Then the Panel Discussion Went Off the Rails

B Y   T O M   T O R T O R I C I

Note from Tom:

Like today’s Virtual Conferences, the ‘Imaginary Conference’ I’ve organized is Covid-safe. It all just plays out in my head, and even I don’t know what will happen . . .


Moderator  Hi, everybody; glad you could join us for our Website Experts panel session today. We’re fortunate to have with us Annie, a designer, Phil, a web developer, Josh, a content writer, and Kristin, a photographer and videographer.
   To start things off, I’ll throw out the first question: Panel, we know there are a lot of moving parts in creating a successful business website today. But what is the most important component?

Annie  Thanks, that’s a great question. Well, obviously, design has to come first, because web visitors today expect an amazing visual experience.

Phil  If I may jump in here, with all due respect to Annie, y’know there wouldn’t be any ‘amazing visuals’ without expert PHP development and Javascript functionality to support them.

Kristin  Annie and Phil, I really appreciate you both chirping in here with your, um, opinions. But clearly you don’t understand that it’s compelling photos and videos that draw the visitor’s attention, with imagery that engages them on a visceral level.

Josh  Look guys, I hear what you’re saying – I guess. But you must all be on crack if you believe any of those things are the primary point of a company website.

Moderator  Um, excuse me, but let’s all try to keep this conversation on–

Annie  Shut up.

Moderator  . . .

Josh  If you’d wake up, you’d see that it’s the content that persuades people to buy the product, and that’s why the client is spending money on a site in the first place. I mean, hello!

Kristin  Oh, come on. Nobody but you, apparently, has time to read written content anymore. And let’s be honest here; all it takes to be a writer is typing skills. Most website text is filled with random gibberish, and no one even notices.

Moderator  Sorry, but I really must insist that–

Annie, Phil, Kristin, Josh  Shut up.

Phil  Here’s some truth: Coders make it easy for y’all to play advanced kindergarten. Without us, you couldn’t find a bug in the code if it bit you. In fact– ow, who just kicked me under the table?!

Annie  Wasn’t me. It was Josh.

Josh  Wha– wasn’t me! I’m not even sitting next to him.

Kristin  Uh-huh. Don’t believe him. Web writers are always so full of it, making all these fancy claims and promises about their clients’ crappy products.

Annie  Yeah and don’t get me started on photographers. ‘Look at me click the little button on my camera, ooh, working so hard as a creative visual communicator.’

Phil  Haaaaahahaha. You can train a monkey to press a button.

Annie  And you, Mr. Smartypants tech geek, I can replace you with a free plugin, any day of the week.

Josh  Yeah, and how much did your clients make in sales last year because you – woo-woo – picked their font and theme color?

Annie Oh yeah? 

Josh  Yeah! So what do ya think of this?!

Annie  Ug– I can’t believe you just knocked my phone on the floor!

Josh  Your laptop is next.

Annie  Noooooo–

Moderator  Well, it looks like our time is up for today. Thank God. I’d like to, um, thank our panel of experts for their, um, unique perspectives on– wait, what’re you doing? Why are you all pulling my hair? Ow! Stop it! OWWWWW. . .


Another note from Tom:

Look, I’m really sorry about this month’s post. I thought it might be fun to convey the crucial contributions of different web professionals in the format of a panel discussion transcript. Who knew it would get so rude and out of control. Ugh.

In the future, I’ll go back to blog posts with the web and marketing tips you tuned in for. Unless of course I get bored with that approach again . . .


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Tom TortoriciAbout the Author:  Tom Tortorici is an Atlanta copywriter and web content writer who helps companies make a genuine connection with their audience. His classes and conference presentations have focused on how writing, strategy and design can work together to grab attention and interest even among readers with short attention spans. In addition to working directly with businesses, Tom regularly partners with web designers and marketing agencies.

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