Jon Henshaw, the SEO guru (among many other things) at the web-development firm Sitening, says some very nice things about the online strategy displayed on Hammock.com. Thanks, Jon. We feel like Sally Field receiving an Oscar.
There are subtle things about the site that he picks up on — simple things that took me years of blogging to figure out and that took several people at Hammock (not just me, but thanks, Jon) nearly a year to think through. Again, it’s a simple strategy that any business or association, large or small, could implement. But for some reason, very few will, as it appears daunting once you start scratching the surface. (Hey, but we can help.)
Jon observes one of the things I’m very proud of, but something no one else has written about: Every employee at Hammock has a “blog” designed to look okay even if it’s never updated. I’ve often said that if they weren’t called “blogs,” more people would have one. So internally, we call them People pages. On the site, we don’t call them anything. They’re just pages that contain work-related contact info for each employee. The first (and for several, only) “post” on the page is a bio. So employees who never post anything have a nice contact page — in other words, it doesn’t look like a blog that has never been updated. Some people use them like a phone message — “I’m out of the office until Sept. 2.” Others do use them like a blog. (Those who study online behavior will recognize the pages’ versatile roles for identity and expression.) We’ll be updating them soon so they’ll integrate with other work-related services employees may choose to link them with. For example, I already have mine feeding into my FriendFeed page.
In a future shameless self-promotional post, I’ll explain how the Hammock.com website embraces a variety of social media services in nuanced ways (APIs, RSS, etc.) and how we’re working with association and corporate clients to do the same.