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Archive for the ‘Redesigning the Web’ Category

Looks like Google is breaking their self imposed word count limit on their home page today to promote Google Chrome. I can’t say I blame them. Google Chrome has the potential to make a significant impact on the web over the next few years. It ties everything they’ve been doing for the past 5 years together into a package that could minimize Microsoft’s role in the web.

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Four technologies that combined would make a perfect corporate intranet.

Wiki + Blog + Tags + Search = Corporate Intranet of the Future (the same might be true for Corporate Internet as well)

Is there a company that has figure out how to combine these technologies into one killer app?

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OK, so here’s the most disappointing news so far regarding the iPhone. No ability to install your own applications. Hopefully this is only temporary but if it is not, it will be very interesting to see what applications people develop for use in Safari on the iPhone. I’m looking for this to jump start a whole new market for iPhone web apps.

The download speed of the EDGE network could be problematic but I expect there to be a huge number of developers who will be using Safari to add the “missing” applications to the iPhone the same way developers are using Opera to improve the Wii. The early adopters of the iPhone are sure to be technology geeks who are willing to spend around $500 for a mobile phone. They’ll be the first to discover and discuss the missing features and you can bet there will be a lot of developers who will find a way to add these features. This is going to be fun to watch.

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A quote from Albert Einstein that we should all put into practice.

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. ”

I repeat this in my head every time I’m designing a web page or web site or doing anything else for that matter.

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What is it about corporate web sites that make them lag behind all other types of
sites? I’m talking about company sites such Oracle, Honeywell, and GE where
little has changed over the last several years other than the design. I see very
little effort to turn these sites into interactive environments for customers. Most
company sites are bland information sites filled with marketing hype that few
people will ever take the time to read. When will these companies understand
this and start investing in the best marketing tool available right now?

To get started on making your site more interesting, consider the following:

  • Start a blog – even better, throw out your marketing hyped product pages and turn them into blogs that are part of your corporate site. Have your product managers contribute to them at least once a week.

    Also turn on the comments, the information you receive with be
    invaluable.

  • Tag your web pages – corporate site search engines are some of the worst available…it wouldn’t hurt to fix this problem but tagging your web pages can improve customer’s search and provide a new way to find information.
  • Use RSS – Provide RSS feeds for your content. Data sheets and white paper feeds are a great way to update customers with the latest product information. You should use customized RSS feeds to generate sales leads. Supplement your email campaigns with RSS. It won’t be long
    before RSS surpasses email usage.
  • Simplify your home page – Stop putting all of your marketing promotions on the home page. People will not read a cluttered home page and it makes your company look like it doesn’t have its act
    together.
  • Graphics – Can we all agree to stop using generic pictures of people in an office environment? It’s safe and it’s boring. Try to stretch your ideas and come up with some interesting photography which
    goes along with your promotions.
  • Landing pages – create custom landing pages for your paid advertising. It’s a huge waste of money to send people to your home page. Your home page has the highest dropout rate. Why send people there?

I’m sure I’ll think of several more suggestions later but this should get you started. As marketers, we need to look for new ideas. We’ve gotten away from innovation and have relied upon our old ways to get things done. If you want to stand out in the market you have to lead the way. Stop following the old business rules and find the edge of your business.

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If I was Microsoft I’d be very worried about Web 2.0. With AJAX there is a huge
opportunity for a company to completely replace Microsoft Office with an online
version. For the first time, I’ve found myself having the desire to start using and
storing Word files online. This would be a huge benefit for me since I use several
computers through out the week. Transferring files through email is becoming a
nuisance.

One example that I’ve started to look into is gOFFICE. They have a word
processor ready to use and spreadsheet and presentation products are in beta.
They still have some work to do but it shows the promise of using your browser to
support tools that were once only thought of as offline products.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the first company that figures out how to
leverage Web 2.0 to not only build products such as this but leverage them into
an online collaborative environment. Perhaps Chalk will be that answer. Stay tuned…

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I was trying to remember the name of this company the other day…

http://avc.blogs.c
om/a_vc/2005/07/cyber_nostalgia.html

Nothing epitomized the dot com era more than Kozmo.com. You could order a
candy bar online and they’d deliver it in an hour. I can’t imagine why this business
model didn’t work.

Oh how I miss the fun and innocence of the late 90’s.

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