So for the last couple of years I’ve had a split personality in my work practice — on the one side, digital engagement and social media in communications, and on the other, corporate web management. And the two sides of my work often seem to run on parallel lines with neither side seemingly touching the other.
Recently I’ve been puzzling why that is, but then the other day I saw these nifty sketches of various computing paradigms:
Source: rhinman on Flickr
And it hit me — the two sides of my work are rooted in completely different views of what the web is about. Duh!
On the corporate web side of things, my work is very much rooted in the idea of the web as a collection of tools, with the focus being the management of key tasks and online service delivery. Fixing or improving the website is my key priority here.
On the digital engagement side, my work is coming from the evolving point of view that is shifting from the web as media (remember when the web was going to be the “new TV”?) to the web as a social information ecosystem (web 2.0, government 2.0, etc.) The corporate website in this view is but one touch point, as engagement ideally should happen where our stakeholders are, whether in social networks or in the blogosphere etc. (& honestly, it’s mostly still theoretical for us).
I’m not too sure what to do with this insight yet, but those sketches show for me really clearly that while possible, it’ll be challenging to bridge the divide.