Tuesday 29 March 2011

TCRM and Social Media

The last few weeks and months have seen a bewildering number of dramas played out on the world stage. The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, the protests in Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the violent uprising in Libya and, most recently the devastating earthquake in Japan. What has struck me is the big role that social networks have played in all of these events. In the case of the revolutions about the middle east and northern Africa social media sites such as Facebook allowed opposition groups to come together and communicate with each other, while in the case of the Japanese earthquake we are seeing far more information come out of the region from the ground level than we would have seen previously. And one could argue that the success, or at least strength, of the opposition movements was down to the various groups being able to organise themselves through the social networks.

It is hard then to deny the impact that social networking has had on the world. It has become a standard way that many people now communicate their ideas. Instead of writing a letter, a newspaper article or phoning a friend, people write a blog, create a web page or update their various statuses (seems a more appropriate word than states). When Stephen Fry updates his Twitter status, over 2.3 million people get the information. This could seem pointless when he tweets about what he had for breakfast, but when a person with a potential audience of 2.3 million states his preference for one opinion/policy/product or another, all of a sudden this is not trivial or pointless.

If a business wants to grow and reach a new audience then through the social media is the way to do it. It needs to be a part of your marketing strategy with the same amount of planning and effort as would go into your print, conference or television advertising. You may not like it, but social media is here to stay. Much of it is trivial or banal, but so are many telephone conversations, and think how vital the telephone is to business.

Friday 11 March 2011

TCRM and Web Design Goals

The TCRM website has been in need of a design refresh for a while. It’s a bit of an irony that web design companies rarely have the time to update their own sites. Those of you who have visited our site will know that at the moment it is a ummm, a little cluttered. Despite being busy we decided enough was enough and Thursday in the kitchen, I mean the TCRM boardroom, was the venue on a design meeting to discuss the new look of our site. Coffee flowed and tempers became heated as two opposing camps formed and the battle lines were drawn…

The TCRM site is a little different from most sites as it needs to serve two functions. One, it needs to show off the technical possibilities of the web sites we produce and two, needs to look good to show off the look we can achieve in design. If someone is looking to build an online database, the customer needs to be aware that we have the expertise in buckets. On the other hand if a potential customer needs to put together a brochure site for their art gallery, our design skills need to shine through.

As I’ve said before, for other sites it is important to have a set goal. A primary aim that guides all your choices regarding the site. If you are putting together a brochure site for your accounting firm then you want a uncluttered business style site. If you are putting together a social networking site for plasticine users then it will be feature rich, but fun looking. Nothing says fun like plasticine.

So as you can see, the TCRM site is different, with its two roles. Lately it’s been leaning a more towards being a technology demonstrator rather than a brochure site. This revamp will look at these issues and we will come a good compromise of form over function, however the first boardroom battle has been fought but the war has some way to go.