From our advertising agency: “We were planning on doing the entire site in Flash”.

Sigh… what a waste. No engaging content, no engagement options (other than signing up to an email list), no community building, no standards compliance, no nice degradation for non-supporting browsers (or corporate firewalls). Sure, the creative is clever, but…

I don’t mind Flash, used tastefully within the context of the rest of a site with substance. But this is the antithesis to all that I hold dear when it comes to web development and community building.

I suppose the best thing to do is focus on what comes after this… (That’s a defeatist comment – wish I didn’t publish that.)

Update: in hindsight, this post isn’t entirely fair, and probably deserves a bit more background.

The site I’m referring to is a micro-site concept in support of a campaign we are launching late March. It is mainly in support of a traditional advertising campaign (which I’m also not entirely convinced is the best approach to getting the word out, but that’s not my call – I’ll reserve judgement until after the campaign has run).

There is a view from the agency that the site should be all Flash, which I am concerned about for a number of reasons (most well documented around the web). I much prefer a mix of Flash for the bits that need it, and keeping the rest, including the substantitive content, as HTML.

So far we have only been pitched a creative, not a complete picture of what’s intended for the content of the site etc. (which I think is telling in and of itself).

However, it was clear from the discussions that they don’t view this site as being one that is updated regularly – and that immediately says to me that it’s not going to be particularly engaging for our visitors. One of the main “calls to action” is to get people to sign up for a monthly email newsletter – without engaging content on the site, I don’t see a lot of incentive for a visitor to sign up to such a list. Brute-force numbers might get us a result, but I fear this is a missed opportunity.

Given the short time-frame for developing the site, I can understand scaling back the site and then growing the site and our capacity over time. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem much of a plan to develop the site beyond what’s been proposed.

Perhaps it’s wise to reserve my judgement until I see what their thoughts are for content. The suggestion of an all Flash site doesn’t bode well, imo. Time will tell…