There are some great discussions I’ve noticed online this week about the need to create proper websites.
Mark Ramsey let loose in a tirade about radio station website design and encouraged them all to do it right or not do it at all.
There’s no 11th Commandment that reads “Thou Shalt have a Website.” You will not get to Heaven faster if you have achieved the masterstroke of registering a domain name. Signing up for Twitter and Facebook does not earn you a medal. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. You can grow your own food, but you probably don’t. [source]
Michael Kwan, writing at Blue Fur, implored new business to get up and create a website as well.
It never ceases to amaze me when I am looking for information about a particular business and discover that I can’t find their website. And then, it shocks me even more when I learn that they don’t have a website at all. In this day and age, owning and running your own company website is remarkably affordable and there is no excuse for a business of any kind not to invest the relatively small amount of money each year to maintain one. [source]
I’ll take an opposite stand to both. You don’t need a website, you need a domain. Once you have that domain, point it to your Facebook page – especially if you’re not good at web design or have no budget to create / host / maintain one.
Even the big brands are realizing that Facebook is where the world is moving to.
Aside: I’m not going to defend the walled garden that Facebook has become and how it has taken the internet away from an open sharing place backwards to the 1990s AOL era, I’m just going to point out the fact that Facebook is where “everyone” is and so if you want to reach “everyone,” you should be there too.
Look around all media and you dont see web addresses anymore. TV commercials dont say “Beercompany.com” at the end of the ad, they say “facebook.com/beercompany.”
Facebook is DOMINATING the internets. For many people, Facebook has become the internet. They get email, photos, videos, news etc. EVERYTHING most people need to do online, they can do inside the walled garden of Facebook.
Facebook is where you can gain traction to your actions. Content is easily shared. When comments are posted, people are notified of subsequent additions to the conversations. The entire infrastructure already exists to have an engaging dialogue with your client base.
So get that cool “mycompany dot com” address so that you can have a proper and professional business email address.
Get that “mycompany dot com” url so that you can look slick and legitimate to clients.
Get that “mycompany dot com” website and then point the domain to your Facebook page so people can find you easily, interact with your brand and evangelize your products.
Once you have that “mycompany dot com” address registered and pointed to your Facebook page, you can focus on your bricks and mortar business. It’s a quick plug and play solution.
Sure, setting up a WordPress blog is relatively painless, but you still have to invest some serious time in design and code work. If you’re clueless (or even raw) in that department the time dumped in to the task will never be properly rewarded. Facebook can offer complex design pieces for fan pages, but you don’t even need to open that Pandora’s Box to have an effective and interactive page and presence.
Eventually I’d like it if you branched out and created a great website that effectively showed off your skills, but until you have the money in the budget and the time to find someone to do it, you don’t need to.
It’s a case of you can’t beat ’em yet, so join ’em.