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The Blog Post Between Christmas and New Year

Traditionally, this is a pretty slow traffic web site week on the Internet. Not as slow as last week, of course – for example, 2/3rds of the sites we manage had less traffic last week than they did the week before, and many cases substantially less. This week will be more traffic for most of those sites, but less than most single week’s worth. Particularly in the case of associations, the big holidays reduce web traffic.

I have a few areas to write about but for this week I thought I’d mention some loose ends that probably don’t need a full blog post but worth mentioning.

  • First of all, one of these days I’m going to put together a piece about web design/development Requests for Proposals (RFPs). It’s a big subject and I have mixed feelings about the entire process. But one general piece of advice I have for organizations when they put out on RFP is, in all cases where software or hardware is specifically mandated, there should be an explanation as to why the mandate, and the answer “because that’s what we have” should not be considered automatically acceptable. Your investment into that software or hardware, if substantial and forward-looking, can be a great reason to require it, and that detail should be provided. But there are so many options out there now, for so many components of a web site, that a good developer is going to wonder why you’re requiring the one you’ve selected over something that may be a better fit. Detail matters.
  • One component of your web presence can be the sending of “mass” email, whether they be newsletters or announcements or payment notices. Eventually email addresses fail, and you may get the error message for the failure. If you understand why you’re getting the failure notice you can fix the issues – sometimes you delete the email from your group, sometimes you can get a new email address to replace it. For reference, here’s a handy site for figuring out email error notices.
  •  I check out new Wild Apricot sites as discovered by Google almost every day. I know, weird hobby. From my standpoint they’ve had a good year with bringing in associations, and particularly with smaller Chambers of Commerce. It’s been good to see.
  •  Finally, I’ve been thinking about writing a piece about the turmoil going on within some associations now as their print products (magazines and newsletters) erode in both readership and advertising and the challenges they face to create at least as strong of a product, in content, readership and revenue potential, online. It might be more interesting to have someone from an association that is in that transition guest-blog here instead. I’d be open to suggestions.

Have a great finish to 2011, and we’ll post soon in 2012! Have a happy New Year holiday!

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