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The Labyrinth and the Five Ways of the Wide Stack Digitalist


wide stack digitalist

The mystical world of digital media and technology is becoming exponentially more complex for a wide stack digitalist. Experts push deeper and further into their silos filled with technical jargon, forming entire sub-cultures and cities around their skills, and leave behind a labyrinth of solutions (and problems) they never intended as they move deeper into their specialties.

People outside these digital walls need solutions. And then they come knocking at the doors to these confusing rabbit holes, who will they meet? Who will be their guide as they want to traverse multiple cities?

Enter the Wide Stack Digitalist.

Wide stack digitalist

  1. The Wide Stack Digital (WDS) is someone who likely lived in this labyrinth for a number of years, at least 10 or more. This gives them time to explore the cities on their own as a digital traveler, but also in the mapping out and professional building of the subways and cultures that hold these cities together.[i]
  2. They will have a home in one of these cities, a place where they first decided to sit down for a little while and grow their roots. Masters of their own space, they will be able to travel easily from one location to another, always able to pick up work wherever they go at the junior level at least, and do it well.
  3. They are generally humble when approaching their work. After all, they almost always are working on things with people who know far more then themselves, a process for which they actively seek.  Yet, when someone comes along that needs some help, they hold their hand out generously, giving knowledge away with every smile.
  4. Due to their travel, they will be excellent at integrating with other people, recognizing the unique customs and languages of the city they’re visiting. They can speak the local dialect enough to be comfortable and relational, and to play the funny but hard working foreigner everyone comes to respect.
  5. They are also humble when it comes to accepting knowledge from other people, realizing like a great fortune cookie once said, “Great ideas can come from anywhere.” So they listen to the experts, the front-line workers, even to the people cleaning the buildings, and always are watching for ways they can improve themselves and the world around them. They do what they can to build others up, understanding they may never pass that way again.

The WDS is a guide through this sprawling new landscape, and they can help businesses, schools, governments, artists and more navigate the rapidly shifting environment.  In fact, they’re a lot like a beautiful piece of art that finds you in life when you’re least expecting it. You may not know exactly what you were missing beforehand, or explain what you saw and needed afterwards, but you’ll immediately know one when you see them for the first time.  And then, because they’ll take you to places you’ve never been before, you’ll never want to let them go.

They’re just that awesome.


[i] City names come from the large variations in the various stacks of processes unique to the silos. So, a “Film” and a “Video” may have some overlap (Lighting, Camera-work,  Post Production,  etc.), but “Website Creation” and “Film and Video” would not have any overlap in their processes really. Also, silos can be combined for effect of course, so “3D Animation” can be combined with “Film and Video” for commercial and other work. For intents of their processes and skills necessary to produce an end product, the overlap is significantly different enough to warrant their own silo. It’s difficult to establish precise guidelines at this point, but some common sense is helpful.

These city names (silos) as defined so far are (with further examples in parentheses):

Audio and Music (Recording and Production, Editing and Delivery)
Film and Video (Pre-production, Production, Post Production and Compositing, Marketing and Distribution)
3D Development (Modeling, Textures, Animation)
Software and Web Production (Database Level Integrations, OOP Structures, Front End Development, SEO and/or Marketing)
Social Media (Platforms with Full Metrics)
Print Publications (Conceptualization, Full Print Design, Photography)
Information Storage and Networking (Network Security, Hardware and Software Optimization, End User Support)
Physical Media (Signage, Expo Installations, etc)


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