Friday, May 30, 2008

Let's do the time warp again...

Lost in time... and lost in space: Remember one of the days during our guest week when we didn't have a column? Well it turns out someone with a time sphere (Stolen from Rip Hunter, and if you know who that is you need to get out more.) went into the future and stole this post right out of my journal and then altered reality so we just THOUGHT it never existed.

Well after a climactic battle with the Flat Screen Monitor, we have recovered said post brought to you by none other than Justin Robert Young over at The best part is it kind of correlates into a post I made previously. It all makes sense now!!!!


There is a wise saying going around the internet these days: content is king.

Believe me, it’s relevant. It’s incredibly relevant. In fact, it’s tattoo-it-on-your-mouse-hand-so-you-have-to-look-at-it-before-
you-think-about-clicking-the-“publish”-button relevant.

It means that if you’re going to generate a web presence, you need to think long and hard about what your page is for and why it’s there. Who is going to read this and what would be the best experience for them.

When it comes to the web, you are not designing a house, where you can be comfortable. In reality, you’re designing an amusement park with entrances, exits, monorails, food stands and secret subterranean detention facilities all strategically placed to make sure your audience sees what you want them to, which in turn is hopefully what they want to see.

I am not going to tell you what is good content and bad, that is too big a topic. Rather, I am begging you to get out of its way.

So… does this have anything to do with magic?

Yes it does. Thanks for asking.

Too many sites for magicians try to do too much. Here are my press clippings, here is how to book me, here is my blog, here is a photo of my 4 year old punching a fish. And that’s just the home page.

Then there are sites that ask you as you enter: are you a prospective gig or a magician? At which point, both readerships are forced to go through one more step before you even BEGIN to give them content they MIGHT find relevant.

Both of these have one thing in common. They don’t know which way to tell the reader to go. Imagine if you pulled onto the highway looking for a sign to tell you how to get to an exit and when you came across one it read "I don’t know, you pick." Every second a reader doesn’t get what they want is another second they are thinking about going somewhere else to find it.

My suggestion? Compartmentalize. Your booking site should be a slick tour through your accomplishments with contact information readily available to take advantage of as soon as they are convinced and that alone. Your site for magicians should cater to magicians and them alone, look at your own online experience and think about what you like and more importantly what you hate. Build the experience around that but never stop thinking like the reader. This also means you should have separate URLs for each, to eliminate distraction as much as possible.

As for the picture of your fish-punching four year old? That scaly thug had it coming, leave it on the front.

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