not see it…

Leigh Howells:
I didn’t notice that bit, no.

Paul Boag:
So it’s a bit…

Leigh Howells:
Oh, the naming convention…

Paul Boag:
Yeah, you go through and you name your layers, but really it’s, you’re naming HTML.

Leigh Howells:
That’s to keep it organized as well. I kind of saw that as a keeping it organized. The fact is there are classes around for it.

Paul Boag:
Yeah, because you can organize things by saying this is a header, and it will put it in as a header tag.

Leigh Howells:
Yes, yes.

Paul Boag:
So that’s pretty impressive.

Leigh Howells:
Yes.

Paul Boag:
I really liked that a lot. I have to confess.

Leigh Howells:
Thing – the web flow of the website does all that as well and that, you can use the code from that. You should have a look at that, webflow.com.

Paul Boag:
What, Adobe web flow?

Leigh Howells:
No, no, that’s reflow.

Paul Boag:
Web flow is another one, is it?

Leigh Howells:
It’s a web app.

Paul Boag:
Link in the show notes to that.

Leigh Howells:
Webflow.com. I think there’s a subscription.

Paul Boag:
Also link in the show notes to Macaw and Reflow as well.

Leigh Howells:
Same kind of thing, drawing dibs on to the page and then tweaking the code visually and outputting code.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. Somebody – Shane has brought a good question in the chatroom. He had the same initial reaction as me, that it’s perfect for prototyping and mock-up, entirely agree with that. I think everybody’s agreeing with that. What I am asking is whether it could be pushed to use it. Are we going to one day, not necessarily with Macaw straight away, but one day before too long, are we going to be at a point where we don’t need to hand-code anymore and we can use a wiziwig. Shane thinks probably not. He says that – his biggest problem with it is the fact that’s open-source and it might not keep up with web standards. But my logic is then you stop using it and use another tool if it doesn’t keep up.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, it depends who is pushing it forward and who is making it do all the new stuff and keeping it ahead of the curve, that kind of thing. So it depends who is producing it and what they’re…

Paul Boag:
I like the fact that there are at least three products that are doing very similar things at the moment. Because that keeps the competition going and keeps it moving forward.

Leigh Howells:
I mean Adobe is the one with the most resources, I would imagine. So they should be looking at all these other tools, taking the best bits and pushing it all forward again.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. They have carefully avoided the issue of code, haven’t they?

Leigh Howells:
Yeah. They are angling in more towards a kind of photoshoppy …and design schools.

Paul Boag:
Yeah and then you pass it across to a developer.

Leigh Howells:
Yeah, yeah.

Paul Boag:
But certainly for smaller sites. If I was doing kind of local sandwich shops and accountants and dentists and places like that, I don’t know whether I would hand-code anymore with a tool like that. Except with the interactive stuff obviously, the Java script and stuff you’re going to need to do…

Leigh Howells:
You’d just wordpress wouldn’t you?

Paul Boag:
Yeah. But even so, you’ve still got to build code for those, or you’re just given text skin templates.

Leigh Howells:
Not necessarily, well it depends on the size, doesn’t it, and how much they can pay you at the end of the day.

Paul Boag:
I am being told that smaller sites aren’t necessarily simpler sites.

Leigh Howells:
No.

Paul Boag:
Trust me, they are. Probably from a political point of view, in not having to deal with quite as many stakeholders. Although they are fussier when it’s their own money. But that’s another conversation. Yes, anyway, check out my article on Macaw and hand-coding and that kind of stuff. I’d be interested in other people’s opinions. I am not for a minute suggesting we’re there yet, before all the front end coders in the world start hating me because I am suggesting that their jobs are redundant. I am not saying that.

Leigh Howells:
I would like to know why a software tool couldn’t produce code, when it’s pure logic and a set of rules. Is this something that can’t be done? Or is it just…

Paul Boag:
And if so, why can’t it be done?

Leigh Howells:
Does nobody want it to be done enough to actually work on a – as a kind of set of algorithms to produce code, I don’t know, I don’t understand why.

Paul Boag:
I feel like, yeah, I feel like there is more there. I feel like that should be the future, that we shouldn’t have to. I mean we don’t write in binary, do we? So you do have these layers of abstraction, so what’s stopping us going one more layer of abstraction? And why is that really honestly a bad thing if we don’t understand that kind of stuff?

A lot of people say, oh, yes, but if you don’t know what’s going on under the hood, isn’t that a problem? Why does it matter?

Marcus Lillington:
I have no idea what’s going on behind Logic here, the site software program. I know how to use it and create stuff with it, I don’t really care.

Paul Boag:
And I am not – just don’t overreact to this. I am not suggesting anything extreme here and I am not even saying we’re at the point. But I am saying I feel like that’s the way things are going. I don’t feel like necessarily that’s a bad thing. But I am sure someone more clever than me, probably Jeremy Keith, what would Jeremy say?

Marcus Lillington:
He would dismiss the premise of your question.

Paul Boag:
He would have a lot to say on this subject, I am sure and I don’t know if I want to hear it.

Marcus Lillington:
It could be the first interview of the next series on this exact subject.

Paul Boag:
I mean again, Shane’s come back in the chatroom and he said, well, we need to know the medium of the web. Why? Why do we need to know…

Marcus Lillington:
Dreamweaver and Front Page produced rubbish mess, that was their problem.

Paul Boag:
Yeah. They produce terrible code. But one thing somebody did say about Macaw, which is a fair comment, which is for it to produce good code, you did need to know how to code. Because to go through and put in headers: H1s, H2s, all that kind of stuff, so you still needed to know how to hand-code even though the tool took that ability and you having to do that away and I thought that is a good point. So it would be no good if Marcus sat down and used that program, it would churn out shit code.

Leigh Howells:
See, that’s why it’s code design – ‘codesign’.
Paul Boag:
You just want to be the person that came up with ‘codesign’!

Leigh Howells:
I do!

Paul Boag:
Anyway, we’ve definitely overrun, and tried to finish this show multiple times. You’ve got one more joke to finish up with, go on.

Marcus Lillington:
Well no, I haven’t!

Paul Boag:
Okay. Alright, then. Well, thank you very much for listening guys, and join us again next week when our show might happen in order and be more structured. Bye-bye.

Marcus Lillington:
Bye.

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