Archive for July, 2010

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false]In general, the debate of online copyright is not new – it’s probably one of the longest standing debates in regards to issues which the internet has given rise to (though one of the least contentious).

The discussions recently flared up again here at View when one of our client sites became the subject of ‘online plagiarism‘. The screenshots below show the original client website www.petrofac.com and the latest offending site www.leadoil.eu.pn (yes, it’s not the first time) which is nothing to do with them … oh … click at your own risk!

Petrofac homepage

Petrofac homepage - as designed by View

Leadoil homepage - as stolen by ???

Leadoil homepage - as stolen by ???

What can be done to avoid it?

This hits to the heart of the online copyright debate, because indeed what can be done? Well, the good news is that offenders are in breach of numerous copyright laws in almost every region of the world. So some things that you can do:

  • Do a whois to find out which ISP hosts the site and send them a letter letting them know of the offence. They should take the site down fairly quickly.
  • Monitor your site regularly. There are free services like Copyscape which will attempt to locate copies of your site.
  • Take your site down!! Ok, it’s not really a suggestion – but clearly information in the public domain is going to be susceptible to plagiarism – plain and simple.

There are technologies that will make it more difficult for the offenders to copy your site (e.g. which disable the ability to right click your website pages to ‘view source’ or ‘save images’), but they are by no fool-proof.  In fact, many of these technologies obscure (hide) your website’s HTML using JavaScript code – which basically is only a minor nuisance for someone looking to copy your content, but a major nuisance to you websites SEO and accessibility (making it practically impossible to view by those with visual impairments / using browsing aids).

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[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false] For the past few years corporates have been rethinking their online corporate presence. In many cases taking their sites from looking like the poor sibling of their more invested in B2C initiatives, to being the ‘best practice’ corporate websites they need to be – with a solid IA (i.e. about us, CSR, investors, media, careers, press etc), strong creative (show cases, success stories etc) and very much on-brand. Yup, that is what we’ve been doing at View – along with our competitors – and doing a good job of it.

But I know I’m not alone when I say that this approach is no longer working – or rather is not enough – for many corporates. As digital lifestyles and general stakeholder expectations change, more and more organisations are starting to look at their broader digital communications strategy wondering where do we go from here?

Best practice is no longer good enough

We’re all stakeholders, in one way or another – so we all know how our online habits have changed over the past few years. Whether it’s our increased interest to read personal views, share our thoughts, expectation for greater transparency or the way we consume information, there isn’t just one answer for where the corporate website is going to go. But clearly ‘best-practice’ approach is no longer sufficient.

Clients that share this view are already working with us to evolve their online engagement – a broader mobile strategy and access to content, social networking strategies or better integrated technical solutions, but it’s by no means joined up thinking at the moment. The stakes are high – and we need to identify what the next 5 years will hold in store for the corporate website and their digital communications  (instead of sitting on the sidelines ignoring it, or waiting for others to define it).

For us at View, the risk is that other, non-B2B agencies will start to move into our space. With their customer driven insights and engaging use of creative and today’s latest technologies, they are perfectly poised to do so. And for our clients, the risk is as ever, their corpotate reputation are becoming more and more vulnerable.

Update: (27/07/2010) we’ve just held our internal innovation brainstorm to start the process of formalising the trends we feel that are emerging and will become more prevalent in corporate websites in the years to come. Some pretty fascinating ideas – from personalised content aggregation (considering how stakeholders will be accessing content over the next few years) to touch screen interfaces and devices.

Looking forward to the event in September where we’ll share some of the thinking and will also have a couple of client speakers too.

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false] I just came across these guys Mind Valley after installing some of their educational  iPad apps for my young kids. After reading through their site, it turns out that they actually have some pretty strong (and inspiring) visions about how to grow their start-up business, with a big focus on getting the right talent.

Most interestingly, they don’t accept standard CV’s, rather they take online applications via video interviews. They ask candidates to upload their ‘cover letter’ by video to YouTube.

Fascinating stuff! Not sure how this would / could work for bigger corporates (I can also see this raising all sorts of other issues) but it definitely demonstrates a novel and different way to make online recruitment more interesting!

Champaign for beer money…

Posted: July 16, 2010 in Budgets
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[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false] Everywhere I turn I hear stories of clients slashing budgets and expecting more (or the same) … for less. I don’t actually have a problem with this because I would probably be doing the same if I was client side and had to ‘procure’ services, but I do have a problem with how it’s being done.

Seeing as the ‘downturn’ is looking like it will be our new reality for the next few years, perhaps we work towards an era of greater transparency and up-front openness about how big – or small – a budget is. As our chairman says, “champaign for beer money, that’s what they’re asking for!”.

I don’t think it’s at simple as that – I think intentions are usually good. Recently, two clients asked us for solutions using phrases like “an industry leading solution”, ” campaign with impact and longevity” – yet after a lot of hard work went into winning the work and visualising ambitious creative solutions that matched the ambitious briefs, the budgets were revealed and  fell far short from what was needed to pull it off. This puts us all in a difficult position.

Intentions are usually good with those responsible for communicating wanting the best, most creative, most purposeful solution. But procurement and ROI is king today. My suggestion? Let’s get greater transparency on budgets up front so that we can plan projects that actually match the brief and the budget.

After all, we’ll never compromise on quality, creative impact or technical delivery. Our work is our portfolio is our ability to sell more of the great things we do. The more those responsible for projects and budgets believe this, the more they will want to share budgets up-front, instead of asking us indeed for “champaign for beer money”!!

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false] Will the iPad revolutionise Corporate Reports? I’ve been playing around with the iPad for a few weeks now – still failing to enjoy it as much as the Apple adverts would have you believe. But after reading The Times, Time magazine on it  I do think that perhaps they could open up a new way for Annual Reports to be presented.

I know that Next Fifteen have recently launched their iPhone AR as an example of what can be done, but it’s limited and frankly fairly poor when you consider the possibilities that the iPad would allow with it’s big screen – CEO videos, interactive charts and tools.

Wonder who will be first!!

iPad - game changing?