Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Still, the complaints about content

At the Media Post blogs today, Derek Gordon is "Mourning the state of content."

It caught my eye because it involves other than newspapers and media properties. I do some consulting for small businesses, too (starting with my sister-in-law's catering biz and erstwhile restaurant), and one of the things I find myself harping on lately is content.

Too many people see the Internet as one big shopping mall and think if you just throw up a store front people will come - and stay. The Google analytics on too many sites show differently - high skip rates, little foraging into the depth of sites, etc. (Sounds a lot like some newspapers, too, doesn't it?)

But on the Internet, everyone is a publisher and the ethos is different: Give me some good content and I'll drop by and maybe set a spell -- maybe even buy something. "Engaging" is the new watchword. I've told my sister-in-law, for instance, that just once a week she needs to take 20 minutes and put up a little tidbit. Maybe a recipe, maybe just something simple like how to core and apple easily or squeeze a lemon without getting the seeds everywhere. Pretty soon that stuff turns up in search engines, and that's when the action starts.

Gordon also laments some basic tech skills, but I'd just settle for some content. He writes:

But I must confess to one overriding concern that grows with each new Web site I encounter: Too many business owners have built sites that are to some degree unprepared to conduct business on the Web.

Whether this is a commentary on our fast-changing times or the failure of our education system to adequately prepare our citizens for work in the 21st century, one thing is clear: There is a widespread lack of basic writing abilities and an equal lack of even the most basic technical skill. ...

But the thing is, from my experience, the problem seems to be widespread. Folks from many socioeconomic backgrounds and from every corner of our country seem to suffer from the same limitations.

Web sites are undermined by basic composition problems. Where there is copy, it's often unfocused, with grammatical problems and, often, misspelled words. Even when it's well-written, it's left to grow stale or fails to be interesting enough to be link-worthy. In terms of technical ability, too many Web site owners are unable to install the Google Analytics tracking code in their site's footer on their own. Even those who use a good content management system such as WordPress will have very often failed to employ the standard SEO pack. Mention HTML, and they break into a cold sweat.

Check out the rest of it. Food for thought.

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At 9/9/09, 12:42 AM, Blogger dan said...

Doug? did you get me banned for life from tetycopyeditros org because JJ Montabano complained or swoemthing? I don['t get it/ pleas edplain your role in this. if any


cc: Philip Blanchard
cc: JJMoney2, aka Mr Montalbano

At 9/9/09, 12:43 AM, Blogger dan said...

you should at least fess up and tell what your role was there?

danbloom at gmail dot com

be hones sir

At 9/9/09, 2:16 AM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

I have no clue what you are talking about. I haven't talked to Phil Blanchard, in person, electronically or otherwise in about two years - since the Denver ACES conference.

Haven't spoken to Montalbano at all.

Sorry, but the conspiracy theory falls flat on this one. I haven't even had a chance to look at TCE for a month or more.

At 9/10/09, 2:10 AM, Blogger dan said...

First of all, let me apologize. It was ME having a bad hair day and i am bald on top so u can imagine had bad it must have been! That said, eating humble pie, me. Sorry for this.

I tried to contact PB but he refuses to tell me why i was banned from Testy, all of a sudden, with no warning or explanation, after being a member in good standing for years, adn often contributing good posts to the online chats, and the only thing I could figure out is maybe M complained because you did take one post here off that mentiioned his name, so i thought if you censored my comments about M, maybe you did that since he wa a friend, but i was wrong. you censored it prob for anothe3r reason, and i respect whatever posts you delete, sir. So no I know that you are not semi respons for PB banning me for life from Testy. Weird. He gets a buy out from the Post and is sitting pretty amd then he goes around banning good people. cannot figure this one out. But i was wrong about your role in this and I humbly apologize, thanks for this note and the offline email. too. You hare restored my faith in fellow scribes. -- DANNY


''Sorry, but the conspiracy theory falls flat on this one. I haven't even had a chance to look at TCE for a month or more.''



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