Evolving the Web Strategist

Yesterday, I had a great conversation with respected peer Ben Metcalfe in Palo Alto. He handed me his new business card (or at least new to me) and I was pleased to see his title was “Internet Strategist”. He said he considered using the title “Web” strategist, but felt it was invasive of my brand. I explained to him that I would love to see all web decision makers using the Web Strategy title, it should be shared among others.

I’ll repeat that: I encourage the usage, terminology, discussions of everything Web Strategy, I do not want to horde this brand or name. I believe it’s a important role and we need more of these folks to improve the web.

Do you remember when the website was run by a sys-admin in IT? The public website for your company was a skunkworks project of an old Dell PC under his desk –right below his desk sized beer machine. We evolve, I remember when the term ‘web master’ was popular (I shudder at hearing that title now) as businesses started to realize that the internet is the number one medium in the workplace.

Now, web is an integral part of all corporate communication, both externally and internally, or at least we hope it to be. There are three spheres to master in Web Strategy: the Business, User, and Technical spheres, I’ve written more about the role and persona.

I look forward to the day when there’s a “C” level role devoted to the internet or digital media, Chief Media Officer, or Chief Web Officer, or Chief Communications Officer. It’s going to be that important.

To me, personal success is serving this community of web decision makers, so the internet can make businesses more effective, and lower boundaries around the world, that’s a beautiful thing. Some of us will get rich doing this, some will be famous, and others will just be personally gratified, it’s truly a passion for most.

I’m encouraging the community to join the Facebook Web Strategy Group, there’s a healthy conversation already going on within in it, and you can set the agenda, which is more democratic than listening to me rant.

Here’s how people describe themselves in the Web Strategy Group, I’ve pulled their self-descriptions off the public wall and threads.

Ogilvy Public Relations Singapore

CEO of a new startup, Standout Jobs

development manager for sonera.f

retiring web promotion specialist

Co-founder of a startup called GoodBarry

VP of Interactive Marketing at Luckie & Company

designer and educator living in Canada.

systems developer at a web-based, progressive nonprofit in DC

I’m an entrepreneur starting a SEO company

I run a social media and marketing agency based in San Francisco

I work in graduate education at Texas A&M

I work in the PR team at Sun

CTO of an enterprise software company which produces an ecommerce platform

Nokia on Internet related products and software as a product manager

Software Architect at Tagged.com

Design Director for bizjournals.com

GM of Interactive at a newspaper company

Director of Emerging Media & Client Strategy at 360i

I am working on my bachelor thesis right now. The thesis is about the evolution of online shopping in the luxury retail segment.

My brother and I run a website with the most Reggae, Dancehall and Soca videos on the web

search marketing consultant in Somerville MA

I’m a producer for a group of newspapers and TV stations in the Upper Midwest

Senior Marketing Manager at Farecast.com

Communication Director for a real estate investment, management and development company in Madison, Wisconsin

I basically help companies on business issues they face and guide them through with their technology needs.

I’m the webmaster for a large legal non-profit

ead of E-Business Marketing for Russell Investment Group in Sydney, Australia

digital planner at an ad agency in London

Prez and co-founder of WiderFunnel Marketing Inc

I have been working on the web since 1996 (wow) and more specifically on sports related projects for the last 5 years

online director for an advertising agency with responsibility for the strategic direction for our client’s websites

I’m part of the web team for a large fitness company. I am becoming the resident “evangelist

I’m the marketing and community leader for JumpUp

I’m the Interactive Technical Director for an ad agency in Minneapolis

at IBM in Melbourne as a consultant, my background is leading creative online teams.

From the wall:

Finnish media enthusiastic involved in several pan-European media projects

i’m an anthropologist focusing on online social spaces

digital media professional with strong telecoms, media and marketing communications background

run a website hosting and management business offering help and advice to my clients on all aspects of website management, from design to marketing and promotion.

I am a LinkedIn open-networker (LION)

a pixel/bit mercenary working for an ad agency in Minneapolis

Tunisian blogger and i’m working in a online advertising agency

While few have the strategy title in their description, you get the sense this group makes decisions for their respective organization. It’s a mixture of people deploying it at companies, consultants, and others, if you belong here, you know what to do.