what cafe websites need

One of the people I met at Sydney coffee mornings, Joseph, writes about the problems with cafe / venue websites: style over substance.

Website design is far from a cafe’s core business, and so it’s easy to be seduced by flashiness: trying to be cinematic in what you’re doing. This gets in the way of the website’s actual purpose: allowing customers find you and do business with you.

I would have to agree with Joseph that what a cafe’s website should be is simple text, perhaps some photos of your venue. The opening hours should be there, a map, the menu:

There’s good advice in his post: have a look. The only thing I would add? Many cafes don’t have websites at all: with so many inexpensive hosting options available, it makes sense for a cafe to have its own site: even a WordPress blog set up with a few static pages.

Let me know if you’d like some more advice on the subject. I’m happy to talk about it further.

conversation with a Jehovah’s witness

I opened the front door this morning, and there were two Jehovah’s witnesses at the door. William was the one doing all the talking, and his little son was amusing himself on the front steps. Paul – built like a nightclub bouncer but friendly enough – stayed a few steps back, so as not to be too intimidating.

I’ve often been stopped on the street by people collecting money for charities: they have their spiel, their laminated glossy cards, and their sign-up book, and they do a pretty good job at presenting: it’s a bit amateurish, but must work well enough that the charities keep doing it.

I only spoke to him for a few minutes, taking a polite “I already go to a church” angle, but it was fascinating to watch him work. He had carefully stacked the magazines, upside down for him, the right way up for me, so that “Awake” magazine was the copy of Watchtower underneath. He’d chosen a copy of the magazine on the topic of abortion, and flicked through a few of the pages while talking about what the article was covering – I could clearly see both pages of the magazine while he was flicking. The man was a master at working with literature at a front door: no easy task when you’re in someone else’s space.

When I said I wasn’t interested in that magazine, he immediately reshuffled the literature to bring one of several copies of his plan B leaflet from his stack, and talked about the important questions – having moved back to a lesser proposal, I felt that taking this brochure was the polite thing to do: clearly, this is a really polished, user-centred performance.

There was no mention of a return visit, but I’m looking forward to seeing how this pans out.

Why Your Message Fails In Social Media

Why Your Message Fails In Social Media. When a brand engages someone in a social media context, the opportunity is there to make use of a great deal of data. It is possible to engage people across a much broader segment of their life and interests than simply throwing a generic message at them. This post explains – in diagram form – a little of where the traditional approach can fall down, and how to make it better.