Paul Lomax’s latest blog, 10 tactics for Web 2.0 success, reminds me of many a late night spent conversing with him over some of the key issues surrounding internet development in the current age.
Of all of the points he makes his second, which points out the ideal of sites with a “strong, simple and compelling proposition”, remains for many media professionals one of the most difficult aims to achieve.
While traditional publishers and their associated teams are highly skilled at working with focused audiences, the mechanism for doing so in print might well be to work across many related propositions. If you take strong, simple and compelling (single) proposition as a mantra for online development, then the transition in thinking can be pretty tough, both in terms of content and design.
Online portals and single sites with a broad spread of content are variously in vogue or completely Web 0.5, depending upon who you talk to. So spreading your favours across many niches is not perhaps a sure-fire guarantee of online success. If your site had six great things but only becomes popular on one or two of them, do you ditch the other four or five, work them harder, live with the status quo…or what?
No hard and fast answers here, save the obvious truth that people using the internet often have an attention span measured in fractions of a second and if you cannot clearly get across what your site is about in that time then the potential for getting talked about and growing an audience is likely to be hampered at best.