Being a Creative Director in Interactive, people might assume that I might be techno-savvy, leading edge, early adopter, and evangelizer of all things whiz bang. You'd be wrong. You see, when it comes to what I know about the Interactive space, the information has been hard won. It's been a bit of a slog getting to the point where I know what I know. I'm not a technologist by any stretch.
I'm not phobic either, but let's put it this way...I don't own an iPhone or any hand held device. I didn't really start using the Web until the year 2000. I didn't really know anything significant about the Interactive space until 2003. I didn't even own a cell phone until 2001.
When I started in the Interactive space (joined Yahoo! in 2002), I thought I knew the basics already from doing some banners at my former shop. I didn't know squat. My poor Art Director at Yahoo!, who had come from Carat, taught me everything she knew. Even with Susan Oppelt (nee Sullivan) explaining, re-explaining and occassionally overexplaining everything to me (bless her heart), it took me a year before I really understood.
After five years at Yahoo!, one trip back to the Agency world, and the past two years at another large Internet content provider, I would consider myself about 60% on Interactive. The truth is that there is just soooo much to learn. And there's a degree to which you really need to have an engineering brain to understand. Further complicating matters is that techology is advancing, changing, combining, and re-combining so bloody fast that you can't possibly know everything. This time lag between innovation and creative person's understanding is really a difficult issue for the Web. There's just so much you can do already that it's impossible to get your head around what exists. Plus, as individuals, there are so many things we haven't tried yet.
When it comes to advertising on the Web, I think there are very few creatives who really know what they are doing. And even fewer creatives who fully understand what can be done.