‘Focus on your content!’ My clients hear me say this over and over and over, ‘focus on your content’! Yet, this is often the hardest thing for many, many of the clients I interact with.
This is one of the reasons why, when I have a project with sufficient content, I can make Joomla sing. When I am confronted with a project and a client unwilling to produce more than five or ten pages of content about their BUSINESS (**gasps** NEVER fails to give me serious pause), I create mediocre sites in my opinion. They may be pretty, look and work well, but I always walk away feeling like I chewed cardboard.
The reason why I try to focus clients on creating content on an ongoing basis, and I spend time alot of time on this during training sessions, is because I am a writer, content creator, a content developer. I know how important content and regularly updated content is to the life of a web site.
I am deeply frustrated building websites in Bim because of the way in which the power of the web is undervalued. There is a huge delegation of WI people active as part of the online landscape. They order from Amazon, they pay for online services, but this money enriches America, the UK and Europe, and rarely gets funneled back into our economies. Why? Because there is a serious gap between what the older generation who controls the flow of money, data and ultimately the adoption of technology, and the current global market place and the ways in which techhnology is changing commerce forever.
While my elders bury their heads in the sand, an entire generation of entrepreneurs struggle to make e-commerce and social media relevant to their brands and obviously their businesses.
In Barbados, it is next to impossible to create true e-commerce web sites, engage in metaverse development, or for that matter harness web 2.0 for the use of our businesses. This is largely because the banking system has made getting a merchant account capable of processing online payments, or a Paypal to bank account linking either impossible or next to impossible. Yet people are using their credit cards to order things in the US, pay for Skyboxes and CONSUME. Where is our slice of this marketplace? Stonewalled behind an uneducated aging executive committee, that’s where.
The people who are in decision making positions, deprecate social media and CONTENT, and more specifically the online commerce that it drives, because they’re still holding onto old business models, and the web is still a brochure. I see very few organisations seriously approaching the web, and I am defeated in my efforts by talk of ‘no money to pay for that’, yet I see people pay tens of thousands of dollars for the most inept design, minimal or useless functionality, and something that absolutely cannot do anything for them in the current web landscape.
HOW, how, how, how in the name of all I consider to high rational mind and pure logic, can you be in a recession and trying to get your products and services out to a global market, and this country is producing such disappointing web sites; one after the other, after the other.
I feel like screaming to the heavens in frustration, and then grabbing them and shaking some sense into them, but I cannot do that. I hold my corner, and take whatever work I can find to do, and build the best web sites I can under what I consider to be harsh circumstances. I have gotten to the point–after fourteen years of preaching–where I am tired of banging my head against a wall here.
So my solution is to focus on education. Education now seems to be the only way out of this quagmire I see clearly, but to which the Barbadian public and private sector seem largely ignorant or in denial of.
I want to educate web developers, content developers, news media, school kids, government workers, anyone who will let me. I want to go into these people’s offices and spaces, and begin to really show them some of what is possible with the Internet, and how easy it is to actually harness it for real use in how they and ultimate we communicate.
I’m willing to start sharing what I have built up over the last decade and half with the masses, because unless someone steps up to do it, we as a country are just going to keep wasting money, or failing to recognise a quality user experience produced, generate crap web sites with continuing consistency, and continue to ignore the supreme importance of CONTENT.