When I first discovered the web I found a site called Digital Diaries which allowed for creative expression online. I signed up and was soon publishing sarcastic poetry about my life and receiving the odd freakish email from someone in Ohio.
I often think it’s a shame that the Digital Diaries site didn’t take off. Soon after someone came up with web logging and blogspot had some great software and we became bloggers. Digital diarist has such a nice old fashioned tone. It reminds me of Charles Darwin diarising about his horrible discovery that we are descended from monkeys. It sounds secretive and private. A blog sounds like a vent, a slapdash dump of copy on a page.
WordPress has made blogging very easy for those with a little technical knowledge. Backed by a community of developers there is little you can’t do in WordPress. It is what Internet publishing should be. Free and easy.
Being able to publish anytime and often is the secret to any successful website. Without this capacity you cannot test what works and what doesn’t work. You remain stuck in conversations about layout, colour and call to actions. Some people may even profess to care about the audience.
Mostly the conversation is an after-thought: We need to do this and have seen it done this way. Being able to say, “Ok, let’s test it” offers an amazing view into your audience. It’s humbling to learn from your customers. It also takes the capacity to admit to being wrong; all the time.
I am interested in this right now because at the company I work for we are looking at CMS’s. Our architecture is sadly without one and not being able to update anytime and often is a handbreak. It is dependent on the goodwill of a bunch of people.
And it doesn’t need to be like this. It should be as easy as blogging or digital diarizing.
The space the company I work for is caught in is the fissure between online publishing being hard and online publishing being for anyone. Traditional publishing was something for experts.
You needed to know colour, type, the difference between offset and digital and what a plate is. Online publishing was the same. You needed to know HTML, the intricies of the in-house system, what beer the sys admins like. It was something you knew or had to learn.
Online publishing today, is easy. So easy it won an African American an election.
Publishing tools allow the content creaters, whether they be marketing or sales or the guy in accounts to own their own content. And to be responsible for their success of their content. All without involving friendly technical people.
This is what allows Amazon to achieve 31% growth in the last quarter. Publishing is easy, merchandising is easy and conversion is made easy by a fleixible and agile platform to test, test, test.
The web is a serious business but it should also be a seriously easy business.