7 habits of highly successful websites #1 My god is this thing breathing?

In December 2005, the highly regarded science magazine Nature decided to test the two most authoritative sources of knowledge both offline and online. In the offline corner was Encyclopaedia Britannica. In the online corner was the newcomer Wikipedia. Nature asked a list of experts to review and report on 50 articles in each Encyclopaedia. The…

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7 habits of highly successful websites #2 We should all learn to love Information Architecture

A library is nothing more than a large repository of content. This content is jammed inside books. The librarian’s job is to collate this content into meaningful categories (so Art is a family category under which sits Art History, Artists, etc). The librarian then presents this structure on the Library floor. This is done depending…

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7 habits of highly successful websites #3 It is not advertising. Websites don’t tease, they fulfil

I spent many years in advertising. Its role is to inform, entice and raise the interest of the potential customer in the product or service being advertised. The customer is then provided with details where they can have their desire fulfilled. Advertising does not sell. It pushes people to enquire and be excited about a…

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7 habits of highly successful websites #4 It’s not Public Relations

There is a fundamental difference between an organisation’s Public Relations and that organisation’s public website. The first is designed to control the conversation. It looks to create a monologue and shut down any public discourse. The other is about creating a dialogue, a relationship with the user. Have a look at websites that are controlled…

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The brain bomb

Some years ago, I would give a lecture to aspiring young advertising writers. My aim was to drive home the idea that “Writing is like sex, if you don’t enjoy doing it, then neither will the other person.” There is a lot of sex happening on the internet, but it’s not the kind that I…

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