WebsitetologyÂ is a seminar about using the web for successfully making new business connections. We teach how the web works, how search works, and how to use open source content management systems like WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal to help you make a successful home on the web.
Conventional advertising and branding is suffering from the effects of over-exposure and fragmentation. The key is to find a community and build relationships. This story of how a small winery employed social media to grow their business is a perfect example of what we teach:
Stormhoek was a tiny South African winery when the company began working with UK blogger Hugh MacLeod to develop a social media strategy. MacLeod started working with Stormhoek in May of 2005, and by the end of the year, the winery’s sales had doubled. Besides dipping its toes in the blogging waters, in 2005, Stormhoek also launched an interesting campaign where it gave away 100 free bottles of wine to 100 bloggers in the UK, Ireland, and France. The bloggers were under no obligation to write about the wine or Stormhoek, but many did both, and the company’s awareness among bloggers skyrocketed.
In 2006, Stormhoek expanded on the ‘give wine away to bloggers’ idea, by setting up ‘Geek Dinners’, where bloggers around the United States throw their own parties, with Stormhoek providing the wine for free. This idea just further raised Stormhoek’s presence in the blogosphere.
So what’s the end result from all this for Stormhoek? Hugh MacLeod, speaking at last year’s South by Southwest festival, stated that before Stormhoek started blogging and involving bloggers in its marketing efforts, that the winery sold around 40,000 cases of wine a year. When MacLeod spoke at SXSW in March of 2007, he stated that the company was at that point selling 40,000 cases of wine a WEEK.
Although we still believe in empowering clients to do their own blogging (who knows your business better than you) we can help get you started.
We try to keep tabs on those who have taken the Seminar- mostly by reading their feeds. Some really get it- and make it work for them.
Take the case of a copywriter who used to work for a local ad agency, but left for Charleston SC:
Honestly, I am not a salesman, so I am not the best resource. I only know what has worked for me. And â€œworkedâ€ is a subjective, relative term. See if this makes any senseâ€¦
Blogging has elevated me from number 60 (or so) on Google for â€œcopywriter+charleston+scâ€ to top-3 in six months. Correction: it took about a month to get there, where I have remained.
My blogâ€™s back pages contain my value statement, resume, references and writing samples. Itâ€™s all in one location, and easier to access than tearing open the envelope, reading my cover letter, popping in my CDROM, etc.
I like to think that my blog posts make some kind of impression. They give a glimpse of my personality (lucky you.) And they can be a kind of soft sell. For instance, rehashing some humorous incident that happened to me while producing an industrial video in Germany is a subtle way to remind you that I have produced internationallyâ€¦ if thatâ€™s your bag, baby.
Finally, most importantly, by the time a client calls or emails, he or she has read the value statement, resume, etc., and is very nearly sold. They are calling to â€œtalk about upcoming projects and look for the right fit.â€
Of course, his former employer, still has no clue about web 2.0. Their site has no search box, no RSS feed and makes noise when you land on it.
Too bad many of the people searching for them- end up on this page too: Agencies that aren’t The Next Wave. Learn the tricks of using the web to make up for your lack of sales skills, or to enhance the ones you have. Sign up for the seminar.
As professional web developers of both the Joomla! and WordPress Content Management Systems (CMS) we come across many different surveys and comparisons of the two. Water and Stone poses the question “What is the most popular open source content management system?” and actually uses statistics to provide an unbiased report.
If you’ve ever wondered if WordPress and Joomla! truly are the best pieces of software that we could be using, then take a look at this survey. In the first few pages you’ll read “that three systems have come to dominate the present market: WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.” But don’t just take that as proof, look at some of the stats that are given throughout the 51 page paper.
Search Engine Visibility
The Next Wave’s core competency compared to other web hosting and design firms in the Dayton area is that we focus on getting our clients on the front page of Google. Sure, you can have a great looking website, but if no one can see it what’s the point? So, one of the first thing we looked for in this survey was any information on search engine ranking for WordPress and Joomla!.
Joomla! comes out on top with more than 1 million inbound searched links at the time of the survey, with WordPress right behind with 403,000. Notice phpnuke and MediaWiki with more than a million links as well, however these are “black hat” search engine optimization techniques that were implemented to create and keep inbound links permanent to skew search.
Do a search for “Content Management System”, and Joomla! comes up second in Google. A search for “Blog Software” (or a variant of that) and WordPress is right up there on top. This just shows that the websites that provide these two are strong in search engine optimization and Google loves to read from them. If you have a website powered by them, Google will love your site too (provided you continually update).
You can also see what people are searching for on Google, and the results that turn up for those searches. The top two systems? You guessed it, WordPress and Joomla! with a huge margin of difference from the third CMS on the list Drupal.
OpenSourceCMS.com has a list of all of these and allows visitors to rate and comment on the various ones that are in use. For ratings, WordPress comes out on top with a rating of 4.4 out of 5. Joomla!’s up there too, with 4.2 out of 5.
“The open source CMS market is maturing and, with the increase in competition, the competitive landscape is changing. The historical leaders have been supplanted by new names. The data collected in this portion of the survey shows that in almost every way the mind share in today’s market is dominated by just three brands: WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.”
WordPress and Joomla! are at the top of everything in this survey. Their branding is superb and still growing, their ranks and ratings are high above the rest of the pack, and both have HUGE community groups that help to make the two CMS’s more stable, more flexible, and even better for web development than other systems. The next time someone says that Joomla! and WordPress aren’t good for web design, tell them otherwise. The facts are there, leading edge developers realize these systemsenable amazing work for clients in at minimum- half the time as building a website from scratch.
Read this, read it again if you want to. Print it out and pass it to your co-workers or show it to your boss so that he/she will let you start using WordPress or Joomla!. And if you’re interested in learning more about the systems, come to our next Websitetology seminar and we’ll give you the crash course that will set your business on top.