Digital Media Stands Alone

Nice story in slate on Tuesday titled Overdone: Why are restaurant websites so horrifically bad?.

The money quote:

Restaurant sites are the product of restaurant culture. These nightmarish websites were spawned by restaurateurs who mistakenly believe they can control the online world the same way they lord over a restaurant. “In restaurants, the expertise is in the kitchen and in hospitality in general,” says Eng San Kho, a partner at the New York design firm Love and War, which has created several unusually great restaurant sites (more on those in a bit). “People in restaurants have a sense that they want to create an entertainment experience online—that’s why disco music starts, that’s why Flash slideshows open. They think they can still play the host even here online.”

This is a perfect example of something I discovered while on my way out of my last job.

For my two years with the Lightning, I had a total of four bosses. There was a lot of change, sure, but the real reason for this large number was that no one could really figure out where Digital Media should belong.

Some thought it was with Marketing. Others thought it’s more PR or Corporate Communications.

My position was and is that it’s neither.
It is it’s own.

And soon enough, regular businesses will treat the digital side of their business equally as they do sales, marketing and everything else.

The problem seems to be that everyone wants to own it. Eyes are opening to the power and growth of digital.

Hi-ho, the derry-o, The cheese stands alone

Every department is affected by digital now.
And every department should have a say.

Which is exactly why it needs to stand on its own.

The person in charge of digital needs to be equal to the person in charge of sales, or marketing, etc. They should all work as a team.

It reminds me of a great line from The Wire (yes, I’m still obsessed) that I’ll have to find later. In sum, it was a rant on how the mayor gets elected and lets all other department experts (education, sanitation, etc) do their thing except for the police commissioner. The quote’s punch line was that when a politician gets elected he magically and instantly becomes an experienced police officer.

Will find the quote later.