Is this Future Shock?

musings on how technology is changing my business environment

Archive for November 2008

Websites, blogs and content management

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Cromarty CG

Please, can we have a website?

How many of us get questions like that?

I did, and the Cromarty Coastguard website was the result.

So, the answer was “Yes”.

Recently, my local Coastguard Team decided they wanted to get a quick team website off the ground. Most of the team are happy with the internet for searching for technical information, they all use email, but they’re not really content providers of any sort.

They seemed astonished when I said that they could have a website, with their own domain name within a day or so. They were then a bit surprised by the number of questions

What’s your website for…

Usually the first thing you should decide.
Are you:

  • providing a service
  • sharing information
  • building your brand with it
  • selling something
  • or just learning HTML/CSS

We wanted an information site, which would highlight the work we do for potential new members, and provide some easy reference material.

Who’s going to manage this?

The idea was, “Oh, the team’ll do it”. I’ve heard this before, so wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to provide content. I’ve offered to help admin things, but I expect the Station Officer will take a lead.

What’s it going to run on?

It’s a tiny wee website; I’m not expecting huge traffic. I expect regular changes as we respond to incidents and do training exercises. I thought I’d better get a content management system(CMS) . I’d heard about Joomla and Drupal… but I’d also read about using WordPress as a CMS. I blog with it, so am familiar with it. I’d been thinking about moving a couple of other hobby sites onto WordPress, so this was an ideal opportunity.

So, our website runs on WordPress.com, with its own domain name. I’ll watch the stats with interest, and see how many members author content for it – and look for any links for other coastguard sites.

From request to up took 2 days; much of which was finding content and getting the domain name up on WordPress.com. I’d certainly use WordPress again for a hobby/small site.

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Written by SteveEllwood

November 25, 2008 at 10:36 am

Giving customers what they want

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or, are we dinosaurs?

@jobsworth has written another thought provoking post on the customer’s voice and choice, and I commend it to everyone.

We need to be in the business of providing the customer what she wants when she wants it, where she wants it, how she wants it. We need to focus on making things that the customer wants to buy, rather than trying to get customers to pay for things they neither want nor need.

There was a time when we could decide for the customer. There was a time when we could constrain the customer’s voice and choice. There was a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

via Faster horses in the age of co-creation

I think it’s fair to say that we need to know what business we’re in, and what we can sell to our customers – and in these turbulent financial times – what we can sell that will bring us cash in, and provide us some margin for our business.

If we can’t bring in cash quickly, and make margin on what we’re selling, then we need to walk away quickly from that opportunity and fix what we do.

Otherwise, we’ll sell the customer what they want, but what we can’t afford.

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Image Credit: whizchickenonabun

Written by SteveEllwood

November 11, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Posted in customer service, JP