What can we learn from Michael Dell’s $99.5M investment in Red Hat? Personally what I walk away with is a sense of bewilderment. Not that anyone would spend so much on such an excellent operating system, but that Red Hat would spend so much time creating a paragon of usability and accessibility in the form of their corporate website and not keep their news pages up-to-date; and forget to take advantage of free advertising in the form of a syndication feed.
From time-to-time I’ve received some grief for being too blog-centric when it comes to church web sites, but I think as we hurtle down the road to mega churches in a media-frenzied, instant news world, we should take note of Red Hat’s glaring omission and avoid doing likewise.
Consider this, Red Hat has a website that would probably make nearby native Mark Pilgrim giddy with ‘Dive Into Accessibility‘ glee. It’s clean, it’s colorful, it’s all CSS and all usable – heck I’d even bet the farm that it’s data-driven. So why not then create a simple RSS or Atom feed of news items the Red Hat new page? This would give people the opportunity to auto-discover them via their aggregators – and search engines an additional point of entry.
Similarly on your church websites, if you’re posting recent events and sermons as a means of providing continually changing compelling content – and I hope you are – then you need to make sure to take full advantage of the rapid infusion of aggregators into everything from ipods to browsers. Considering the relatively low-cost of as creating a simple syndication feed and embedding an alternate content link tag on all of your church website’s pages, what have you got to lose? Consider what you’re losing by not doing this!
Anyway, that’s my ‘content is king’ lesson and/or ‘substance over style’ sermon from the real World today. What are your thoughts?