How not to fall in the cliché of the web 2.0 site.

8 01 2009

Don't fall in the cliché... stand out!Many companies feel they’ve got the need to go viral. They want to take their product and create an online revolution. Some people like Blendtech’s CEO made it possible. He took an ordinary household appliance like a blender and transformed it into Internet’s WOM for quite a while. What did he do? He started making videos of himself blending different kinds of stuff with his products. See willitblend.com for further reference.

This guy a several others pulled it off; it does not mean, however that you will. Ok, ok. Before you start calling me a buble-popper, give me a chance to explain myself. What I really mean is that if you want to pull it off, you have to know what to do and what NOT to do.

Now a days people are talking a lot social networks, web 2.0, bla, bla, bla. The truth of the matter is that most of them are an obvious attempt of driving traffic to a site without promoting them thorougly enough. Ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking. You could be talking about a mini site like Quilmes Verano or a promotional site. Sure, those are ok. The thing is that more and more I keep hearing about those wanna-be networks that never pull it off.

Ok, so how do I get one of them to work, you ask? First of all, you can’t be obvious. In most cases, these type of sites are made for promotional purposes only. That’s fine, just don’t let the user see that at first glance. An easy way to spot this type of network is when you don’t really need a network for your newly released product but you’re launching one anyway.

A good example of a properly launched network is Adagio Tea’s tea forum called Tea Chat. I don’t know why they named a forum a chatroom, but they sure seem to know their stuff. What types of tea are good for losing weight, upload photos of your teacups, etc., etc. You’ll always find good ideas, and if you don’t, your users will probably find them for you and post them.

Break the cliché!
Bring fresh not default templates into your site’s look & feel. If you have to, pay someone to design a wordpress or joomla theme that no other site has. Put some effort into your designs and break the a-dime-a-dozen type site.

Another good way of avoiding the cliché of the web 2.0 site is with some kind of extra advantage for the user. For instance, some sites obstaculize the posting procedure with logins, post pre-moderations, etc. Those aren’t particularly bad ideas, but they can play against you. If your site is completly new and not really different from other more established ones in the same niche, then you probably shouldn’t give the user a reason not to post. Avoid putting obstacles in the posting path at least at the beggining until your site’s a little more established and you should do just fine.

More on how to not fall in the cliché of the web 2.0 site on upcoming guest posts.

Dario Manoukian

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