One of the things myths I’ve heard from attending my share ofÂ Word Camp Raleigh events is that template systems are somehow a magic bullet to a successful online marketing campaign.
Not that there’s anything wrong with terrific tools such asÂ Thesis, Headway, Genesis, and Builder; nor the premium themes one can purchase for them.
Rather I’m hoping that along with the discussion of getting a fast start with premium framework themes and plugins that we also remember what usability guru Jakob Nielsen said about ‘Information Foraging‘ back in 2003 when describing how to catch and keep visits from data hungry first time visitors:
The two main strategies are to make your content look like a nutritious meal and signal that it’s an easy catch. These strategies must be used in combination: users will leave if the content is good but hard to find, or if it’s easy to find but offers only empty calories.
Basically, Nielsen is detailing how to attaining user-activity goals through the careful crafting compelling content and the navigation to it – known in the web strategy/analytics world as a ‘conversion funnel.‘
So it is my hope that amid discussions on how to make our blogs lookÂ ‘different like everyone else’ via various rendering engines, that we also take some time to talk about how-to develop a sensible information architecture that best suites the goals of your church and/or charity.
Put another way, we need to remember that ifÂ “Web users behave like wild beasts in the jungle …,” then we probably want to avoid taunting such ‘Informavores‘Â with ‘canned content’Â when in fact only raw meat will satisfy their hunger.
In other words, just because a number of the speakers are justifiably and understandably using this conference as an opportunity to sell their template and plugin wares – it shouldn’t be to the exclusion of those in attendance whom are seeking help with all the other aspects that go along with establishing an effective web presence.