Tuesday, October 7, 2008

focus focus focus

What do you get when you cross a Mafia hit man with a performance artist? Someone who makes you an offer you can't understand.

http://www.principiumstudio.com was introduced to me by a friend of a friend. It is a pretty, Flash® driven site with an obscure offering. It is grossly self-aware and no matter how useful its product might be, I still can't figure out what they do or why I should care.

Ben, the acquaintance, already has my trust. But Ben's site is engulfed in beautiful nothings. The message is wordy and the navigation requires more guesswork than intuition.

A site that really grabs your attention can be a piece of crap with the right headline.

If I see a Google result that says "John Thompson can't afford to overlook this site" my ego will drive me to click on the link. Then if I encounter a busy, hard to read, ad-ridden black hole with a headline such as "John, this site will get you the best deal possible on that A4 you want, has the best gumbo recipe ever, will solve that buzzing issue in your phone and show you how to fold fitted sheets." you bet I'm going to find and read the meat of this offering.

Providing the copywriting is at least passable. Oh, and it really has to deliver on at least one of those promises.

And finally, I get things like this in my email all the time and never click on them. So know your target audience and your best method of reaching them.

2 comments:

benjamin said...

John,

I was just sent me the link to your blog discussion of our website, principiumstudio.com

I appreciate your criticism: we do have a very unique offering and, for many reasons, it is very hard to write about. It may be something like the Elvis Costello statement, "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture--it is a really stupid thing to do."

I think on the whole, you are right: a website should discover its target and nail it. I wonder if you would look at the website again and see if you like the changes we've made. I wonder too, who are you? Why did you blog about me instead of writing these very constructive comments directly to me in a letter which I would have been able to read months ago?

Likewise, there are several comments that I am unable to understand, but would like to. For instance:

"A site that really grabs your attention can be a piece of crap with the right headline."

Your entry title is triple focus. Strangely, there is little focus to your own thought. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it seems dangerous to encourage others along lines you cannot navigate yourself.

Along those lines, I have a proposal for you.

Here is my personal studio, if you want to reach me there:
www.benshook.com

benjamin said...

I edited my comment and left a typo in the first line. Oops. Might you correct it?