Corporate Eye

Website or Blog – Daddy or Chips?

Daddy or Chips ?

A long time ago, McCain posed this question which still reverberates in the minds of us old enough to remember it – and young enough to have been worried by it.

Now there’s a new question … website or blog?

Like Daddy or Chips, the question is unanswerable, because you may be able to have both. In fact, you almost certainly should have both, if you can.

Occasionally I’m asked what the difference is between a website and a blog – and usually the starting point for the answer is straightforward:

  • a blog can be a website
  • a blog can be part of a website
  • a website can be a blog

But before going on, there is another, more important question:

what do you want your website to do for you?

For corporate websites, you’ll get a range of different answers, depending on the person you’re talking to. The site needs to communicate facts as well as brand; it needs to provide tools to persuade people to invest or to help them apply for a job; it needs to persuade people of its point of view or manage PR in a crisis; it needs to engage customers sufficiently to persuade them to buy. Essentially it is a communication device.

Some of these – perhaps particularly the fact-based communications – can be handled with the traditional static pages, but increasingly there are trends moving the corporate website away from this:

  • dynamic pages, enabling the page to be refreshed with new content on a regular basis or depending on the visitors actions
  • conversational marketing, humanising the company by blogging, and engaging the market in discussion
  • user-generated content, enabling customer feedback and even discussion between customers
  • personalisable pages, making the user experience more direct and relevant

You may still be wondering to yourself ‘what is this blogging thing, anyway?’, and secretly hoping that it will go away, but the trend seems to be inexorable … corporate websites are becoming more fluid, flexible and interactive.

Incorporating these new trends into your site takes a wide range of technologies, and although the question of which technologies to use matters a great deal to your web team, the question you should always have in mind is

what do you want your website to do for you?

The technologies to use depend on your answer to this question, not the other way around.

This means that the question website or blog becomes inappropriate for a corporate website, as the two styles of communication converge, and the answer to ‘website or blog’, inevitably, becomes both … and more besides.

* chips = fries, for those of you in the States (and crisps = chips)

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