Jeff Brooks at Donor Power Blog picked up the discussion in Your website isn’t enough.
I agree with the idea that it’s a mistake to focus exclusively on “your website,” but I don’t think switching the language to focus on “web presence” is actually all that helpful. It will simply become a new word that means more or less the same thing.
I went to a conference recently and was surprised to hear speakers reducing internet media to web 1.0 era websites *plus* social networking sites like Facebook. I didn’t know what to make of it. Web 1.5?
The problem is not that people focus too much on their web site (although I’m sure they do), it’s that they focus too much on talking and not enough on listening. People’s conception of web sites is has more in common with the TV – a tool for broadcasting monologs – than the telephone – a tool for having conversations.
After all, a blog is a web site, a wiki is a web site, a tumblelog is a web site, a Twitter message in the sidebar of your blog is a web site element. A site is a site. Facebook is a amalgam of web site, and email and instant messaging and apps – a little desktop environment in a walled garden. It’s a kind of site too. Conversely, a news site with comments is a blog. The names of the tools are somewhat interchangeable, but what is important is whether they are conversational. It doesn’t matter what tools you use, as long as you use them to have conversations.
Consider this: a blog is not something you have, but something you do. That’s the problem with “web presence” – it’s sounds like something you have.
“Look ma! I just finished creating my web presence!”
“Who did you talk with?”