I really like Jeremiah Owyang. If you don’t read his blog, you are missing out on a great voice on social media and web strategy.
I call him a friend, and want to be clear, this post is an exercise in why I think my views on spec are correct.
How will designers respond to spec? Jeremiah asked this a few months ago, nobody really had a good answer. Here is something someone can start in an hour that I would see put a major damper on the process. I don’t like this solution one bit, but I also don’t like the cause for the problem.
Jeremiah, as an experiment for his panel at SXSWi, is doing a contest on a spec work company. I’m sure the project was promoted by the host company, hedging on a positive review by the Forrester analyst. It will be fun to learn what his reactions are to it.
More and more, companies are using their google search term as their homepage. Perhaps the companies are not, but the customers are, they search for your name (even if they have already been to your site), and the top few results mean quite a bit.
If spec work actually is an evil as I’ve called it, would some culture jamming put a major halt to the ‘quick fix’ of the problem? Could designers hold ‘anti spec’ competitions, building high SEO pages on a company who engages in spec? A google bomb for questionable ethics in a way. Part satire, part raising questions. Similar to a Consumerist for design. It could be built in about an hour with a wordpress blog, auto adding posts with rss feeds, and comments with an image upload plugin.
So again, nothing, not an ounce, against Jeremiah, but in the spirit of an experiment, I would like to hold an anti spec contest. Send me a 500px x 200px image with your thoughts of how Jeremiah’s experiment makes you feel. If you want a link back to your blog, or stay anonymous, up to you.
Hopefully you have picked up on the complexity of this issue.