the internet ideas blog

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No One Really Cares

Sad but true, no one really cares how great your company is, how awesome the people are in your service department, the cool tagline. No one really cares about the fluffy text, fancy flash or any of the multitude of things that people tend to put on their websites.

But there is a good side to this rather negative post: When you keep the "no one really cares" in mind, you'll be more likely to write better opening statements, more creative responses to the objections you most frequently encounter, more engaging email messages - the overall reasons people should do business with your company.

The idea is to approach sales and marketing from a less egocentric angle. Be as hard on yourself as your customers are on you. Forget the fluff, the hype, just get to the point and make it a good point. Time and space are always precious commodities in advertising so using these resources wisely will help visitors to your website see the value of your product or service much faster.

Getting and keeping the attention of your site visitors shouldn't be taken for granted, it's a privileged that is afforded only to those websites that do a great job of responding to "no one really cares."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Happy Birthday DMOZ

Hard to believe but DMOZ - the Open Directory Project - is 10 years old. This little mentioned icon to the web has remained the only totally free, totally human edited directory. The volunteers who review the sites are located, literally, all over the globe -over 80,000 at last count.

Yahoo began with a similar concept but, within a few years, added web search to compete with Google. The directory on Yahoo is not used as often and quickly became a pay for review service, which didn't guarantee placement within the directory. ($299 for review, $299 per year IF accepted)

The DMOZ directory is much like a library. The sites that are submitted, reviewed and approved are added to the collection under the single most appropriate category. There is no key word based, multiple indexing of the site. So imagine going through an old-fashioned card catalog. You won't find the same book listed in more than one category and there is only one copy of the book on the shelf.

The significance of this is simple. If someone likes the website - if the site has value in terms of information or being a resource - then the website is listed in the directory. Yes, many sites on the web are NOT listed in the directory. If your site is listed in the directory then you get a better ranking in other search engines because your site has already been reviewed and given a "thumbs up" in terms of relevance.

So Happy Birthday DMOZ - congratulations to the volunteers who work tirelessly and sometimes at risk of insult to be sure that the sites listed are worthwhile.
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