My desk is a mess.
Once, in first grade, my teacher – can’t remember the nun’s name – put my entire desk in a box and sent me along with the box to the principal’s office. Then he called my parents in so we could talk about how messy my desk was.
Obviously, the teacher’s plan to shame me into cleaning my desk did not pay off because as I look around right now – I still sit amongst chaos.
Magazines and books that I want to read but haven’t gotten to. But I don’t want to shelve them because then I might forgot them. A calendar and dead lava lamp, tons of papers (not stacked but haphazardly thrown around), my “You’ve been bad jar” for myself and co-workers (it’s usually full of treats but is empty right now – I guess a lot of people have been bad), Chex mix, CDs, pens, pictures of the family, a box of client marketing collateral…any normal person would probably start cleaning it right away but not me.
My mother-in-law says her boss is the same way – that she’s never met anyone cluttered. She doesn’t know how he gets anything done.
I defended him by saying, “That’s how I work. I’ll clean it up and then it’ll be a mess again in a few hours so why bother. I know where mostly everything is. It just looks awful to you.”
In some ways, the web is just like this. There’s not much organization. You have to search for what you want and hope that Google or the other search engines find what you want. If not, you start the search over adding different terms to your search.
It can be frustrating when you can’t find what you are looking for but it can also be exciting when you find something that you never knew was there. And when you find it, you often share it with someone. Because what’s the use of finding something cool if no one knows you’ve found it.
This is another reason for why you should have a siteless web presence. The web isn’t organized. Heirarchies have been replaced. If all you have is one website, you are one against millions and millions of other sites.
You need to be in a lot of places all at once so when someone is doing a search, they may come across you. Maybe it’s not your main site but it can always redirect there.
And, when they do come across you, you have to be interesting enough that they might want to share you with a friend. Because it’s easy to share with friends on the web (del.icio.us, stumble upon, digg – there are lots of social bookmarking sites.)
In fact, you should put this on your site. It’s from Add this! It’s easy and free and can’t hurt unless your website is painful to use and ugly – then you might get some unexpected traffic from people making fun of you and your company.
Funny story about that. I was once sitting in a meeting when a client brought up the fact that their website actually cost them business. The prospect had pointed out that if they were such a wonderful technology software company then why did their website look like a grade school student had put it together. Ouch.
If you have problems like this, then come see us at Mediasauce.com. We’ll help you out.