5 Reasons Why Your Website is a Garden

I’m often in a meeting trying to explain the crux of a website, and after likely 100+ of my poor car analogies. I’ve finally landed on one I can trust – your website is a garden. Let’s have some fun with it.

  1. Websites should never die – they evolve. Much like a garden, with time and resources a website can take many different functions and designs over the course of time.
  2. Websites a much deeper than what you can see. Like the roots of a garden, a website should be tied to many elements of your business – CRM, analytics, business intelligence and databases.
  3. Websites require maintenance. Like pulling weeds, old content and broken links must be removed over time. There are exceptions to this, for example, the Space Jam website and nooooooooooooooo.com.
  4. There are many tools involved. Until I Googled it for the purpose of this analogy, I had no idea there were so many tools you could use in a garden (most are sold by Canadian Tire). On a website, there are a number tools including: link checkers, readability tools and accessibility checkers at your disposal.
  5. When done right, they are beautiful! Like the amazing VanDusen Botanical VanDusen Gardens RoseGardens in Vancouver, websites can be awe-inspiring. It takes strategy, design and execution to make it all work, and when it comes together, the results can change lives.

Feel free to spread the analogy and use it wherever you can!

Defining Your Success on Twitter: Ornithology 2.0

Defining your success on twitter from Jean-Paul Rains was a presentation delivered to the #PSEWEB conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 
With nearly all PSE institutions on Twitter, we’ve established that it is important to have a presence. That presence has differing levels of dedicated resources, different goals and varying measures of success. Like Ornithology, this presentation will cover the study of behaviours, effectiveness, and measurements of PSE Twitter presences.

Defining your success on Twitter can be difficult, even more difficult when trying to explain it to someone who is Twilliterate. If being on Twitter is merely a way for your organization to check a box, that’s fine. But, if you are interested in taking that check box and turning it into an easily attained performance measure, this presentation is for you.

Like any dedicated birdwatcher, we took a look at some of the more successful Canadian PSE Twitter accounts and aimed to find commonalities in their behaviours and how that translated to their successes.

Finally, after searching for ways to define success from # of followers, % breakdowns of interactions to 3rd party measurements, we take a look at the different ways (free!) for you to measure your success.

Look past your number of followers and turn that check box into a CEO friendly success story.

Measuring your Twitter Klout

Recently, when asked by a client how they could properly measure their success versus competitors on Twitter, I defaulted to my typical answer, but then thought it out a little more.

Initially I thought of Klout.com or Kred.com. After my cursory view of both the client and their competitor I noticed that, although the client had a much more thought out content strategy, the competitor scored higher on Klout and Kred.

After my first look, this made me think of the obvious issues that already exist in measuring Twitter success (I have reluctantly relied on these sites). Of course, they provide at least some input on the matter; they have ever improving analytics of  true reach and amplification. However I have yet to see a site be able to provide a strong measurement reflecting content effectiveness.

It is my hope that Klout, while integrated with Facebook, may be able to integrate with link shortening applications to measure engagement and click throughs on content. The actual consumption of the content can be easy to measure if you own the short links however it is quite difficult to know whether or not your RTs are being read or not. Most will contend that these will receive more RTs, however that’s likely an assumption of consumption.

No matter how you slice it, we are currently missing a big piece of the analytical pie on Twitter. The question is, which service will fill the gap first?