Web Identity or Anonymity: Creating an Online Personality
The Internet is awash with content, sites, links, news, innuendo, games and distractions aplenty. For the small business owner, it is this very chorus of chaos, so to speak, that makes it all the more difficult to establish a distinctive online identity. That website, with compelling copy and striking design, should neither be expensive to develop nor difficult to maintain.
Without these features, a company will likely succumb to the sheer force of the Web; it will surrender to (or be subsumed by) the anonymity of the Internet, where generic templates and the language of corporate committees – conformist by intention and boring by effect– leave a business owner powerless, a monochromatic point in a screen of code and a minor statistic in the quick appearance– and subsequent evaporation – into an unforgiving marketplace.
As I never tire of writing, I present these words as an advisory warning against perpetuating a false tradeoff between cost and quality. I craft this statement based on my role as Co-Founder of Workshop55, which offers a simple four-step process for wed design, development, optimization and promotions.
Indeed, my inspiration for this company – and thus, my goal for all companies – is to demonstrate a number of things, chief among them, that the Internet can also be a small business owner's greatest resource, a seemingly infinite world of talent (recruited, screened and made available through a single destination) and an affordable alternative to the status quo.
The larger point to this discussion, the one about the power of having an original, dynamic website, deserves repeating because of several acts of omission by a variety of business owners, from entrepreneurs and established executives to innovative brands and icons of global commerce.
The common thread among these groups, their collective sins of exclusion are one and the same: They may have a revolutionary product or service, or they may possess an application that monetizes a breakthrough feature, but, in the rush to transform the world, these individuals often forget to have a website that matches the moment. That is, they unintentionally dilute the force of their own message with a website that conveys little and bears no correspondence to the magnitude of the change wrought by a single individual or a team of ambitious executives.
And therein lies the secret of the Web in general: The small things make a big difference, which, while not the most profound aphorism of the digital age, is still an accurate commentary about the nature of online communications – that there is an organic nature to this phenomenon, expanding and adapting to circumstances in ways previously unimaginable.
Consolidate and Streamline Talent: The Worldwide Web, in Theory and Practice
As always, there is a lesson for readers of all interests and executives from all industries. That admonition involves seizing the energy of an international marketplace, consolidated and streamlined through one site, where timeliness is essential, quality is supreme and affordability is absolute.
Again, this pronouncement is a constant – it should be a maxim affixed to every executive's wall, and engraved as a postscript on every piece of letterhead – because the whole purpose of the Internet rests with its leveling power, diplomatically and economically.
Far from occluding the true cost of tyranny in an environment of instantaneous news and analysis, and well past the days of cartels and price fixing, the Web delivers transparency without delay or prejudice. It is the ultimate means of making everything – goods, products and services, as well as real-time reportage and investigative journalism – available to all, with a minimal cost to all.
That cost may have a sliding scale, inasmuch as web design is now more affordable (and of better quality) than ever before, but the broader point holds: That a small business owner no longer has to invest the hours he or she does not have, to review the candidates he or she cannot find, to hire the developer he or she will never retain.
In democratizing the Web, small business owners democratize commerce for the benefit of themselves, their shareholders and consumers alike.
This plan rewards many, thanks to the image the public sees; a visual representation of integrity, leadership, culture and values. Yes, indeed: The right website can do those things – and so much more.
Vasily Kamyshanov is the Co-Founder of Workshop55.com, which enables small business owners to conveniently have a strong and customized online presence. A veteran digital maketer for a variety of global brands, Vasily works with entrepreneurs across a diverse spectrum of interests.