It's Not All About Online Content

While many of us in Online PR and Media make a big noise about strategies and content we often forget the people who made this possible in the first place

Many people know of the Mark Zuckerbergs or Brin and Pages of this world, however, there are many unknown software/online tool developers who offer their expertise online for free or little cost. These people are largely forgotten when people in the media make a big noise. It is only right that their efforts be noticed and valued.

With the rise of social media we have seen the all sorts of online applications pop up performing a giant multitude of tasks. Facebook, for example, has a variety of third party applications which have been by designed by developers around the world. Its continued success is certainly in part dependent on external application developers.

In Twitter's case such external applications seem to be even more important. From your Tweetdecks, to your Hootsuites, to your Twininfluences, to your Tweetlaters all offer a free service (at least initially) for businesses and individuals. This is all thanks to some clever software developers and coders.

Much of this is born of the 'open source' philosophy where developers create software for convenience before profit and can be modified by any other developer to meet their own needs. The open-source software licence does credit the original author, however, the software can distributed or copied with no restriction. People around the world from different countries and cultures come together and collaborate on fantastic projects which lead to browsers like Firefox and operating systems like Ubuntu.

Inspite of the contribution of these developers are still often looked upon with ridicule and contempt by many for being 'sad geeks'. I had a friend that worked at a Tech agency a while back (which will remain nameless) and he was very surprised at the snobbery they exhibited for technology and their own clients some of which were software developers! Their lack of knowledge of IT/Online processes was astounding. Unfortunately, it seems that this kind of attitude is still quite prevalent from certain people in the media industry even though their future business will be reliant on these very same IT/Online processes.

It is very unfortunate that the developers do not get the kudos they deserve especially as people are currently trying to make money from these tools. Content is, of course, important but it would not be accessible without the creativity and expertise of developers.