The digital industry’s not really about technology, it’s about people. The digital economy is supported by technology but is conceived, created and developed by people, the heroes of digital.
But who are their heroes? Who inspired, supported and taught them along their journey and to become digital heroes?
Nick Jones has always been at the forefront of digital. Starting as reporter on New Media Age in 1995, he has served as Head of Digital, Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office, VP Digital Communications, Visa, and is currently Head of Digital at High Speed Two (HS2).
Who is your digital hero?
Paul Staines aka’ Guido Fawkes.
What have they done to win hero status in your eyes?
Go back ten years or so and blogging was blogging for nerds with needs to over share. Then There was Guido. His political news blog put a bomb under how mainstream media covered Westminster politics.
It became the must-read source. Must-read many times a day. It made the news, in all senses.
How has their heroism helped drive digital?
Guido was important for many reasons. It broke blogging into the UK mainstream. It presaged the power social media would unleash on the political process and it was the perfect example of the 60 second news cycle.
All this happened as traditional spin doctors were only just getting used to feeding the 24-hour news cycle. While Guido seriously challenged the role of the lobby briefing system, he didn’t break it.
But, the never-ending tweeting by all politicians and political correspondence is the sincerest form of flattery.
What the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?
Establish a duty of care responsibility on social media companies. See Will Perrin’s work toward this 5.
What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?
Spending nearly ten years working on government digital and only getting mentioned by Guido Fawkes when I finally left 10 Downing Street.