Type fast, dye young, and have a good looking opus. [We are Blog.]
One of the memes rushing through commercial site design right now is Content: Don't just list your products, give people a reason to come back to your site. Hire editors and writers. Educate the users of your products. Put up a discussion forum for your users. It's the new medicine for the e-site.
And it's well and good. Do all of these things. Hell, hire me -- I need a job.
But don't think for a moment that this has to be done to have a successful site. The net also allows what were collective parts to stand separately. Tomalak is my morning newspaper editor. Blogs are faces in free-form discussion groups. Good writing pops up everywhere. Education is found by search and referral. Sometimes it's at the product maker's site (Adobe), sometimes at a commercial advice site (Webmonkey), sometimes in a forum (A List Apart). One stop shopping isn't such a big attraction when I don't have to drive between venues. It's all only a link away.
I believe what I'm trying to say this morning is slow down a little. Yet another bandaid miracle cure for ecommerce is being waved about. I'm not sorry at all to say the web isn't going to stay still long enough to be treated. [The web ain't ill, it's just growing.] A formula-build for an ecommerce site will not guarantee success. All the commercial site owner can really do is give a damn about the site, give a damn about his clients, and hire people who give a damn about their work and then trust and support them.
So, yes please, let there be content on the ecommerce sites. Hire editors and writers and artists to create it and keep it fresh. Give clients a place to talk to each other about their industry. Just don't believe the success of the site hinges on it becoming a one-stop for everything. People will migrate like buffalo after information. On the web there is no fence you can put up to hold them in. You can only tend watering holes. Make yours very green and the buffalo will come, perhaps for the full service comfort, but in particular for an excellent sushi chef.
This site is strictly personal. I give no guarantee to the accuracy of my facts or my fictions.
© 2000 Owen Briggs
last modified on 11 May 2000