Why I envy designers and developers

It’s relatively common to find people who will happily admit they’re not technical, or can’t code.

It’s reasonably common to find people who will admit they can’t draw or design, even if they still have a habit of making ‘helpful’ suggestions.

It’s not very common to find people who are aware that they can’t string a decent sentence together. It’s somewhat understandable when all our days are increasingly filled with texts, emails, and social media updates. And that’s even if you don’t have a job which requires written work.

Workbench by

Workbench by (CC Licence)

All of the work I do for my business is around content and communication. Whether it’s client explanations and updates, consumer-facing writing and media, or improving the meta data and information structure for SEO and increasing conversions.

I’ve been employed full-time as a writer, formally studied literature and journalism, and taught writing, journalism and marketing (including on behalf of organisations including the Press Association). Out of the top handful of magazine publishers in the country, I’ve worked for, freelanced or trained at almost all of them.

And I then spend my spare time attempting to bootstrap a digital publishing company, which started literally with nothing. For a long time, I was the sole writer, editor, sales and admin person for any website I worked on.

So hopefully by now, I can string a reasonable sentence together. Although I still get nervous every time I start to write, and a compliment for work I’ve produced can put me on a high for days.

Which begs the question why it can be so difficult to explain the situation to someone who needs great writing and content to promote themselves, or their business. And why they often find it hard to accept that they might not be doing the best possible job – especially when they want to dump it all on the cheapest intern or member of staff they can find.

Those are the times when I really wish I was a proficient coder. Or welder. Possibly an electrician like my father.


Nice interview with Joss Whedon on getting things done…

I’m a big fan of pretty much everything Joss Whedon has done, so it’s interesting to hear him talk about how he manages to do it all. And particularly as he admits to not finishing David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’. I’ve had a similar experience with 7 Habits of Effective People…

The full text is at Fast Company.


Some work I’m proud of…

I’m still getting used to the idea of separating out my personal blogging from the more strictly work-related stuff which will stay on TheWayoftheWeb.

But I still reserve the right to share specific bits of work here if I’m proud of them, like this blog post I published yesterday on behalf of my open source eCommerce client, Jigoshop.

So far the feedback has been positive on what was essentially the announcement of a price increase – but one which came with a fairly decent explanation of the reasons for it, and what it means for the business now and in the future.

It’s why I’m following with interest the Open Business movement, which is helped by my friendship with Dave Cushman, who has been increasingly focused on the topic for a while.