Thursday, December 12, 2013

Things That Aren't News...

The trend of taking and sharing "selfies" is nothing new.  Only the name is new.

But, this truly bizarre new trend among media types of taking and sharing pics of people taking pics of themselves makes me want to travel the country taking pics for a blog that is dedicated to taking pics of media photogs taking pics of people taking selfies. And then invite a documentary crew to follow me, so they can get footage of me taking pics of people taking pics of people taking pics of themselves... and, suggest to them, that a "making of the documentary film" film crew should also follow them to...  well, you get the idea...  

On the upside, the media is circling the drain.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Melhi's Helpful Web Tip For Today:

Have you hopped aboard the hot newish trend of darkening your website's pages when I land on them to force me to view a popup asking me to follow you on Facebook? 

You have? Well, STOP IT! Stop it, right now. You're doing the Internet backwards!!! 

Your Facebook page is supposed to be just one box of ammo in the larger arsenal you employ to drive traffic TO your website -- NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. I'm already on your site. I've already been lured in by the promise of fabulous content and the rules are the same on the net as they are in print media and television -- you have three sentences and/or three seconds to convince me to stay. 

So, what is the first thing you do? You make sure I can't see your fabulous content and you make it clear that the most important thing you have to tell me is that I'm in the wrong place. You tell me I've been tricked, that the excitement isn't on your site and your site isn't the place to be. You tell me that the place to be, the place with all the excitement and fabulous content is actually the very place THAT I JUST CAME FROM. Are you addle-brained? Because you seem addle-brained. This is like if I bought a magazine, only to discover that inside the front cover was a big two-page ad telling me to go back to the bus stop to view the ad for their magazine that I saw on the side of the bus, yesterday, that made me want to buy the magazine... and then discovering that until I tear out the page, I cannot open any other page in the magazine. You know how many magazines have ever, in the history of magazines, done that? None. Can you guess why? (Obviously, you can't or you wouldn't have pulled this boneheaded stunt with your website.) 

Your number one goal once you've successfully baited the hook on the line that reeled me up into the fishing boat that is your website is to keep me from jumping right back out into the ocean of websites that aren't yours. I'm slippery and I'm fast - you've got your work cut out for you. Good luck holding onto me. 

So, how DO you keep your grip on me? You do it exactly the same way it's been done OFF-line for centuries. Duh. 

You dazzle me with fabulous content or products that will hold my interest and make me stay of my own free will. This will keep me clicking around on your site long enough for me to see lots of the ads on your site that pay you based on views OR long enough to entice me to exit through your checkout with a cart full of goodies OR long enough to be put in a buying mood so that I'll exit through one of your commission based affiliate ads.

Right about now, you're wondering how you get me to come back again. If you've done your job with fabulous content, you're half way there - you've already made me WANT to come back again. Now, you just have to overcome the hurdle that is jogging my memory that your site exists. Surely this requires an in-my-face, content-blacking, eye-sore of a popup, right? Wrong. As soon as you do that, you jerk me right out of my love affair with your content and I'm gone, never to return. So, how do you do it? You let me think it was my idea to look for a way to be reminded to come back. In the side bar, at the bottom or at the tippy top of each of your dazzling content-rich pages, in a way that stands out, but doesn't intrude on my uninterrupted enjoyment of your fabulous content (same rules you already follow with your affiliate ads,) you offer me a choice of at least two options - one by email, one not by email - to stay in the loop or be notified when you have fabulous new content for me to devour. (examples: email alert, newletter subscription, liking your Facebook page, following you on Twitter... whatever methods you employ to drive repeat traffic so you have a chance to build long term loyalty among your audience and/or customer base.)