13 April 2006

Education in America

I despair for the future of this country.

Honestly, I had no idea how few people really know how to read. Or, to be more accurate, how to understand what they read.

My weird rant on the True Costs of Corporate Web Sites (aka $10,000 per Page) was all over Digg. While at first I found this amusing and a bit frightening, as I began to read comments I became annoyed and then depressed. Honestly, I'd never thought anyone would find this blog much less read it. And then reading the comments made me wish I'd been right when I'd assumed this.

Shall we clarify?

"Why would anyone pay a designer $10k per page? That's crazy!" -- You obviously didn't read the definition of "True Costs" in the post. The designer or the firm doing the work is going to get a percentage of the costs. Even in the "best" case that percentage is not going to be truly significant.

"Only an idiot charges for a site on a per page basis. That's so 5 years ago." -- Again - this is not about what you charge, but rather what a company's costs are. You can choose any metaphor and metric for calculating costs - but (perhaps oddly enough) the "per page" one seems to hold up best. And this is consistent across all types of site (be they static HTML, semi-functional hybrid sites, database-driven sites or true web-based applications).

"No-one can actually afford to spend that much money on their site!" -- At a certain level, that's my point. But more seriously, that is what large corporations are paying -- not to their vendor but in True Costs.

"I made a site for my local florist and they love it and it only cost about $500 per page." -- Good for you. See my definition of the audience I'm speaking of ("high quality professional corporate web site"). The 3M site - corporate. IBM's site - corporate. Your local florist - not corporate.

Yes - the post was rhetoric.
No - the post was not based on double blind research studies.
Yes - the post was guaranteed to get a rise out of some people if they ever read it.

But honestly... if I'd suspected anyone would read this I'd have assumed they would have understood it. If anything - I oversimplified the case.



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