“I have an incredible belief in the future and in technology. I even believe that we will begin to solve our social problems. I think that people are basically good and that the good qualities will prevail.”

- Tibor Kalman

a plan | come hell or high water.


“It is raining soup out here! Grab a bucket...”

“I've stuck it out here in the backwaters...”

“I let the tide wash over me...”

“I can't wait to see what the future holds in store for me...”

quote “If design is your bag, then there is NO finer place to be right now than the Web...”

Despite all the doom and gloom currently prevailing in the industry, the time has never been better to improve our situation by taking matters into our own hands, and making a difference where we can. But this will only happen if we can learn from and move beyond this latest industry cause celebre and create personal courses of action.

Unfortunately, the potential of the Web as it stands right now is being sorely underutilized, not just by the current scapegoat, dot-coms, but by creatives and designers as well. The opportunities to help realize its full potential (and, in the process, raising the bar on our personal work) is the challenge facing us now.

This doesn't mean that we're obligated to unlock the secrets of the universe or discover a cure for cancer when we apply for our next job or approach our next design project. For many independent Web developers and design firms, staying true to your ethics and letting your body of work continue to build and speak for itself will be enough. But if you are currently nursing some dot-com-related wounds and want to avoid such pain in the future, perhaps its time to infuse a new dimension into your work or career.

Some possible courses of action for a creative person working in this medium:

  • strive to provide value in your projects that extend beyond yourself and your own ego, whether they are personal or commercial in nature.

  • search for clients whose mission is compatible with your own. In doing so, you are more likely to establish a higher level of editorial control in your projects.

  • develop projects with a common theme that interest you, or specialize in a particular area of interest on the Web. This also leads to greater editorial control over your work as you develop expertise in a certain genre.

  • teach your clients about the benefits and possibilities of working in a socially responsible context in the Web environment.

  • volunteer your services to a socially responsible organization you believe in.

  • contribute design services or develop open-source projects that help advance the Internet and/or Web development community.

  • get involved with an online community of your peers where you can network and freely share ideas to advance the collective knowledge pool.

Granted, not everyone has the desire or ability to make the leap from product marketing into idea marketing and social responsibility. But for the special breed of creative who can, the rewards are often intangible and immeasurable. At the very least, you'll regain a little more control over your career destiny, and provide yourself some insurance against becoming part of another company's bottom line. At best, you'll create something meaningful with your talents, and potentially make a difference in the lives of others.

And what better shelter is there from the next storm ?


webchick is co-founder of media.org. She loaned her talent, vision and energy to the dot-com revolution, but she never sold her soul.

[ &*$#@~! ]

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