I taught myself HTML when I was in fourth grade. I had a 56k dial-up modem, a bulky Compaq desktop PC and a stark determination to have the best damn Angelfire site in my circle of friends.
For those who may not know, the personal websites of adolescents were all the rage at the dawn of the new millennium. These sites served no particular purpose. They were merely a static destination to give “shout outs” to your BFFs, condensed versions of inside jokes with said BFFs and long lists of your favorite things ever. Essentially, it was the incredibly primitive precursor to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
One day, I was surfing the web at the snail’s pace that was customary at the time. I happened to stumble across some other websites outside of my network that featured the most striking graphics I had ever seen. Immediately, I thought to myself, I must have these sparkly butterflies on my website!
I soon discovered other pages that taught me how to obtain the HTML codes and add them to my own site. In no time at all, I could build basic layouts, update the page background and even make certain areas of text scroll across the page like a freakin’ marquee!
Looking back on it, that’s pretty impressive. If I knew a fourth grader who could string together code, even for an amateur Angelfire page, I’d be impressed. Unfortunately, none of my teachers found this to be a worthy enough talent to nurture.
My elementary school had a single outdated Macintosh computer lab that was typically reserved for fifth grade keyboarding classes. This meant most of our assignments were still handwritten or typed up on the innovative device that preceded tablets: the almighty AlphaSmart. Technologically capable or digitally inclined kids just weren’t recognized for their abilities in those days.
Sadly, we haven’t really come that far since the Angelfire renaissance. Even in modern marketing, most people don’t understand what enormous skill levels it requires to pull off a successful internet marketing campaign. Just because you have personal Facebook and Twitter accounts doesn’t necessarily mean that you can use these platforms effectively from a business standpoint. So what if you’re pretty good at stringing sentences together? It takes a lot more than that to create blog content that will both engage users and surface in search results.
In order to get an actual return on your online presence, you need a highly skilled digital team behind you. A professional digital team consists of people who are passionate, knowledgeable and experienced in what they do. Perhaps they all haven’t been writing code since elementary school, but they do possess the aptitude to achieve results.
We’re passed the days of static Angelfire pages and overly aggressive pop-up ads. The internet is a living, breathing and ever-evolving life force. Not only that, it is also an essential medium in modern ad campaigns. So don’t discount what a digital marketing team can do for you, and more importantly, don’t underestimate the talent it takes to achieve that success.