Content management has come a long way since the turn of the century. Back then, web design and content management systems (CMS) typically set anyone back five to seven figures of whatever currency they had to hand. And then some bright sparks developed the idea of blogging.

Blogging helped many non-technical web users start publishing for the first time by stripping CMS back to its bare bones, and I remember hosting a contingent from MIT in London in 2001 at the Work Foundation where we worked ourselves up into a frenzy about how big blogging was going to be!

Blogging aside, I've just realised I've used four CMS this week alone. Drupal, in helping the CIPR bring their new website to life; WordPress, with a premium theme from WooThemes, in assembling a more basic site for a new organisation called 6UK of which I'm a director; MarCom Professional's mix of open and proprietary CMS; and I've even created a hand-coded site based on Matthew James Taylor's superb liquid layouts (liquid means they flex to the browser window's dimensions).

But the options for non-techies remain too limited. I detect an undercurrent of demand from individuals wishing to express their individuality without resort to the online equivalent of a crèche. So-called skinnable blog hosting services, and the likes of YouTube and Facebook are too constraining in my opinion.

The new website won't be a website, but a "mysite" if you like. It won't just host content, in fact that could be just a minor role, but my conversations and my social graph. It could be my hub for the collation and analysis of all the personal data that my household and I spin off. It could be my recommendation engine for anything and everything. It will be adaptable, tweakable, widgetable, without resort to anything more complicated than the instructions to my VCR... oh, OK then, simpler.

Watch out for innovations from the likes of Automattic and Diaspora. And Google.

Best regards, Philip and the MarCom Professional team.

Marketers Crave Budget for Web Analytics Talent

by David H Deans of Digital Lifescapes

Marketers everywhere seem to agree, it's important to have the full picture when evaluating digital marketing investments. That said, market studies indicate that marketers still consider the click-through their main form of measurement -- despite its flaws.

eMarketer reports that a 2010 survey performed by Web analytics service Omniture showed that marketers were unable to measure marketing effectiveness across the typical purchase life-cycle.

Asked which metrics would give them the most actionable insights, marketers said marketing cost, orders, average order size and conversion rate. More...

Web usability - lawyers beat cinemas

by Walter Adamson of NewLeaseG2M

In the Software as a Service world a lot of attention is paid to designing a web interface which gets people to qualify and "try before they buy" with the least friction.

The lawyers

I was intrigued to read in the financial press today how a firm of litigation lawyers spend a lot of time and effort focusing on usability (UI) and performance before they launched a recent class action.

The class action, in Australia, is against the 5 banks of the local oligopoly and their penalty fees. More...

What PPC ad spending can tell you about the UK PR sector and other digital tales

by Andrew Smith of escherman

As part of a recent SEO analysis of the websites of PR Week’s Top 150 agencies (*), we found that only 37pc of them contained the keyword term “PR” in their home page titles. And barely 15pc used the term “public relations” (a fairly bog standard SEO technique). We then realised that many firms referred to themselves as communications agencies and/or consultancies. So perhaps they were optimising on these terms? Nope. A mere six agencies had either of these terms in their page titles.  More...

Social Media in Small Business is Anything But Small

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

In celebration of National Small Business Week…

For entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, and consultants, one of the most exciting prospects of social media, lies in the ability to dramatically amplify your visibility and value proposition among existing and potential stakeholders. Social Media finally places small, local and emerging businesses in the spotlight in ways that up until this point, were largely unattainable.

New Media is rapidly shifting the landscape of how people find and share information and much of it isn’t just moving online, it’s connecting people in ways that weave a dedicated network of prospects and advocates within networks that invite your value-added participation. More...

CIPR Digital Impact Conference

by Philip Sheldrake of Influence Crowd LLP

The CIPR hosted a smashing event on Monday focusing on the impact of digital and attracting delegates from all sectors as well as a mix of in-house and agency.

I was given a half hour slot to throw my perspectives into the mix, and I decided I'd focus in on the following assertion:

It's my opinion that the things people think have change haven't, but some things have changed that aren't yet widely understood.

Here's my slidestack and I'd love to hear your thoughts. More...

Online video rocks as a global marketing channel

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

I’m frequently asked about reaching international audiences. With language differences and widely varying social networking sites (such as Hyves in the Netherlands), how do marketers reach a global audience?

Huge brands should localize. But if you're a smaller organization, video works great. You can imbed a video in most Web platforms and social networking sites around the world. Watch this short (1:16) video where I ask people in various countries if they watch video online. Show the video to your skeptical boss. More...

Will the iPad kill print? Will it hell

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Image via Wikipedia I returned to the NEC, Birmingham today to participate in PIRA’s Great Print Debates for a session that pitched the iPad against print.

The iPad will no more spell the end of print than any previous generation of technology. Radios, TVs, PCs, CD-ROMs and the internet were all at one time set to hasten the demise of print.

The iPad is simply another device in the ongoing narrative of an industry reeling from the shift towards advertising online, the internet as a low cost real time distribution platform, and competition for consumer attention from screen based media. More...

Not all customers are equal in social media

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Image via Wikipedia

We’re only beginning to see the use of Twitter for customer service. Yet the expectation of brands that use the channel is increasing all the time. Businesses may start prioritising engagement with customers on Twitter according to their influence. This was Brian Solis’ prediction speaking at Thinking Digital in Gateshead today.

Solis said that measurement tools such as Klout enabled brands to determine the influence of a Twitter user and prioritise their response accordingly. More...

New Segmentation: a Source of IPTV Innovation

by David H Deans of Digital Lifescapes

Five years ago, I recall when the incumbent Telcos in the U.S. were making plans to launch their IPTV services, and I remember being hopeful that this could be the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the pay-TV industry.

The market opportunities for innovative video entertainment offerings were unlimited -- due to the lack of meaningful differentiation among the legacy cable and satellite pay-TV service providers.

Unfortunately, the results thus far have been disappointing to me -- since most IPTV offerings merely mimic the legacy channel-centric tiered approach to video delivery, with little inventive design that utilizes the inherent capabilities of IP-based platforms. More...

Current Themes in Social Marketing

by Stephan Dahl of MIddlesex University

Social Marketing Quarterly, the main scholarly outlet in the social marketing field, has published “Current Themes in Social Marketing”, looking at the main themes emerging from text mining social marketing research over the past five years. The article is available here (via Informa World).

Dahl, Stephan (2010) ‘Current Themes in Social Marketing Research: Text-Mining the Past Five Years’, Social Marketing Quarterly, 16: 2, 128 — 136


We Are The Champions

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

An important reminder that you are on the right path…

Social Media marketing is not new nor is it widely established or even understood. However in 2010, it will completely transform the way businesses attract customers and the way consumers find the businesses and services that matter to them. And like that, an overnight landmark, which really is over a decade in the making, will challenge business owners, more so than today, as they now compete for the future, right now.

Social Networks are no longer the playgrounds we once perceived. More...