Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Web Sites vs. Social Networking

Aliza Sherman declares that web sites are obsolete. An iconoclastic assertion, but I'm inclined to agree. The basic premise of her argument is that small sites look cheesy, can be expensive, aren't very credible and are difficult for non-technical people to maintain. In other words the universe of poorly designed, poorly thought out, and largely abandoned site that litter the internet. Bad web sites.

She recommends Facebook, Twitter, and blogging as an alternative. The social networking angle is a pretty hip one right now, though it's not clear to me that all of this "friending" is anymore than an end in itself.

The trick is to take the time and spend a little money so that you have a well designed site that can support some back end functionality as your web presence grows. The assumption that you can throw a few pages onto a server somewhere and consider yourself good is the biggest mistake. Managing your web site can be a full time job, and adding social networking functionality requires a very high degree of creativity and commitment. If you can twitter, than you can take the extra effort to have a halfway decent web site.