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Pixie Dust and Purpose Driven Sites

Posted by mccaul202 on June 8, 2011

Someone passed along  the blog post “Pixie Dust & The Mountain of Mediocrity” to me today and I thought it was worth sharing  for a few reasons:

1. It goes against a lot of what we’ve been reading in The New Rules. A lot of which I have found informative, but general in its prescription and almost motivational in tone. I don’t think everyone needs to abide by the “new rules” especially if they don’t understand what it is they are trying to get from running by these rules.  The blog post makes that point well by pointing out that just being the most “liked” company doesn’t translate to actual revenue in ALL cases.

I’m curious to hear what you all think after reading that blog post.

2. I was at a health communicators working group meeting yesterday and the idea of purpose driven websites came up. The conversation covered a lot of familiar bases, but one point that stuck with me and brought my work and school life 360, was that when users come to your website you want them to “do”– to interact. It’s not enough to provide your audience actions like reading, searching, and downloading. I think these are ideas of the past and, as Paul mentioned, could be the basis of many websites found in the Way Back Machine. Now, we need to get our audiences to interact with not only our site, but our brand and message. To interact by joining, sharing, and playing (with data visualizations, for example).

I know that the website I manage for work is completely guilty of  telling our story the wrong way. We expect users to navigate through pages and pages of text. But slowly, and strategically, we are incorporating some of these new ideas. For example, we are now using StatPlanet to create interactive maps that visualize our M&E data.

And I continue to hope that one day, after the right kind of advocacy and lobbying,  I will be in a position to mold it to become something that not only attracts the right audience, but makes people better at what they do for having seen it.


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