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Archive for February, 2005

Back in November I wrote a short piece about the lack of innovation in corporate web site design. Today, I came across
this example
which takes this problem to a whole new level.

I know first hand that there is a limited amount of design talent in the web world
today but that is no excuse. This is just one extreme example but how many sites
out there now look almost exactly like Macromedia’s web site?

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There is a lot of discussion going on around the new Google Toolbar. It’s
currently only available in beta but several bloggers are already annoyed by
Google’s desire to plant links in web content containing addresses, ISBN’s, and
tracking numbers. This is a legitimate concern but I do like how Google is
pushing the edge here.

Web sites are built around usability and Google is solving an inherent problem
here. Why cut-and-paste addresses and tracking numbers when you can simply
click on a link and receive the information you need? We as web developers
have opened this door ourselves by not presenting these options to our users
already. In a way, we need to take responsibility for this. I agree that this service
should be strictly opt-in and Google has missed the boat here but we can’t place
all the blame on Google.

The web developer community should take this on as a challenge. We need to
provide these options to our users no matter what type of web site we are
developing. Google is pushing the edge here. If we don’t want to give up control
of our content then it’s our job to take it to the next level.

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Marketing is changing dramatically for the better. Seth Godin explained it best in
a recent
blog post
.

Companies that take advantage of new technologies like podcasting, rss, and
corporate blogs will be the marketing leaders. A company does not become
relevant by being safe and copying other companies. As marketers, we must
move away from the middle (example: tv and print advertising) and search for the
edges (example: search advertising).

The new marketing is not about reaching as many people as you can. It’s about
communicating to the right people, at the right time, with the right personal
message.

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Importance of RSS

Microsoft’s Robert Scoble took harsh stance on RSS today that I agree
with 100 percent. As a corporate web developer or Marketer, if you haven’t
implemented RSS on your web site you should be fired. Building a web site is
about building a relationship with your users. If you haven’t figured this out yet,
then you’re simply maintaining the status quo and the status quo is not
remarkable.

Remarkable sites will always drive more business, more leads, and have a higher
level of user satisfaction. One small way to do this is through RSS. Don’t rely on
your users coming back to see if you’ve updated your web site. Grab their
interest, let them subscribe, and call them back when new content is added to the
site.

As a side note, I do find it interesting that Robert takes such a harsh stance on a
technology that Microsoft has yet to implement into their products. The good
news is that they’re using the technology on several of their sites. The bad news
is that we must wait for IE 7 or the next version of Outlook before this technology
is placed in the hands of the masses.

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