We have come a long way from the original web world with black text on a grey background. I have had my website, www.rjbradley.com since 1998. It has changed from time to time and I am now considering moving it to the Wordpress platform and have begun that journey with www.rjbradley.com/blog. This is not strategic but something that just seems to make sense right now.
However, as we look around the web we have to think, "have we really come that far"?. Where does the WWW fit into the corporate structure with respect to budget priorities? With marketing priorities? Have we seen a new CEO appointed to that position in the non tech world who made their name by being a leading advocate of the WWW? We all look around the web for things. When you become aware, you start noticing websites with hideous designs. Information is so convoluted that you can tell it was a result of committees, everyone wanting to get their piece of the pie into the presentation, but it is not connected. Remember the word "web" implies interconnectivity. You want the good stuff, what you searched for, but you have to penetrate through the latest and greatest Nike shoe offering, the lowest cost mortgage, and cheap flights to the UK blinking at you just to get to it. Sometimes a background in detective work is an asset to find the good stuff. Many times when I look at a website I find what people include in their "about us" page to be much more relevant than what they put on their main page. Why, I do not know. Perhaps we have just absorbed too many advertisements in our time.
In the small business world, or micro business world, cheap seems to be the word that drives the web world. People selling the services, sometimes forced into entrepreneurship because of life circumstances, know this. They make their money by taking a couple of grand from a willing subject. They sit with the client and agree with them on most things then run back to their computers and put the website together according to what they think and what would require the least amount of time, because time is money. The results is usually using a template or just plopping in a similar site as previously created. We all know what happens after that. Here are some of my observations:
· SEO is not easy and it never ends. One trip to the gas station does not provide gas forever.
· On-line advertising is more than running a few ads on Google or Yahoo.
· Over optimized copy. Is it necessary to include the word "clothing" in all 300 products listed on a single page?
· White space is your friend! Does anybody ever ask if that image, text, paragraph add any value to the user?
· Coding-just like house painters, plumbers, carpenters, accountants, these come in a wide variety of skill sets.
· CMS, content management systems, that create more problems that they solve
· Flash hell, so pretty, yet so useless.
· Websites built on the HPPO principle, that is, the highest paid person's opinion. Generally useless too.