INTERACTIVE: NEW-MEDIA CLINIC; How the God of Geeks will discover whether your client has a clue

I’m sitting in a consultative meeting with the orc-like representatives of the Client. Their top man, a Balrog of Smug, has seen the CD-Rom prototypes, videotext and Webpage elements of the campaign, and is now dollying around with the colour xeroxes, biding his time before cantilevering Memo Britannica on to my desk.

I’m sitting in a consultative meeting with the orc-like representatives

of the Client. Their top man, a Balrog of Smug, has seen the CD-Rom

prototypes, videotext and Webpage elements of the campaign, and is now

dollying around with the colour xeroxes, biding his time before

cantilevering Memo Britannica on to my desk.



‘We’ve got a few improvements,’ the taskmaster belches as a shadow

passes across the sun. I skim the first pages. It makes no sense,

naturally - but not the usual, management speak/marketing puff/Blair

manifesto sense of no sense. Dear God, no. Instead, it reads like a

technical specification - an in-depth, overly detailed, lack of sense.



I’m scared; what if these people have a clue? It’s time to up the

stakes. ‘I’ll pass this to our staff,’ I say, dropping the crates down

to the cellar.



Moments later, Tassos, our resident Greek God of Tech, bursts through

the floorboards. As a seven-foot bodybuilder with degrees in Object

Oriented Database Design and Killing With Bare Hands, he is a somewhat

atypical geek. ‘Thank you,’ he begins, smashing one suit to his knees.

‘We appreciate your co-operation with this prestigious project, but some

of us are concerned with your definition of the technical details of the

product,’ he continues, bodyslamming a consultant.



‘You write here that we should use Java on our Webpage. Ten out of ten

for reading.net. However, Java is overkill for the animation of the

dancing detergent bottle, which is what you want.



‘You say that you want your CD-Rom to run in 1024x768 resolution. To me,

that involves spending an extra four months writing new video drivers

for an effect which will work on 10 per cent of your customer base and

crash the rest.’



Tassos turns to me. ‘You should have presented these ideas to someone

who knew enough to reject or modify them, rather than Drooling Dan.’



We decide to reconvene after the ambulance arrives. Things are improving

though - this time Tassos remembered my name.



Dan O’Brien is a new-media consultant



E-mail: danny@cityscape.co.uk



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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).