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What's your website good for?

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A presentation that looks over some of the recent crop of social engagement sites . It asks the question - do you really need a standard site anyway and what purpose does it serve?

A presentation that looks over some of the recent crop of social engagement sites . It asks the question - do you really need a standard site anyway and what purpose does it serve?

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  • 1. What’s your website good for again?
  • 2. The increasingly social nature of the web: The growth in ‘member communities’ and From Nielsen (Apr 2009) online video outstrips that of web search, email
  • 3. "They (web site owners) still feel that their site is interesting and special and people will be happy about what they are throwing at them." From the other Nielsen (that’s usability ‘expert’ Jakob, not the metrics company)
  • 4. “Participatory behavior leads to better interactions between people, brands, businesses etc. So the real question is—are you designing for participation? Your answer should be, yes. If your Website doesn't do that, kill it. Then bring it back to life into something that does.” “Kill your website”? (David Armano)
  • 5. What happened when our website was replaced with a holding page Nov 08 - Jan 09? Not much 1 - New business leads carried on at the same pace 2 - Traffic defaulted to the blog ‘News from the Herd’ and other social sites 3 - We’ve since replaced the previous flash based site with something more no frills and built on wordpress
  • 6. Here’s some they prepared earlier - most social brand sites so far are agency sites, but not exclusively so
  • 7. The top left hand box, often the default for this type of site to serve up the normal brand info The ‘pioneer’ - from Ad Agency, Modernista, the site rotates between Google search and several platforms
  • 8. The barbarian group is probably my favorite agency Website to date. They recently overhauled their overproduced, low value site to something that is accessible, easy to navigate, filled with value added content and displays the thoughts of their people front and center. On the spectrum of Website to blog, it leans more heavily to the latter David Armano, Logic & Emotion The Barbarian Group
  • 9. “Rather than controlling what appears on the website there is an openness associated with the site. It doesn’t matter whether the information is good or bad, it appears. Nice focus for a company to be honest, particularly in this economic environment.” Dominique Hind Recently - Crispin, Porter & Bogusky
  • 10. “It's got a great storytelling video, but then relies on the community for content. “So, the site maps in comments from the Facebook page; pulls in Tweets with a certain hashtag; grabs photos from Flickr, etc. Super simple show and tell with a whole campus of feedback.” Leigh Householder (Advergirl) Capital University - US ‘Will You’
  • 11. The best non agency example - Skittles
  • 12. Skittles: Hit or miss? • In the 24 hours after launch Skittles had 389 Google News mentions, including A-List media such as the LA Times and the Wall Street Journal • 4000+ bloggers talked about it. When would bloggers normally talk about sugary snacks? • We can argue about the exact execution, but the fact is Skittles did something 99% of brands would run a mile from and understood - people by and large don’t care about your carefully crafted brand info
  • 13. And a completely different approach, interactive YouTube video from Boone Oakley Did it work? It’s got 410k views, how many agency websites manage that?
  • 14. Or you could take your site completely offline (Happy Soldiers, Sydney)
  • 15. The common thread? • A willingness to try something different • An understanding that there is plenty to occupy people online socially: When was the last time you visited a brand website for fun? • An appreciation that increasingly you are, a mirror of what people are saying about you • A commitment to openness, recognising that not everything said about you will be completely positive • Throwing the brand bible out the window (partially!) and being willing to lose more control over your brand offline than online
  • 16. "I'm looking at the work of a potential non-profit client now. They have a fine website: recently redesigned, it has intuitive navigation, good e- commerce and a design that projects elegance. "Yet despite all this, the website itself feels oddly static. "With the rise of the real-time update streams being popularized by Facebook, Twitter and FriendFeed, users are becoming accustomed to a constantly-changing flow of pictures, videos and new snippets." Martin Kelley, Writing on O’Reilly Finally - all a bit of a publicity Partially yes, but that doesn’t make it any less relevant seeking gimmick?
  • 17. Thank you! • Twitter - @dirkthecow • Blog - http:// www.thisisherd.com • Delicious - dirkthecow • Netvibes - dirkthecow • FriendFeed - thisiscow • Agency site - thisiscow.com
  • 18. Photo credits • Quinn Anya - http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/ • Hirsute Ursus - http://www.flickr.com/photos/hirsuteursus/ • Cronfeld - http://www.flickr.com/photos/haurum/ • Wallyg - http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/ • Laura Bell - http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurabell/ • Eay - http://www.flickr.com/photos/eay/

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