what role does web strategy play?

From hybrid mobile apps to the Internet of Things: tools, frameworks, and architectures matter. They can position us for the future or entomb — or expose — our content and brand.

A web strategist’s answer to “how?” is “yes!” — even while being familiar with the itinerant nature of web technologies and with a deep understanding of the fundamentals of models, structures, and taxonomies.

strategy is choreographing a dance

Essentially there is the market in its potential. And there is the user at a moment of truth. A strategist choreographs the contact between these two experiential domains. Technological innovation provides the music.

Raoul-Auger Feuillet’s Choregraphie

As poetical as that may sound, it’s actually quite analytical. Often in soft operations (e.g., dancing, knitting) complex relations are broken down in order to accomplish a final work that is more than its pattern. As a live exercise, see Lucinda Childs’ MELODY EXCERPT.

data analysis — intelligent generation

Big data can be a mess or a ocean of potential. It’s time to step back and look closely: why are we tracking what we’re tracking? Some basic types of information have been gathered by default, but predict little about real-time behavior. This has social implications as well. We collect user data to measure our success.

TL;DR: digging deeper into roles & responsibilities

the work we do as knowledge workers

The work we do today may very well be preserved into future generations. We cannot presume what will be kept, what will be discarded, or what will be reconstituted. We cannot presume that future data archaeologists will be benevolent or simply objective observers. Just as some of today’s data miners collect and use data in opposition to a fiduciary ethics, future agents very well may manipulate data for purposes against an incorporated group. We may believe in, and try to produce in, an ethics of business or science. But surely we can image that our artifacts could be used unethically in the future. Can we also imagine a future ethical system in which our product is justifiably used, but against the ethical system within which we agreed to produce?

the us and the them

We are good data collectors, manipulators, analysts, generators, predictors, reporters, archivists. We are only compromised by the company we keep. Unfortunately, this could be anyone, because the data we interact with can be combined and repurposed. The possible combinatorics, along with possible future ethical worlds, make our work a force that shifts and shapes, but is also subject to, future incorporations of that data.

call to action

We can at each moment take under consideration what work we are doing with data, and how data analysis works. For instance, The reusable holdout: Preserving validity in adaptive data analysis talks about how keeping privacy also keeps statistical inference validity. We can choose to advocate for the beings who constitute the data. We can be committed to reviewing pre-digital behavior to ensure it continues to serve all stakeholders in an egalitarian, democratically liberal system.