Vision for a regional Web Guild – boosting standards and cooperation between local web professionals and enthusiasts

Suggestions :
  • Don’t work alone – partner up!
  • Target outside the region
  • Share knowledge – raise local standards and capabilities
  • Involve everyone – users, techs, artists, content authors, marketers

The world is truly web crazy!!! Whether on a clapped out old desktop browser or the latest swish mobile from Samsung or Apple…it’s growing and will never stop… so what are we in our beauteous regional idyll doing about this.

Bits and pieces…here and there…ambling along with an occasional sparkling moment of web creativity. Could we do more? Could we really take this web thing by the scruff of the neck…12 years or so since web started to invade our lives like nothing before. Would a web guild help?

A Web Guild…big picture goals

  • Foster an obsession with all things web in our region (Sapphire Coast and nearby)?
  • Over the longer-term make the region a beacon of web creativity and excellence
  • Where possible, consolidate all of the individual efforts (there are a number of locally-based individual providers of website building and eCommerce-style functionality)  into one turbo-charged coordinated effort?

Nothing’s easy…and initiatives are generally harder to get going in our area than in the big smoke…but here’s some thoughts on how we could craft a half-decent web guild that seeds and nurtures some of the above objectives….

Competing locally for low margins

There are many talented web developers in the area…heroically putting their hearts and souls into nursing local businesses on to the web…and doing it for low margins because local businesses simply won’t pay…or so the refrain goes. Fair enough, if that is the reality we deal with – but could we look at things another way. At some level I feel that those of us involved in the sector could offer a better value proposition, and make more of an effort to better educate buyers to the value of the web.

[note color=”##b0d18a”]Disclaimer : I am actively involved in web development and CRM integration – so yes I am part of the competition – I am part of the ‘problem’…but I would like to see things change for the better for all of us.[/note]

Targetting outside the area (especially ACT)

[pullquote]”If a job costs 20K in Canberra we potentially could do it for 15K down here…win win for everyone”[/pullquote]

If we can consolidate our efforts and could manage our web-build capabilities efficiently, we could offer website-building packages ostensibly to businesses in the Canberra region and potentially under-cut pricing in the capital. It’s a complaint I often hear from businesses in the ACT…the cost of designers and developers is too high…because of the huge government spend across the board on IT in the region. Being less than 3 hours away, enjoying significantly lower overheads, and infused with the life-giving magic-dust of the coastal sea-breezes…we could offer a genuinely competitive alternative.

More specifically…things we could attempt…

Form a non-profit Web Guild which espouses the following values :-

  • Share knowledge – via face to face meets, seminars, work-groups, forums, wikis
  • Raise standards – learn from each other and drive each other to improve our website quality
From the Guild, form groups of 3 to 4 people into formal commercial entities that work together, and potentially target the ACT market. These must :-
  • Be systematic – streamline and automate the processes involved…make their web development run like a machine
  • Where possible, work with, associate, or otherwise engage some form of  shuttling broker to/from Canberra to enable high quality account management.

Users, Designers, Artists, Techs, Marketers, Authors

The original thinking for the proposed IntoIT Web Guild was primarily for the sharing of knowledge between designers and techs (see here).

But this idea was too narrow…I think we need to cater for a bigger group and set of needs…and I have received some local feedback which corroborates this.
The strands to the Guild needed are more probably  :-
  1. Users, many of whom are non-technical, of Content Management Systems (CMSs) such as WordPress and/or Joomla
  2. HTML/CSS Techs to diligently craft pages
  3. Artists and Graphical Artists to provide a designed look
  4. PHP and MySQL Tech experts to add dynamic functionality
  5. Authors/Writers/Copy-writers to constantly update websites – the so called ‘Content Factory’…to ensure that sites are loved by Google
  6. Marketing know-how for Search Engine Optimisation(SEO), Social Media, CRM and Newsletter management

Shortly…we will convene…

Could we make this happen in a worthwhile way…initiate growth in all things web from our regional paradise. We shall see…the web guild will come into being on June 14th 2012 – location to be confirmed. Email admin@intoitsapphirecoast.com for more info…please join us.

Regards,

Liam O’Duibhir

IntoIT co-founder

5 replies
  1. Darryl
    Darryl says:

    Gday Liam and IntoIT

    What an opportunity to explore the combined creativity of the individuals in this region.

    There is such a wealth of related talent here, and something like the Web Guild will benefit a lot of people, clients inclusive.

    We can all learn from each other, and create connections that will help support the business people of this region—thanks for taking the initiative to get something like this going.

    I’m keen, and I’ll be there on the 14th.

    cheers
    Darryl

  2. Carsten
    Carsten says:

    Hi Liam,

    I’m looking forward to this and I would be interested in delivering a presentation on a more technical (programming) related topic.

    Good on you for kicking this off!

    Cheers,
    Carsten.

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