First, I want it known that I did my best to stop eToys from sinking this holiday season. I made sure that on the first night of Hanukkah almost every child on my list had an eToys delivery containing a complicated (and overpriced) box of LEGO toys. And that's not to mention the Hot Wheels, stuffed animals, software, and BARBIE. paraphernalia I blithely tossed into my virtual shopping cart.
But even as I smugly cruised past all those crowded malls, content in the knowledge that I was not one of the miserable parents enduring bumper-to-bumper shopping carts at Old Economy Is Us, it appears all my clicking had no impact on my friends. Just after the holidays, eToys cut 380 jobs. Warehouse operations in California and North Carolina are ceasing in the next 30 to 60 days; U.K. and other European operations are also winding down. As it appears, another venerable (well, it lasted a few years) dot-com is biting the dust. Happy 2001 to us all.
As one reflects on the fate of eToys and pages through The Standard's layoff tracker (41,000 employees and counting), it does raise questions about the subject of my columns -- Internet content. What will become of Internet content as the bloom drops from the dot-com rose and many old-economy companies start to peel back their investments in Net-related initiatives?
I suspect there will be some fallout this year. There will be those organizations that suddenly cool to expanding web-site endeavors. There'll be less of a scramble to host the latest in interactivity. And I predict that more and more sites will grow a little more stagnant, comfortable with hoary content that begs to be updated.
Don't give in. Even in this "cooled state," the rewards still go to those with the best content, the smart ones, and the innovators. True, your company may not welcome your insistence with open arms, but be persistent. Keep the content pipin' hot and fresh. Here are some suggestions:
So for 2001 let's all pledge not to give in to the naysayers who tell us we can't have a great content-filled site. Keep on pouring on the relevant, timely, and, yes, unconventional content to feed that insatiable hunger for good information out there. We'll be OK in the year ahead... really.
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Susan Solomon is the executive director of marketing and public relations for Memorial Health Services, a five-hospital health system in Southern California. In this capacity, she manages promotional activities for both traditional and new media. Susan is also a marketing communications instructor at the University of California, Irvine; California State University, Fullerton; and the University of California, Los Angeles.
December 12, 2013
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