Afterthoughts: Webstock 2010

I posted my takeaways from this year’s Webstock on the First Rate blog so I’m just going to repost the critical part of it here. Duplicate content FTW!

Here’s what I learnt online businesses need to be doing this year:

  • Iterate. Listen to your customers, watch your analytics, learn what needs improving and optimise like a crazy person. The website that is most agile will win.
  • Don’t be late to the mobile party, be early. How does your online audience want to engage your business via mobile? Does that exist? Is there a business case for it?
  • Be wary of “gut feel” or “I just know” interpretations of data by your staff or your third-party providers. Expect empirical evidence that backs up that gut feel.
  • “If you review the first version of your site & don’t feel embarrassed, you spent too long on it” – Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn.com
    For Barack Obama’s US presidential campaign, his online team were tracking how dollars spent on online ads were turning into dollars received via fundraising. If a campaign that complex can achieve it, no-one has an excuse for not knowing their ROI from online spend.
  • Jeff Attwood’s description of social software was very good: “tiny slices of frictionless effort, spread across an online community”. A good reminder that to leverage user-generated content you need your users to want to contribute and make it super-easy to do so.
  • I thought Daniel Burka’s recommendation that “subtraction is iteration too” was a good reminder. Don’t be afraid to subtract.

Source: Things I learnt at Webstock 2010