Old chestnuts roasting on the open fire

Old chestnuts roasting on the open fire

I’m just going to post this as is. I read a piece by Mark Kingdon To Flash, or Not to Flash? on ClickZ and was prompted to send a reply.

Most Donkey readers know how I feel about Flash, but this was different. This was one of the industry’s most senior marketers advocating irresponsible behaviour. OK, that’s an over-statement…

Anyway, here was my reply. Must flesh these ideas out properly.

In six years of energetic debate, this is the first time I've seen Flash v. antiFlash make it out of the studio and into the world of the senior marketing consultant. While the topic is the nearest thing we get to living in Northern Ireland or the Balkans (few other topics engender such headed and irrational debate), Mark Kingdon's words carry weight, so I feel a responsibility to comment. I don't want to bore you with the nitty-gritty of what the latest greatest version of Flash can or cannot do better than clever, standards-based programming. Lets just assume we all agree on where Flash is appropriate. My concern is what we as an industry are doing to the internet and how ultimately that will harm our customers. "Flash will continue to play a major role creating increasingly more sophisticated Web applications and brand experiences that will ultimately propel online marketing further." I agree, but Flash movies are not part of the Semantic Web. Flash interfaces and content are always islands of content. So I have to question how creating web services that do not build on the internet as a whole can bring long term benefits. What are we talking about here? Is Mark just pushing expensive Flash design solutions on his clients? Once you've hooked a client on Flash content they'll never go back. The buzz they get from showing their little Flash movie to friends and family is too great. I am concerned that Flash content erodes budgets that would otherwise be spent on good AI and big picture thinking. We need to present big, compelling ideas for services that reach out and grow organically over time. Modern marketing should be about steadily growing long-term relationships. Flash can be a part of that but only if rigorously managed. As an industry we need to guide our clients to create marketing that respects and benefits the internet and its citizens as a whole. So let's use Flash to create an interactive walkthrough, but let's not forget that true interactivity is what happens when you connect people. It's the bit between the computers, not in their web browsers. All the best,
Dug Falby