Is anyone having a good time with the Web anymore?
I'm serious about having fun... and showing some personality in the process. Does anyone remember when creativity was essential to Web content? Take a look at most of today's Web sites. Generic photos. Corporate speak. Writing devoid of opinion. Many of today's mainstream sites are wound so tightly with corporate lingo and sanitized content, even companies once considered "hip" are churning out stuff that looks like J.P. Morgan Chase.
Loosen up, folks. I recently surfed the high fashion shoe sites (suffice it to say a shoe addiction is part of my personality) and came across a perfect example of a site with an imaginative edge. Stuart Weitzman's site even has a section called "fun." Contrast this with the deadly serious, oh-so-annoying and pseudo-provocative Marc Jacobs or Jimmy Choo sites.
Stuart Weitzman's site has a shoe museum and history of the company's comely footwear. It's a Web tour only a shoe lover, or as the site says, those "a little too obsessed with shoes," could appreciate. The tone is self-deprecating, tongue-in-cheek, and most welcome in an industry that takes itself far too seriously. Says Wayne Culkin, Stuart Weitzman's vice president, "We make a point of being whimsical and not all business."
Exactly. We're talking shoes, not the Middle East peace process.
Give your site the personality test. Have you, too, fallen into the trap of conformity? There's still time to make amends:
It's been suggested blogs are the only place on the Web where there's originality. I'm beginning to subscribe to this school of thought. Call me when Web sites get back to having some personality. In the meantime, I'm going to have some fun shoe shopping.
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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.
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