Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Looking beyond ugly sites and silly leads

I was leafing through a copy of the Journal of Accountancy and came across one of those how-to-blog pieces that every B2B magazine in the world seems to be running.
The article is worth noting for three reasons:
1) The print version of this piece looked pretty good. Graphics, fonts, etc. all worked nicely. It wasn't breathtaking, but nor was it awful. So why oh why does the article look so bloody ridiculous on the JofA Web site? How is it possible that at this late stage in new media a B2B publisher like JofA doesn't seem to care about how its brand is presented online?
2) Granted, the author of this piece isn't a journalist. But she is an author, and I assume that someone at JofA edited the piece before it appeared. So what's with the silly lead paragraph? Why do so many pieces about citizen journalism sound so goofy? Why do so many articles in trade magazines, regardless of subject, have such a gee-whiz-watch-me-write-something- funny feel to them? If I could get one message across to every trade journalist in the world, it would be this: "Don't be cute."
3) Even when I dislike an article, I often find something of value in it. And in the JofA piece there's a link to a site dedicated to CEO bloggers. Click on it. Take a look around. There are some interesting folks on the list, including a guy who runs a sheet metal company, a woman who runs a technology consulting firm and public-relations guy with an interest in Voice over Internet Protocol telephony.
Is anyone from the industry you cover on the list?


  1. It never fails. I agree that the online media needs to understand the benefits of making a visually pleasing site. But...Very intelligent people, with knowledge and skills in very technical things...don't seem to get that other people don't have these attributes. I write for the pharma industry, and I can tell you this. The majority of readers don't use blogs, or atleast don't understand that they are reading a blog. Sophisticated tools and cutting edge graphics come secondary to consistent branding and content. For them, they want to visit the site, know where they are and read what is going on in their industry. We make our online publications straight forward and simple. Do you know how many doctors and even CEOs have a rudimentary knowledge of computers and technology? Tons. Even CEOs of large global companies.

    Cutting edge is called cutting edge for a reason...because the people who use them are not the majority. They will be eventually, but they aren't know.

    Great blog though Paul. Book marked forever.

  2. Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks for your comment. And thanks for bookmarking the blog.