Sometimes a company’s website bears little relation to its business purpose. In the third decade of the online age this is disappointing. It suggests that online activity is not central to the enterprise, when it has to be.
Those of us who laboured through the early years of digital faced countless obstacles. For example, the primacy of the IT Department. How amusing it now seems that the people charged with cabling networks, setting up servers and fixing our mice were also given a say in how we went to market. Simply because they were associated with technology. Rather like appointing the person who cleans your birdcage to pilot an airliner – simply though their association with flight.
After the IT department came colleagues who were early adopters of technology. With their enthusiasm for digital watches, PDAs and in due course the much-vaunted Blackberry (A device that required not just opposable thumbs but superior short-range eyesight). Their opinions about online communication were as welcome as those of the analogue marketer, for whom printed collateral was not a means but an end in itself.
It seems a wonder that we got to First Base: putting up our first websites. Now roundly condemned as ‘brochure ware’ – a strange descriptor for something that was at once less interesting and less practical than the traditional glossy paper document. But, up went the websites and off went a whole section of the business community, distracted by the need to refresh content and disquieted by not knowing whether anyone was looking at it. Continue reading