The power to change is in your hands

A few months back, I wrote a blog post about the state of the web design community/industry and how I felt it needed freshening up. It was and still is my belief that we, as a whole, were in need of hearing from some new faces, young and old to give us a new perspective of what is going on out there in the industry; an insight into how people are dealing with the ever changing way of the web.

What prompted me to say it?

A few weeks earlier, I had been asked to take part in a couple of interviews for a magazine which I was very excited about doing. I was very keen on writing and thought it would be good fun to do something I really enjoyed.

Alas, both times, my piece was taken out and I didn’t feature at all. The magazine ended up using material from more established and well known names within our industry.

I’ll be honest, I was annoyed and a bit deflated. I felt the magazine was playing it safe and not really wanting to try something new. However looking back, it could be that my answers were not great or of course there could be other reasons that I don’t know about. Thems the breaks I guess.

The experience did leave me thinking though, as an industry we do need to hear from more people from different situations whether it be freelance, startups, agencies big or small. I love to read how people are tackling the web and I think that there is loads of advice and information out there that we as a community are not tapping into.

So what did I do to address my frustration

I started work on a new site called Iaskyouanswer

I asked people about their workflow, how they deal with the day to day stuff and the response was fantastic. I only wish I could have spent more time devoted to it. I got a great idea of how responsive web design has changed how we all work, for some the better, for some, not so much but the main thing I got from it was that so many others like myself still don’t really know the best way to do stuff and are just figuring it out for themselves.

I only hope that others got something from the project. I took away some great insight and new ideas which I’ve started to use now.

I need to do more with the site but it takes up a lot of time and with working 9-5 at an agency, my time is pretty limited plus it’s always hard to know if people are actually interested in reading about it.

I do feel glad that I did something though about the issue. Unfortunately there are many out there that are all too happy to sit and moan about the state of the community without taking it into their own hands to do something about it. The web celeb row is still raging and I don’t really see an end to what is ultimately a false and very tired argument.

I used to feel like there was this divide and to this day I think that it comes down to individuals. There are some well known and respected designers / devs that are just really good at what they do and deserve to be recognised for what they do; they are always on hand to offer advice and are actually just pretty normal and easy to get on with. There are some however that are complete dicks.

It’s like that in any group / sector or whatever. People are people. No escaping that.

Social media can be damaging

I think social media has a part to play in all this too. It’s become the norm to judge and critisise without any real thought into what is being said, has been said or done. It’s almost a case of grabbing a pitchfork and chasing someone out of town. It can be dangerous that people have the ears of hundreds of people and can express their opinions quite freely; I’m all for freedom of speech but we need to have the facts straight. Nothing is ever clear cut.

There is never a better time for people to put their case across, advertise themselves or their work / ideas. The internet is not some closed group, it’s vast with more and more people wanting to be heard. We had the same conversation about conferences and podcasts yet we’ve seen new events and new podcasts spring up and become quite popular.

Things won’t change if you sit there behind a keyboard moaning. They only change if you get off your backside and do something about it.

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