Why, Madrid?

Why, Madrid?“Oh dear.”

That’s how the BBC News website put it, when trying to be polite about Madrid’s Olympic website. I feel kind of bad for them, even though I’ve not exactly been forgiving myself, when commenting on the state of Web Española.

Unfortunately, there’s no arguing with the BBC’s point of view (“Right from the start, the technology breaks down.”) The fact that this is highly representative is frankly depressing. I still haven’t worked even *once* for a local internet client who had the right perspective: *cheap* is king here, thinking small the norm. Currently I’m working for a Spanish company but not one member of the staff, founders included, is from anywhere near Spain (I’m from the closest location, come to think of it – it’s only a thousand miles to Manchester!)

And that’s the way it is. When I came to Barcelona in 1999 I was mildly surprised at the state of affairs, but then again that’s why our Barcelona-based client had chosen a London agency to take it into new web territory. I kept telling myself and others “oh, it’ll catch up, things’ll even out.” I still find myself stuck with that mantra, although I don’t bother to trot it out anymore. I don’t think things *will* catch up or even out. When the opportunity to make some strides came, in the shape of the high take-up of mobile here, I had believed this might be it. But no, it’s been the same old story: no imagination.

[Update 2005-05-25: looks like they actually took the time to listen to some opinions as the site has been slightly spiced and they seem to have got rid of the “Why Madrid?” slogan… doesn’t *anybody* involved with their campaign speak English?]

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