Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Use HTML just in case needed

For all those people telling again and again about Flash Dead or long live to HTML5 or talking like a chatterbox about the future of Social Media web, etc., etc. I say to you;

"Use HTML just in case needed"

Seriously, I´m tired of hearing the sentence "let´s use flash correctly", so I´m gonna give you my point of view about who decides when to use Flash and why.

When I began to work in the Ad Agency where I work now, the new CEO gave us a speech. He is a specialist in ecommerce and told us that he was very interested in SEO strategies. Once the speech was finished I went to have some words with him. I just wanted to know if I had to look for another job (yes, that´s right! I´m the Flashman!)

What happened? Well actually we´ve done some SEO but the queen of technologies here is Flash, and the rest are just behind it. You can´t imagine how many media plans, microsites, demos, richmedia we´ve done here (and on record time). This is the argue which I´ve seen more from Adobe against the unbeliever Jobs for not having FlashPlayer on the iPad: The browsing experience. Can you do things as Papervision? Can you move things as we do? Can you do Augmented Reality?

Later on a new technical director came to the Agency. He told me:
"- Listen, Fernando! We are gonna use Flash just in cases we need it!"
Really funny, even more when he has to give me a hand with Flash. I always answered:
"- We are an Ad Agency, if you don´t want Flash, go to technology!"

I´m talking about Advertising, in this sector my conclussion is that: Yes, it´s worth to make SEO, but this guys from SEO are not going to do the same as me with their JQuery libraries or so. Also you find account directors talking again and again about SEO, SEM, Google and so on. I have nothing against people working on SEO, but I have many things to say against those people closing their eyes at Flash, wherever they come from (creatives, tecnicians or account directors).

So let´s think about these three areas! I´ve been collecting all the twits related to this issue in my twitter timeline. From all the opinions about Flash, HTML5, Mr. Jobs and so, I choose the article from PixelBorne Why Flash doesn´t shuck!

There are some interesting points in this article, first one is related to the creative profile of Flash. There are some things which Flash can do and the rest of technologies can´t, except Silverlight but it´s not as popular as Flash by now.

Sometimes I find designers against Flash, Veerle Pieters for example, famous illustrator and against Flash. How is it? And illustrator who doesn´t like animation? Honestly, I can´t understand it. It is a very strange behavior. And this is not a single case, I don´t know if this responds to Adobe for changing the mild Flash profile user (from Flash for designers to Flash for programmers) with version 3 of the Creative Suite. Anyway, knowing the creative power of Flash, if a designer does not bet for it, there´s a mystery for me.

Second area: Technology.
It´s not only a fight against some creative directors, it´s also against a technical director. First we should be aware that Flash can work for web, but for many other technologies (desktop apps, widgets, games, video, RIAs, mobile devices, eLearning, Art installations, ads on Times Square, etc.) There used to be the against Flash thought in favour of Ajax, HTML and JQuery. There has been also another movement of Java programmers migrating to Actionscript 3 on the frontside (many of the to Flex). The question here is: What´s faster, making it with Flash or with HTML?
What´s expensive/cheaper making it with Flash or with HTML? It´s all about time and money?

So your agency sells something. It goes to the creative department, there´s an idea! Then it goes to the technical director. This is the million dollar question: Do we make it with Flash or with HTML? Beware! The enemy is at home! I´ve seen fights with this. Sometimes what the creative department proposes to do with Flash is made in HTML and obviously the result IS NOT THE SAME. They say websites have forms or need to be indexed. Drop a Shadowbox! Do you remember the times when we used to make two versions of a website, one in Flash and another in HTML? We also thought that blogs had died but I tend to think we´re going back again, at least for the device market.

Third area: Accounts/Sales.

a) "Against Flash" executives: They hardly ever realise when a site is made in Flash (haven´t discovered that you can check it with the right mouse button). Sometimes they say:
"- Ok, the web is nice, but is not searchable, indexable or servible."
I wonder how many meanings of the words they use do they know. They should read Todd Perkins. One more: for example, el Farmville, the game where you are hours and hours playing... Is it made in Flash? Yes my friend... Is it searchable? is it indexable? is it servible? Game is life my friend!!!

Another point here for Flash: Games and porno sites warranty the future of this technology (great!)

b) ProFlash executives: I like this people. They really love Flash. They discover pageflip effect (yes, we know it´s about 10 years old) and want it for the customers. They discover video on the web, everything is video! Discover a widget, let´s do a widget! A game on social media. Let´s do games! YES YES YES, this is the interactive orgasm!

c) Just executives.
They are centered in strategy. Don´t want to sell Flash anyway, so you can´t talk to them and explain about technology.

Back to our topic: So, who decides where and when to use Flash? The budget? The timing? the creative director? The technical dept? The executives? The customer? The CEO? Who has the power in your study/agency/consultancy?
The one who has the power, does he decide? Steve Jobs has power, but you can´t be authoritarian on technology or technology will eat you...

These ones also have power, see what they say about Flash:

And you? Do you have the power? Do you have what it takes? Do the right thing as me! If you see a piece which does not worth Flash and is made in Flash, tell them. And if you see a piece not made in Flash which has to be done with it, tell them again!

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