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The Dice News Network blog had a slated launch date of April 1st, and Oomph was charged with the task of preparing a theme for WordPress VIP as well as performing a data migration with under a week to accomplish these tasks. After an initial consultation on Friday, Oomph started work on this seemingly insurmountable task, and was able to get the site polished and ready for launch on time. Our client was thrilled and had the following to say:
I am very happy with [Wordpress VIP's] recommendation of Oomph. This week, they did what all consultancies should but rarely do: under-promise and over-deliver. Our launch is clearly due to their skill and willingness to work the problem until it’s resolved.
Just another example of the hard work we do at Oomph to ensure that our clients meet their deadlines.
Author’s Note: This is the first post in what we hope to make series: “Ask a Web Strategist”. These are intended to be relatively short, public answers to questions web technology and strategy we receive. Do you have a question? E-mail us!
Question: I’m all bent out of shape about the Flash vs. HTML 5 debate. I’m interested to hear your opinion about it. Will Adobe Flash still have a place on the web in 5 years?
Answer: Generally, trying to predict where any technology in a field susceptible to rapid change will be in 5 years is a losing game. Flash will probably be around for many years to come, but we’d bet on a much smaller place.
Increasingly, savvy organizations are asking for web solutions built on open source content management systems. We’re all for it: we’ve built solutions on a variety of platforms, including WordPress and Drupal, both open source projects. We’ve even released a few open source plug-ins of our own.
Open source certainly offers benefits, including a transparency that we believe encourages better programming (“the best disinfectant is light”), the removal of the dependence on a single software vendor, and often times, incredibly low cost of ownership. All of that said, as advocates of custom solutions for clients with custom needs, we know that the open source solution isn’t always the right solution.
More importantly, we’ve found that savvy clients and prospects asking for open source are actually getting at something more essential: open platform solutions.
In support of an upcoming conference, we were asked to address some questions on the theme of web strategy as part of a greater campaign. This campaign would also incorporate more traditional media like public service announcements and other branding.
Our inputs addressed issues ranging from consistency in color palette and overall aesthetic, to cost considerations, to social media integration, to mechanisms for evaluating effectiveness. Most of the discussion would be familiar to any of our clients who have gone through a full development or strategy process with us. As the dialog progressed, however, we found ourselves moving from “planning and campaign integration fundamentals” to the higher level, more philosophical subject of how the web, as a campaign medium, fundamentally differs from other campaign media, and the practical implications of those differences when thinking holistically about web as one leg of a greater campaign.
We could probably write a thesis paper on the subject, but for of the sake of our time and our readers’ attention spans, we’ve tried to boil it down to a handful of paragraphs.
We often receive web project inquiries that look something like this: “Please give us a quote for how much it would cost to get XYZ”. “XYZ” is usually a nice bulleted list consisting of requirements such as a content management system, online event registration, a member-only web community, a blog, a forum, integration with a Salesforce database, and so on.
We do these things really well. By leveraging existing systems and adding some custom code, we are able to deliver a great set of tools with great Salesforce integration. Just what they wanted, right?
Here’s the problem: Too often those lists of requirements are based entirely on what a CEO loosely articulated, what a competitor did last month, some blog reading, or a lot of friends with opinions. A recent post on Smashing Magazine – 7 Essential Guidelines for Functional Design – is a good read for those considering the “XYZ” approach.
C. Murray Consulting Oomph, our best success stories consistently come from projects where we’ve had the opportunity to engage with clients at the requirements level – to put everything on the table and leave no question unasked. When we understand our clients’ needs at least as well as they do (maybe even better), we’re able to leverage our Web expertise to tell them what they really need, why they need it, and the best way to get there.