Being digital

A 2 minute read written by Chris January 30, 2015

An illustration of a 9600 Baud acoustic modem.

For some of us the Internet and the World Wide Web have always been part of our lives, for others it more recently became a go to standard for living, and then there are some people (who might not ever see this blog) who either ignore or are disconnected from the Internet.

It was a late night, no actually it was an all nighter for me in 1994 when I first downloaded Mosaic from the University of Illinois. Up until then I was using the web in a non graphical form, this was my first opportunity to discover the early days of a new user experience. The download probably would have gone faster if I wasn’t using a 9600 baud acoustic coupler modem.

After spending the entire night downloading, I set off to discover the new web. What I quickly realized was that organizations were still developing their websites for this new “browser” based platform. Fast forward 20+ years and the web is our day to day standard for everything from research to banking to communicating and even managing our homes using smart home technology. Not only have I been a consumer of the web during the past 20 years, I have also been responsible for leveraging the web as a viable means of both providing information and services predominantly in the public sector.

From the re-design of the City of Brampton website in 2005 to the launch of Open Data at the City of Edmonton in 2010 and then the development of the award winning Citizen Dashboard portal in 2012, these leading solutions were developed by great teams in partnership with great external partners. We were focussed on providing 24x7 information and interaction for citizens at a fraction of the cost to do the same in person. Developing solutions, solving problems and helping organizations leverage technology to communicate are the things that motivate me. That is one of the reasons I joined the team at Yellow Pencil. Everyone at Yellow Pencil is dedicated to making the web a better place, not just for their clients but for the people their clients serve. Yellow Pencil is not just about “making websites” it is about understanding how people and organizations communicate digitally, what works and doesn’t work and how organizations can lower their costs of in person service delivery by leveraging the web and other digital technology.

Whether it is developing a digital strategy, assessing a cities digital citizen capability maturity or developing a social media framework that works, Yellow Pencil is dedicated to making a difference for its clients. We have all come a long way since the early 90’s and there is still a long way to go in terms of being effective digital communicators. I am looking forward to continuing to contribute to the exciting transformation that is occurring and seeing both our private sector and public sector organizations in Canada up their game in respect to digital.