Saturday, February 13, 2010

Trade me is better than a blog. Whats next.

Kerry Hawkins cleverly used trade me as a blog post to get attention about the national standards. This was a brilliant way to make political noise over and above the blogosphere. Blogs can become very ho hum, and it can become difficult to rise above the electronic noise and social networking chaos of the www. People only have 500 characters on trade me so the answers and questions were luckily limited, otherwise there may have been a few novels written.

This leads me to some new thinking around the next big thing. The man who cleverly sold his washing machine on trade me through some clever wording. How about how MacHeist they get you to buy software real cheap, and then force you to retweet as a term of the sale. Its all on, in the world of ewaste and some people are doing very well from it thank you very much.

So how does this have any impact on a school and what are the ways you can stand out from the crowd. Everyone has a web presence. Why are we wanting to stand out from the crowd ? What pieces of cool exciting web 2 software will be the next big thing ? How will we use them cleverly to get the best mileage?
Nowhere in the above paragraph was learning and kids mentioned, so that is also a question. What motives do we have to ensure what we do, fits with our school ethos.

A teacher recently said to me "I hate wikis", after agreeing and hearing the gasps from a certain facilitator and a charming DP (from the other side of Auckland) I thought thank god it's not just me. The thing is that we all have different view points on this technology and every angle is an angle. It's when we don't know the software, haven't tried it, then we wont be able to make the call.

So this rambling rubbish needs a finale :
Thinking differently about the web could result in an absolute goldmine for a school, it will happen, someone somewhere will have a brilliant idea, and it will change to goalposts forever.

If you want a web 2 presence then you have to be out there with ideas, contributions, comments, those who watch from a distance need to get involved. Kids who leave comments leave a link to their learning, and once that link is clicked the hook is in and the kids are away. GET INVOLVED.


Allanah King said...

The problem is that people who read this post are already involved and the skeptics remain the skeptics. The echo chambedr is stil reverberating on itself.

Mike said...

Good questions mate...

and got me thinking about one of the best authors on the topic of good websites, Vincent Flanders.

His books make me laugh my legs off but also get me thinkning.

The missing trick is 'Heroine Content'

My web crime here is to paste from his site rather than link to it, but one of his tricks is to ignore his own advice so there is no direct link to this text (he messes with your mind on this page to teach about the importance of using anchors)


To quote from his site...

In his classic book Naked Lunch, which I read when I was 15, William Burroughs described heroin as the ultimate product. Why? Because people would crawl through the sewers and beg to buy it. In the non-drug world, there are very few products that can be classified as having heroin's appeal.

How many web sites have Heroin Content?

Heroin Content's characteristics vary by type of site — but you'll know it when you see it! One global characteristic, though, is frequently updated content. The best way to get people to come back to your site again and again is by having content they need, and then updating this content on a regular basis.

How do you create Heroin Content? The answer is, it depends on the likes and dislikes of your audience. Remember, it's what your audience wants that counts. What I consider Heroin Content is somebody else's Quinine Content.

Here are some thoughts about web content.

* Does your content solve your customers' problems or does it create problems?
* Does your content match your audience's expectations?
* Have you determined the purpose of your site?
* Do you know your target audience?
* Ask yourself: "What content do I have that would cause anybody in their right mind to visit my site a second, third, or fourth time?" This is extremely important. You might con (seduce) someone to visit your site once, but why would they want to come back a second, third, or fourth time? If you can't answer this question, you really shouldn't have a web site.
* Is the content technically correct?
* Does your customer need to know the content you're presenting?
* Is the content current and updated frequently?
* Can people find the content they're looking for?
* Does my site have Heroin Content?

I just got through reading that Bill Gates wants to start a blog. Why would anyone in their right mind want to read it? Do you think it will contain Heroin Content? As Seth Godin brilliantly points out, blogs only work when they meet four of the following five conditions:

1. Candor
2. Urgency
3. Timeliness
4. Pithiness
5. Controversy

Content Trumps Design. PostSecret is poorly designed. You have purple links on a black background, small text that doesn’t contrast well with the background, lime green headers, a page that goes on and on, content that only changes once a week, and a poorly designed logo. The postcards are often hard-to-read, especially on a small monitor.

The content, however, is extraordinary and ever since I discovered the site, I’ve visited it every week. Well, every week but the week I had brain surgery . This site is proof that content is much more important than design. Yes, my comments about the design are accurate, but meaningless because the site has Heroin Content.

Before you start saying, "My site also has Heroin Content so I don't have to worry about the design," let me point out a small fact. Your site doesn't have Heroin Content. has it, YouTube borrows a lot of it, and Google is another site that has Heroin Content.

Forget about Search Engine Optimization tricks.One of the sites featured as a Daily Sucker hasn't spent a dime on optimization and his home page has a PageRank of 8, which is God-like. It's content, content, content that gets you ranked highly and gets you to the top of the search engines (along with other elements such as inbound links).

Jaco Broodryk said...

I think the key to all of this is in your last paragraph - get involved. Don't worry about all the other stuff - that can come later. Just make a start!

TBH: I have sometimes been a bit frustrated that not that many people read my blog. But I have now started to change my thinking a bit. Maybe the value lies more in my reflection and clarifying my thoughts than in who reads it.

Podgorani said...

Well we have a few tips from "mike" who has hit lots of nails on the head. The heroin (intentionally spelt) content is what people crave. In a school context it is all about content. Will get the book mate sounds like a laugh.
Yes Allanah it is all about the converted, but we must continue to lead a horse to water.
I think Jaco that you can read some read crap in blogs and see a whole bunch of copied ideas re-written so the editor sounds important (and they have heaps of hits). To me i try and relate a real life story to some sort of theory or idea, im not really into linking off too much, but thats my recipe and that seems to decrease the hits because im not making the connections to get the hits, but who gives a shit! It is about reflection and clarifying ideas and thoughts, and hanging them out there to be hung.
I love the way Ando has just said i'll copy it and I have copied it. Thats the way to roll on the Podgorani.