It’s stupid, on purpose

Anyone who works in the Internet biz, especially us newspaper types, should check out World of Ends.

This is a great article by Doc Searls and David Weinberger, that really gets at what the Internet is and what stupid (not in a good way) mistakes companies keep making.

One that’s particularly applicable to the online newspaper industry is this:

Perhaps companies that think they can force us to listen to their messages — their banners, their interruptive graphic crawls over the pages we’re trying to read — will realize that our ability to flit from site to site is built into the Web’s architecture. They might as well just put up banners that say “Hi! We don’t understand the Internet. Oh, and, by the way, we hate you.”

I’ve talked before about how easy it is for your users to leave your site. One click of the close button and… poof!

It takes more effort to take the newspaper and drop it on a stack, that I’ll recycle once it falls on my fiancee and I hear her cries for help, than it does to close a browser window.

It’s about the users, stupid!

Give them what they want, when they want, how they want. Whatever your business model, this is the key to success.

For the newspaper business, happy users means more return visits, users who are more likely to pay attention to ads (if they’re ads that users want, when they want them, and how they want them…), which means more revenue.

About Chris

Python developer, Agile practitioner trying desperately not to be a pointy haired boss.
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