what a difference a decade makes

Ten short years ago, when I started Mediability, I remember looking at my business plan thinking how amazing it would be to see it all come to light. Much of it has and it still amazes me. So a decade into this experiment called self employment, I pause to reflect on the changes of the past ten years that have helped to make my corporate communications business healthier and happier.

1) High Speed Internet

Remember this horrid sound:

‘nough said – or heard – for that matter.

2) Digital printing

The prospect of a colour job for a short run of brochures could cripple any project. With digital printing now widely available, I neither buy ink cartridges – I just send them for output at my friendly neighbourhood stationery shop – nor hesitate when a clients says “but I only need 25 copies for my presentation”.

3) istockphoto.com

How has istockphoto.com helped? Let me count the ways. In the old days (like say way back in 04) stock photography could also cripple a budget. I can now spend in one year what I use to spend on a single project. And I get all the images and audio beds my little heart desires. Photographers have a popular and populist opportunity to earn stock by submitting pictures of ordinary things – which, in turn, help to pay for the extraordinary art they produce.

4) templates, templates and more templates

While we rarely use design templates in our own web work, all our clients can benefit from the templated forms and programming that allow designers and developers to focus on engaging content vs enraging custom programming.

5) social media and you tube

Maybe that Kevin Bacon game is onto something. We’re all connected within six degrees. Facebook puts you in touch with like minded people through groups and familiar faces through friends. Twitter puts you in touch with anyone you want to follow or anyone who wants to follow you. You Tube makes everyone a video star (remember him- the guy who killed the radio star?). If you can’t afford TV or expensive advertising campaigns to reach your audience (and even if you can), you need to take a second look at social media. We have and it affords our clients – both for and not for profit – opportunities that simply didn’t exist 10 short years ago. Not sure which to chose? Start with a blog. Let the people show you the way.

6) i phone/camera/web browser/music player etc, etc

I remember thinking how much easier it would be if all my gadgets were one gadget. Then I’d only have one cord in my briefcase and one battery to worry about. It’s my lucky decade. Of course, I don’t like being connected to my phone anymore than I ever did. But at least I can listen to music and browse some pics while I wait for “the call”.

7) open source software

Any movement towards “sharing better” is worth a note in my book.

8) digi screens

Another great advance for creativity. Rather than print a limited number of posters and hope for the best all campaign long, the advent of digital messaging using flat screen TVs means messages can be timed, tailored and customized to groups of audiences. Expensive – a tad. But it allows for more creativity – and that too gets a note in my book. Value added creativity adds value.

9) google

Google is nothing short of the democratization of shared knowledge. And as with all democracies, everyone’s got an agenda. Some are obvious. Some are hidden. If you can beware of that, you can google your way to infinity and beyond. But before you do that, google yourself and see what the “democracy of knowledge” has to say about you.

10) people

Ultimately it all comes down to people and relationships. So to those who stuck with me on this ongoing experiment, I thank you. From the bottom of my hard drive, external memory, flash drive and even my good old zip disk (and if you can remember those, we’ve been friends for ages already). I’ll never forget (or delete) you.

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5 Responses

  1. […] Wallace Richmond has launched her own blog called The Blahgg Blog. Her latest post, what a difference a decade makes, reflects on her past ten years being self-employed in Salmon Arm. Ultimately it all comes down to […]

  2. A sound that always grated my nerves…when Windows first opens. After so many years of putting up with it, I discovered that there are other sounds one can use instead. No computer expert, here.

  3. I have said this to you in person, but it should be heard by others. All the changes you mention are valuable (although I prefer Dreamstime to iStockPhoto), but your boundless creativity has enriched our business community and our social agencies, and would have done so whatever tools you had to work with.

  4. […] Wallace Richmond’s article “what a difference a decade makes” on her blog “The Blahgg Blog (permanent link in the right hand column) motivated me to finish […]

  5. […] Wallace Richmond’s article “what a difference a decade makes” on her blog “The Blahgg Blog (permanent link in the right hand column) motivated me to finish […]

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