As researchers, we use the internet a lot. At this time of year it is particularly important: checking the latest transfer gossip, finding out which z list celebs are going into the Jungle/the Big Brother House/appearing on Strictly next (delete as appropriate), and, of course, finding out what the weather will do today so we can work out how many hours we are able to spend on the beach. No, of course not, I’m kidding, we just look out of the window to see what the weather’s doing.
But, seriously, here at Latimer Appleby, when we launched our website, we made a commitment to keep the site up to date, particularly through posting a regular blog. There are many differences of opinion, amongst the experts, about how often one should blog or, for that matter, tweet, but we decided to blog on average once a week. I’m glad to say almost eleven months later, we have kept to that particular goal.
However, there seems to be a growing number of websites that are victims of neglect, or are no longer loved and cared for.
One of the saddest things to see is websites that have failed to launch: those that still have a holding page months after you were first directed there. Have the owners given up? Is there some sort of creative design battle going on behind the scenes? Have the web developers disappeared? We don’t know, but it doesn’t say much about the owner’s commitment to the new business, does it?
Then there are the sites with copyright notices several years out of date. The content may be current, but you get the impression that the owners have gone away or, at least, they haven’t updated the content for some time. Recently, I tracked down an old work colleague’s website only to find the most recent update was in 2009. Ouch!
With blogs, it is as disconcerting. I was reading a blog the other day, and I saw the latest entry was 12th August, but on looking closer realised that it was the 12th August 2011, not 2013. Whilst some of the content was still relevant, a lot may have changed in two years.
Another crime I have noticed is the business blog that is started with a burst of enthusiasm: four or five blogs posted in the first week, or so, only for the owner to experience some kind of writer’s block and for the flow of blogs to suddenly stop. If the first few posts had been interesting, this is particularly disappointing.
Finally, closer to home, we find at this time of year i.e. towards the end of summer, some shopping centres are still promoting their upcoming 2013 Easter Egg Hunt. Again, a bit like poor spelling and sloppy grammar, it leaves the impression that the business owner doesn’t really care.
In our view, caring about what you do is actually rather important. So a bit like the Marmite campaign, when it comes to your web site: love it, or hate it, but please don’t neglect it.