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Author: Paul Grimsley

The Bare Necessities

Baloo would make a pretty good web designer – he would be in agreement with a lot of the things that Steve Krug, author of Don’t Make Me Think has to say about web design. Keep it simple, don’t make people think – just stick to the bare necessities. What is the message that you are trying to communicate? It’s probably something simple right? You started your company to help people improve their nutrition, or you wanted to help people find the right home, or you want to provide a reliable recovery and towing service to help people out who are in a tight spot. The goal and purpose of your company is the thing that you should always have in mind and that is the thing that should be pushed. As long as you are focused on that aspect of your company the statistics will continue to go through the roof and you will expand. How does this tie into what you should want from your website? Well, people tend to over-complicate and over-think things – they build complexity into an activity where there doesn’t need to be any. If you are Mowgli, making everything more complicated for yourself and getting a fistful of prickles, then we are Baloo, come to show you how to pick the prickly pear. Web designers are there to make sure that when...

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The Jungle VIP

The internet can sometimes seem like a bit of a jungle – how do you get to be at the top of the tree? What part does original content play in that? And what is original content? Everyone remembers that scene from Jungle Book where King Louie wants to get the secret of fire from Mowgli – he wants that power. Louie wants to walk and talk like the guy who is making it happen. When you see someone who has a great website that is doing what it is meant to be doing, don’t you want that too? Are you tired of monkeying around with a website that does nothing for you? When you look at a site that is doing it right, it has great flows, and high traffic, good hit rates, and a lot of interaction with the people who are landing on the site. You want some of that magic for yourself. How do you go about getting it? Everyone is looking to drive people to their website, but not everyone knows how to make that happen. It isn’t just a case of copy and paste and change the names; parroting what you read on another site and just changing the window dressing so that it looks like something you created. No, you want to be giving the person who comes to your site something...

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At the Watering Hole

Not everyone gathers at the same watering hole, and the choice of watering hole is going to depend on how the person consumes the data which streams into their lives in a constant unending flow. You want to have a bit more choice and be able to roam freely around the different gathering places and target the herds there, so your own dissemination tools will likewise have to be a little more varied. Twitter, as an SMS analogue, has a lot of parallels in the way it organizes data with how people who spend a lot of time texting are used to viewing their information. Facebook might be considered a slightly more traditional magazine format with the three columns, picture, and by-line on the posts. Myspace, despite trying to be different, by opting for a horizontally integrated feed moves left to right, and so falls into patterns of reading that closely mimics how we read a book. The point is you can play to the strengths of these different formats and target your messaging accordingly to best take advantage of the way different groups of customers are likely to see your companies information. Your website, if you are updating it regularly with new original content, which is the ideal scene; has tools which allow you to crunch down whatever data you have and spew it out in a number...

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The Birds are Singing in the Trees – Tweeting

Do you have a Twitter account? If not, why not? Most people have heard of the elevator pitch – being able to sell your product in the time it takes the elevator to get you and your prospective client to whatever floor you need to be on. Well, the tweet is a condensation or text version of that. You can generate interest in what is happening with your company and instantly communicate in a way that doesn’t take too much effort on the part of you or the consumer. 140 characters to snag their interest. If you build up an audience of followers then you have a captive group of people that have opted in to receive information from you, which is already a reach, and if they have their Twitter stream hooked up to their phones, which most people do, then you can hit them up with information that might not only get them reading your tweet or your website post, but you might also be able to drive them into your business and convert interest into interaction and a sale. Your generic tweet can do all that – and it goes out to your personal list of subscribers, but you also have the option of adding a hashtag (#) and pulling in a whole other audience of people that are looking for a specific item or service...

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Seeing the Wood for the Trees – Using Paperli

Do you remember when you used to sit down and read the morning paper? All your news collated for you in a nice portable format that was structured so all the really important and salient data was easy to find, and all the less important data was relegated to those pages you never got round to reading? Paperl.i taps into that without even bothering with the stuff you aren’t interested in. How many links or stories do you miss as they scroll past on your twitterstream or get buried by the Facebook wall algorithms? If it’s happening to you, you can bet that some of the data you are wanting to share about your company is getting lost in the shuffle too. How do you remedy that? If you want to make a clearing in the trees and allow people to see what you have to offer has the answer – using the format of a newspaper, one which you are able to select the content for, drawing from 25 different sources, using either specific sources or keywords, you can publish your own newspaper. It’s an opt-in service, and your newspaper gets delivered right to your reader’s inbox, and by carefully selecting where the paper draws its information from, you can make sure that your readers don’t miss a thing. You can control the content, the frequency, the...

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