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I’m not a pinner or user of Pinterest (yet), but recently visited the site in an effort to help out a friend with a woodworking business; my intent was to get him to display his amazing work.  Pinterst recognized the fact that I was not an active user and so popped up a quickie tour of new features.  The pop up made it sound as if they were sharing new enhancements, but it could easily have just been their way of reorienting and activating me.

Nice finesse Pinterest.  This is how the web should work.  In my world, where a website should represent the brand plan (one claim, three proof planks), pop-ups or interstitial pages that vary based upon your visiting behavior are refreshing. A return visitor that always heads straight to contacts or about should be offered a quick link there. A first time or lapsed user should be treated with special gloves. A repeat purchaser should get the special treatment — perhaps a surprise every now and again, and other delights.

But this doesn’t happen very often.

We have really kind of forgotten the website these past few years as we go all head down on shiny new social media and moble. And now “content marketing” is the haps. Often unbridled content marketing. Off-piste content marketing.  (That’s why it’s smart to use thought leaders in the practice – see Kyle Monson and for instance.)

Fred Wilson and John Battelle in a recent video chafed at the notion of giving traffic to other’s websites.  I agree. Social and content are kind of like chumming and fishing, but once the fish is on the line it needs to come into the boat.

Websites are the biggest most important development in commerce since the telephone.  Let’s get back to optimizing them. Steve Rubel, you with me on this? Peace.

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Yesterday was Community Manager Appreciation Day.   Here’s a story about Community Manager one dot oh.  In her early 20s, right out of college, she took a job working at a bowling ball manufacturer as an admin all the while looking for a job befitting her marketing degree and minor in English Lit.  She was hired as an intern at a regional 1,000 employee services company with a respect brand name and made social media community manager. All good companies had one.  She was asked to write the job description for HR because, lucky her, she was a pioneer and the company’s first community manager.

On day one Ms. Community Manager was introduced to the marketing staff (she, red-faced) and told to report to the director of marketing (who didn’t have a Facebook account and was awfully busy).  Given a pod, a computer and introduced to the IT person – off she went.  She went to BrandHackers and a few other meetups in NYC and Brooklyn, met a guyfriend, and picked up some tools and jargon along the way. After 5 months she had talked the company into subscribing to HubSpot (who taught her a thing or two), but she felt as if she were on an island. “Where’s the community manager job description?” HR asked.  “One more week please.”

After 6 months, the company had a new look for its Facebook page, two Twitter handles (one for product, one for customer service), a Pinterest account and Instagram photos. They had a dashboard telling them that March was a good month for web hits. The company also bought a video camera for Ms. Manager and finally got its job description. 

On the anniversary of her 8th month, Ms. Manager got a job at a digital ad agency in Brooklyn by telling them she had built a dept. and generated high “time in site” and “registration rates.” This she did, all this without a whiff of a brand strategy. And off she goes.  Like a virus. Peace.

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