Happy Birthday WordPress

Can you believe WordPress is now 10 years old. It seems like it’s just exploded over the few couple years. WordPress now much more than just a great blogging platform it’s also a robust content management system. The article WordPress is 10 years old today: Here’s how it’s changed the Web on The Next Web opened my eyes to several things I hadn’t known about WordPress. Many high profile sites such as The Next Web, CNN, TechCrunch, GigaOm, Dow Jones, UPS, NBC Sports, TED use it as a platform. A statistic quoted in the article surprised me – “WordPress has 52 percent of the Top 100 blog market share on the Internet. This number dwarfs other platforms like Drupal, Gawker, BlogSmith, Movable Type, TypePad, Blogger, Joomla, and Tumblr”. In addition, WordPress says that it now powers more than 66 million sites! That’s pretty great for open source software. For me I’ve found it a great tool for creating sites and as a wire framing tool. Check out the article at least to watch WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg give the 2012 State of the Word address.

The Formula for Social Media Success

I recently read a great article on the Social Media Today website called “The 5 Pillars of New Media Strategy: There Is No Box”. I was struck by the obvious statement that “the formula for success in social media begins with first devising what success is and how it will be measured”. Seems pretty obvious but I come across many groups who have not set any goals for there social media endeavors. If you don’t set a goal how can you tell if it successful?

The author goes on to say that there is no formula for success. Each one is special depending on the audience you are trying to meet and the behavior you are trying to encourage. Actually, I think there is no one formula for success but many. Be sure to ask yourselves what is the engagement you want with may audience and how does that fit into my overall business objectives. I bet if you ask different 10 different colleagues how they engage with social media you’ll get 10 different answers. Some may be similar but each will have they’re own unique take.

The article offers the following 5 Pillars of Social Media Strategy to consider.

  1. Listen, Search, Walk a “Daily in the Life” of Your Customers.
  2. Rethink Your Vision, Mission, and Purpose.
  3. Define Your Brand Persona.
  4. Develop a Social Business Strategy.
  5. Build and Invest in Your Community.

The pillars speak for themselves but go to the article to read the details of each. The first and last spoke to me the most. Know your customers from their perspective and go beyond social media to invest in the entire customer journey. The author closes with saying “there is no box to think out of, only a blank slate and a series of unanswered questions”. Enjoy.


Write Off Google Plus?

Google Plus will not only prevail but have a staggering number of active users by the end of 2013. This is according to Dave Llorens in his article for Fast Company Plus-One This: Proof the Google Plus Will Prevail. The author states that expectations for Google Plus to be a Facebook killer were off. He even goes on to say that Google never intended to complete directly with Facebook. It’s an interesting premise and to back it up the author points to Google pulling the plug pretty quickly on failed concepts like Buzz and Wave. The real goal is for Google Plus to be the glue that connects all their products into a “big ball of awesome user experience”. Think of all the Google products you use on a regular basis: Search, YouTube, Gmail, Calendar, Maps, Drive, Play, Picasa and more. That means a lot of people are already participating in the Google Plus product. I for one agree – Google Plus is here to stay. Read the article and judge for yourself.

It’s all about the content

I’ve worked on a lot of web projects over the years and content, or lack there of, always comes up as a project speed-bump. Everyone thinks they know what they want to say and that it won’t take much time at all to write. Or they believe the existing content just needs some minor tweaking. What they always find out is that creating content takes much longer than they expected. Another content issue that occurs is keeping it up to date. A good friend of mine called it “feeding the beast”. Once you have that fantastic new site you need to keep it fresh.

This article that appeared in Forbes, Your Content is Giving You A People Problem, discusses the importance of content strategy. The example is for a large organization but the theories applies to an organization of any size. The article states that determining content owners and having a content czar are important to maintaining high quality content across multiple channels. It stresses the importance of a nimble digital content team that is no only responsible for overseeing production but also actively tweaking content strategy base on analytics.

The only disagreement I have with this article is the timing of the planning of content responsibilities. The author says the time to create roles and assign responsibilities is after the designs are set is I believe that needs to be addressed in the Information Architecture phase before designs are set. Content owners should be involved in the organization of information as should any czar that will be coordinating content post launch.

Email Will Never Die

With so many ways to connect with your audience electronically should you give up on email? This article from readwrite will make you think other wise. The medium is virtually unchanged after 40 years with 144.8 billion sent everyday. According to Ray Tomlinson,the creator of email, nothing has filled the space that email serves. As always, you need to know your audience to determine the best way to reach them. Email should be considered along with Facebook, IM, Twitter and others. Read the article Email Will Never Die – The Man Who Invented It Reveals Why.