The following is excerpted from an article I wrote for the U.S. trade publication Adweek, an introduction to the concept of “hubs”, and specifically, content hubs. (For the full article, please visit www.flipthefunnelnow.com
and click on enhanced content.)
What Kind of Future Do Web Sites Have?
Web sites are not ends unto themselves; they are simply a means to an end. You don’t want your customers to move into your stores—you want them to buy into whatever you’re selling and take it with them into their own homes, where they consume it, share it, and tell their friends and families that they enjoyed it. So why should you expect something different from the Web? Consumers’ digital homes are their Facebook profiles, blogs, and custom-created communities. That’s where they “live” in the digital world, and that’s where we need to be invited to hang out from time to time, not the other way around.
Think of a web site like a hub or a train station; it can be a point of origin or a destination. Some people begin their journey there while others are ending it; some are just in transit, or meeting someone, or taking refuge from the storm—you get the picture.
Hubs need to be open, fluid, and infused with “sociability”—teeming with life and alive with conversation. They are decidedly nonlinear and diverse by nature, and they need to be loaded with content, information, and features.
In a world of RSS feeds, embeddable HTML, and links, hubs reign ...