21 March 2013

Content Containers

Websites are just containers for content.  And many people pay web designers for the container with a minimal set of requirements for what to include.  A restaurant, for example, would want their hours of business, their location, a word or two about their reputation, and a few photos of how good their food is.

The secret held by web designers for probably about 10 years is that everything in the aforementioned sentence could take a week to produce, and many web developers will carry on monthly charges just for "hosting" the site, when it's an actual fact that websites are not that expensive to host.  Maybe $50 a year if you're paying for server space as well as domain hosting.

My thoughts and hopes are that this will all change.  My belief is that we can change the entire trend of web design and development with one simple revolution in thinking:  it's about the content, and not the container.  Your web designer should be at your store taking videos, and should also have the skills to edit and produce something on par with the quality of Channel 8 News, on a regular basis.  And that information should require nothing of you to post, re-post, and share in the network of people who already "Like" you.  That content should get those people who "like" you to "share" the new stuff you create, and that should get new people to "like" you.  This pattern should continue to the point where you are obtaining more clientele from the exposure.

Web design, media and advertising are about to collide, and like many things cultural, the trend will start locally.  Self-producing ones' own media is daunting because there needs to be a balance in quality and quantity, as well as a filtration process for making sure the better content is easier to find.

The Old Format
In the usual format known as the traditional "Web Site" you can see that "Content" is separate from "Blog."  That means that the "Web Site" remains largely stagnant, while there is opportunity for activity on a separate part of the site where the business is representing itself, known as "Blog."  That's where currently most businesses are harvesting their energy on promoting themselves.  

The question is why are businesses not hosting or featuring their more active content on their actual websites, and keeping their "blogs" separate?  The answer is most likely that the quality of content is not up to par, compared to the relative high quality one might expect of a website (which is sometimes the case).  The "Web Site" could actually read like a online news report about a businesses' progress.

In this, the arrows point in what appear to be random directions.  In fact, they show how Facebook directs people to the blog, videos and instas are posted to the blog, and yet nothing except searches are leading to the web site itself.  

An Automated System

The goal is to create a system that posts to the web automatically from a mobile device, on a fairly regular basis.  And the challenge is to make sure the quality is that it is consumable media.  By that I mean that the photos are clear, the sentences are spelled correctly, and it's conducted in an orderly way. In addition, it would be helpful if it were not that time consuming, either.  

An "Automated System" is one where you post something once, and it gets re-posted to several different places within moments automatically.  In other words, if you were to take a video with your phone, and then describe in a sentence what the video is about, the video would post to the website directly and then both 'tweet' as well as be 'shared' on your personal Facebook wall, as well as your businesses' Facebook page.  Automatically without having to perform each 'sharing' process separately.

More to be announced on this.

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