A Web Plan
Stepping beyond the days of the photo portfolio your website needs to show prospective clients not only what you do but additionally your firm’s personality, its strengths, your process and uniqueness.
Like a business plan, having a web plan will help you focus on how you want to be perceived. You will need to decide how much information you want to provide, the layers that information comes in and the paths that you want to follow.
Most current web plans have many paths:
• Formal Website, based on a Flash presentation
• Blog, based on HTML
• Social networks, like Flickr and Linkedin
These separate paths make up your web presence and each has unique benefits.
A formal Flash site will be a tight professional presentation of your firm’s aesthetic, style and point of view. Designing and loading such a site takes considerable time and effort and can be quite expensive also. In the past two years, firms like www.bludomain.com have been selling templates costing $100 to $400 (+ hosting fees) that have great graphic and programming elements.
A Blog could be similar to a newsletter. Freshness and depth of information can be put together in short time, with minimal cost and modified with ease. Blogs can be set up for special projects or for sub-niche areas of your practice.
Blog, a contraction for the term “Web log” is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or videos. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. First popularized with the likes of MySpace.com and Facebook.com the genre has expanded to include political blogs, travel blogs, house blogs, fashion blogs, project blogs, education blogs, niche blogs, classical music blogs, quizzing blogs and legal blogs (often referred to as a blawgs) or dreamlogs.
WordPress is a free shareware software program that is technically robust and supported by a huge international community www.wordpress.com. With WordPress you can create your site yourself but will need to have your blog hosted by a firm that will store your blog/website and make it available to those searching the web. Here is a firm that will hand hold you while creating your blog. I have no experience with how they work…www.blogdesignstudio.com
When speaking of blogs many might think of a site like this www.oninteriordesign.com or even decor8blog.com/ where the author/designer makes very frequent posts. Other Blogs feel much less like a diary and depend less on a timeline for the information. See www.studiolivingston.com
The Social network component puts you within a larger community and shows other facets of you and your firm’s personality. LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com, is gaining wide spread adoption and use for professional and corporate networking. Facebook,
www.facebook.com, is primarily for individuals and their social networks but is another way to connect with people from your industry and possibly potential clients. Think of these sites as a way to show informal, out of the box, and deeper aspects of your firm that would be otherwise difficult to fit in your formal or Blog site.
A New Tool: “Action…Cut!”
Short videos are going to be more and more part of creative and effective websites. They engage viewers and hold their attention. Videos work in ways that slide shows do not, they allow a more direct presentation that goes beyond words and clicks. The traditional website is dependent on click and views making the host dependent on the viewer discovering the information. A video clip packages the information and serves it up, a passive engagement that gives the host more control in framing their presentation. Finally, younger generations are more accustomed seeing images move and are attracted to this type of visual.
The typical web viewer spends 55 seconds on a website. A video presentation of two minutes will help keep the viewer on the website longer and if done well can sell your services’ many facets more directly. Potential clients coming upon your website, seeing your clip, take that first impression to start the connection you will build upon.
We are also seeing magazines and newspapers adding video and multimedia on their websites, our own California Home and Design, Interior Design Magazine and the New York times are some examples. Here is a clip from Interior Design Magazine:
http://www.interiordesign.net/BCVideo.html?bcpid=1630415432&bclid=5253541001&bctid=4688344001 and a slideshow from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2008/09/07/style/t/index.html#pageName=07interiorsi
Video will change the way projects are documented; a hierarchy of still and moving images will make up the final video. Hero shots taken with great care and control will be foremost, binder/transition shots will be used to fill out the video and add context and finally direct videos of interviews and motion.
Producing, directing, videography and editing services are being added to the commercial photography services. Examples of videos created by Studio Livingston can be seen by clicking on the following links:
2008 Day By Day:
Similar videos exploring this media can be commissioned.
Inspirational Websites and Blogs
Build your own website for $100 or $400 with large scale images at:
Connect with people from your industry and make new contacts with:
Show a different facet of your personality with: