INTERACTIVE: NEW-MEDIA CLINIC; How will new media fare in future now its glory days are over?,

The force has been ebbing recently. In the US, respected Web-based magazines such as WebReview are closing down, muttering about ad revenues. Over here, bank managers are looking askance at the fourth ‘Web content provider’ to pitch to them that day, and even those money- buckets, the Internet providers, are looking uneasy. Peter Dawes, one of the men responsible for bringing the Net to the UK, has left his company, Pipex, saying: ‘Eventually, the sheer terror palls.’

The force has been ebbing recently. In the US, respected Web-based

magazines such as WebReview are closing down, muttering about ad

revenues. Over here, bank managers are looking askance at the fourth

‘Web content provider’ to pitch to them that day, and even those money-

buckets, the Internet providers, are looking uneasy. Peter Dawes, one of

the men responsible for bringing the Net to the UK, has left his

company, Pipex, saying: ‘Eventually, the sheer terror palls.’



Everywhere you look people are just...giving up. The glory days are

over: new-media experts are reconsidering their options - even I briefly

considered returning to my job as chief systems administrator of

Braintree University’s prestigious Sinclair wing.



It’s not entirely unexpected, this period of unpleasantness. And not

exactly unwelcome. It’s shaking out the hangers-on who got on the

bandwagon because everybody hated them in their previous job. It’s a

happy goodbye to those ex-film producers, ex-journalists and ex-chief

systems administrators.



Those who are left are being obliged to work out a more reasonable

revenue model - or face having no revenue model at all. The consensus is

for long-term partnerships with clients or agencies. Developers can no

longer ask pounds 325,000 for four pages of html and a vanity domain

name, and then move on to the next multinational. There are no more ‘hit

and run’ Websites, but a trickle of income to pay for what is actually

needed: lots of long-term tracking of users and lots of keeping up with

the technology.



Clients need experienced new-media staff. Tough, there aren’t any.

People who have been in the business for years have watched their pre-

conceptions be repeatedly trashed. If clients want overnight results,

then they should expect them to look exactly like that.



The only way either client or creatives are going to get through this is

by learning together and being honest with one another about how

ignorant they are.



Well, up to a point. I don’t think my clients would like to know quite

how ignorant I am.



Dan O’Brien is a new-media consultant.



E-mail: danny@cityscape.co.uk



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