I remember the first time I posted to a Web site. The idea that you could write directly in the form and push the publish button was still remote. We put a lot of work into every article we posted.
At the time I was working in a smaller and highly specialized firm. We placed a lot of value on developing client relationships through everything we did. Clients could sign up for our yearly Rendezvous, get access to presentations and abstracts from the event, and provide feedback all online.
The monthly newsletter was actually produced on paper and mailed. I still have some copies of special issues in my portfolio/drawer.
Not much was missed then, because there wasn't much to compete with what we were doing. Our printed booklets were formatted as beautiful industry reports spanning a decade of evolution with original photography rather than brochure-ware. Almost custom written with specific clients in mind.
Fast forward to today and you would be hard pressed not to think there is a whole legion behind the Web curtain building nice biceps by cranking up content. Web sites that were built to house a family of four pages are now holding several dozen groups in remote sections.
Social networks have taught us to keep moving content around. With the rise of curation (cheap and easy) over creation (costly and chic) writing has become lazier and derivative. One day we might end up mis-quoting ourselves via a giant loop.
It is undeniable that the main action of the Web is sharing — links, images, mash-ups, stories, ideas, etc. When Google+ launched last summer, I provided an update on filters. Because G+ brought the two main conversations to the fore:
- grouping people
- filtering content
Based on the observation that social networks are rewiring our digital behavior, many have remarked how Web sites (or pages) are no longer destinations. Instead, people want streams.
That may be so due to content sprawl and poor navigation — we don't know what we have anymore, so we got used to consuming what we come across. Semi-process it maybe more accurate, as the nutrient has been taken out.
The content on our sites needs to be revisited with a view to educate, entertain, and energize. A well constructed Web site is the best place to build relationships and provide a filtered view of the world.
[image by Shira Golding]
Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
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