Whatever the online media mix I’ve always been convinced that a company’s website is the central building block. There are many beliefs that have evolved over time, yet this one hasn’t, I think it’s key for brands to consider the main website as the most important owned media. That and the development of an direct email program. The biggest mistake brands can make is to consider social media as being part of their owned media because social media are at best ‘rented’ but definitely not owned. If it were owned, you would be in control. Hence why you want to make sure that the central element of your online mix is something you can control.
It’s like we’re trying to fix a problem that shouldn’t have been a problem to begin with. The same reason why I don’t like to use the term ‘corporate website’. It defines the website as being a boring thing on the web that holds information about the brand, when it was founded, where it’s located, etc. In that regard I get it that we thought more exciting things could happen on social media. But it’s because we’re using it wrong, look at what Coca-Cola is doing with its corporate website, now here’s something interesting. How come nobody is doing that?
Think about the traffic and engagement you could have created if you would have invested in it all along. Think about how search made every page a homepage and how we can use to design user experiences. How you should invest a lot of effort in making sure there’s no link left behind when you change platforms.
Seriously. Do use Facebook and other platforms to experiment with different types of user engagement, I do too, it’s fun and there’s some really good stuff that can be done. But first and foremost, reconsider the importance of your website and your own email program, that’s an investment in the future that is never lost. It’s the smart thing to do. It’s yours. And quite frankly, if you cannot think of anything interesting to do with your own website, why do you think that problem will fix itself when creating content for social media?
The YTTM offers an interesting way to watch videos from a specific year in between 1860 and 2010. Pick a year and choose one or more categories (video games, television, commercials, …) and you get a video that fits the selection.
It’s been a really long time since I surfed for the last time, too long really. I used to go windsurfing during the summer holidays when I was younger and always loved to be out there on the board. I might not have been great at it, but enjoyed it as much as the next guy.
Part of why I like the ‘i surf because’ campaign from Billabong so much is that it seems to capture really well what surfing is all about. Nice visual experience, the right music and the question – why do you surf? And that’s exactly what Billabong is trying to capture with this website, the question is to you (surfers), why do you surf?
This place is now almost 5 years old. And it has outgrown itself a bit. When I started blogging it was the center of my online presence, it was pretty much the only place that allowed me to ventilate thoughts as well as share the things that I liked. Over the last 5 years that has obviously changed quite a bit and over the last few weeks and months I’ve been feeling more and more unhappy with how this blog fitted in the total picture. With regular activity on Delicious, Twitter, Flickr, … and plenty of other places I’ve come to the decision that I need to make some changes to this blog that are beyond what WordPress.com allows me to do. That’s one reason.
Another reason why there’s a lot less activity here has something to do with planning. During my trip last weekend to NYC I came to realize that most of my blogging activity in the past was organized around the frequent trips/flights for work. With an average of one trip per 10 days or so, you can imagine that all the time at airports, planes, hotelrooms, … where ideal to organize your thoughts and do some writing. All that changed some 9 months ago when I left Microsoft, but it was only during that flight last week that it hit me how much I was organized around all that travel. And as such why I found it harder to find the time to write stuff recently.
All of that made me decide it’s time for something new. I’ve got a pretty good idea of what that might be, but not yet by who and when I can change it all. What is certain is that crossthebreeze.com will always be the center of my online presence, that it should be a place that connects everything in one location. Some kind of Friendfeed but then on my terms, or like Tumblr/Posterous but then with more options and where I can be in full control, or like… well you catch my drift :)
Care to help me out in developing that place? Let me know.
This trailer shows a the website project created by Andreas Lutz as part of a study project and is rather inspirational. The website uses video and sound input to control the navigation, so basically you navigate using gestures and voice.