Of A Website Being A Conversation

A website is a conversation

A Website is a conversation

Well if Code Is Poetry……Then A Website is A conversation.

I am a story-teller I come from a line of story-tellers  its in my blood we used to sit round a fire and tell stories and now, we gather round our devices in this digital age stories are immortalized on the pages of the internet, I start digital fires.

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A Website just like a good story, tells not just a story but it’s a conversation; it captures the mind, it engages your audience and they ask those four words every story-teller loves to here…. And Then what happened next.

So you have a website its perfect everything is on fleek. The design is flawless, the seo is optimized so is the device compatibility….

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And then what happens next? What comes after:

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The internet is where websites go to die, buried in the digital grave of the information superhighway… Here is how you keep it alive:

  • Keep it up to date

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Have you ever visited a website only to find that content on it is all outdated?  Everything was uploaded and edited probably on the day the site went live and then never again. You scroll along, nothing new to see here, and they just lost a reader or client or potential stream of revenue.

  • Consistent content

Content is king

Schedule a content calendar, so you always know what and when you are posting.

Social media has changed the way websites are treated. Your site must be RELEVANT and  RESONATE with the audience and is also CURRENT.

relevant

*Cant find a word for current or up to date that begins with R

Whats worse than a site that is irrelevant and does not resonate with an audience …. Well I would have say one where you cant find the contact details. Maybe removed because they don’t want emails flooding inbox telling them how out of touch the site is…..

  • Contact Details

contact details

Contact details should be easy to find. If you include an email address, make sure it’s a working email address,  and please respond to your emails, you might want to even keep an eye on your spam folders too.

  • Interaction

Like I said a website is a conversation, and a conversation means you are not just talking to or talking at but you a talking with someone.

A website is a conversation

Make it easy to engage with you. Don’t add sign up procedures that require one to create an account and chant incantations on a full moon night, maybe howl a little, then verify they are human by making a small sacrifice……

A website is a conversation, engage with your audience if you get an email, reply, if you get a comment reply to it. You might want to have links to your social media visible on your website and likewise your social media pages points to your Website.

Interact

I visit a lot of websites, blogs mainly, the ones I keep going back to are the ones where I feel my presence is appreciated and will probably respond to the call to action from them, than have you ever read a post on a website and then left what you felt was a comment that needed a response and the site owners just ignored you… its like a blue tick message on Whatsapp.  And chances of me coming back or subscribing…. low

Here is protip for bloggers who want to build their readership, its ridiculously easy….When a fellow blogger reads and comments, go to their site and read and comment some of theirs. Read other blogs go out there and find them, read to see how other people write or interact with their audience, and read to find out how to not write, if you go to a website and find things about it that you don’t like then you learn to not do that on yours……..

  • Be classy

Make sure that your call to action is not over powering. You click on a website and the first thing that fills the screen is this:

Call to action

A large pop up window covering everything else, telling you to subscribe to the newsletter….. why should I subscribe when I don’t even know what you are about, I don’t want you in my emails I don’t know you like that, the conversation hasn’t even started……

I might probably close the page entirely without proceeding further, I really might and my chances of subscribing if I do proceed are slim…..On my tiny screen its easier to close the site entirely than to try and press the x to close the pop up window.

A Website is a conversation….. what does yours say?

~B

This was part of my presentation at the WordCamp Harare 2017 you can find my presentation slides here: A website is conversation 

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Of A WordCamp Over Coffee

If you were having coffee with me…..

beaton Mabaso Wordcamp

I would tell you of my amazing time at the WordCamp Conference Harare 2017. I was one of the speakers alongside a number experts, I guess that makes me an expert too… you know what they say ecological species of the avian variety with the same plumage congregate in the same perimeter.

Birds of a feather

birds of a feather

This year the WordCamp was bigger and better than last year, the tickets sold out,  a local company ZOL Fibroniks was a gold sponsor; the future looks bright, hello 2018 looking promising……

One of the best things about a WordCamp is meeting the community networking and making new friends, its inspiring seeing people representing their grind, opportunities everywhere……

WordCamp Harare

If you were having coffee with me, I would give you a quick rundown on my favourite presentations:

 came all the way from German and spoke on Fast Websites and how to make them.

caspar hubinger wordcamp harare fast websites

He made an interesting observation of how in the Zimbabwe context basically “The Internet” basically means social media, Facebook, Twitter…because of the way internet operators bundle subscription packages offering only social media….

The bottom line is If you really want to make your website fast build a fast website, Load optimized your media.

Trust Nhokoyedzo’s presentation on Getting your Value was an eye opening talk on how to get value for your brand.

Trust nhokovedzo wordcamp harare

Some aspects of his talk were similar to my topic just not in the same words. Trust’s talk from last year’s WordCamp is one of the things that made me up my game and a contributing factors to my being part of this year’s speaker line up. When you have knowledge share it and you become an expert……

trust nhokovedzo beaton mabaso

Sizo Sinyolo’s talk touched on women in tech, she was also the only female speaker, (This year there would have been two but Alice had an unfortunate mishap and could not make the event but she send her love from across the globe) Last year you could count the female wordcamp attendees on the fingers of one hand but this year, this year so many more……….

Sizo

If you were having coffee with me; I would tell you about My topic titled “A Website is A conversation

Beaton Mabaso WordCamp Harare

A website is a conversation

Basically I was sharing on how from my experience as a storyteller; you must remember that at the other end of the screen is another human being, just like you, your site must reach out, make them pay attention make them not just subscribers or clients but your friends, make them have a reason to come back and ask “…..and then What happens next”

what happens next

And the story continues….

The internet where websites die

 

Ngoni asked me a question about how I manage to keep my blog running…..

Question segment

You see when you do what you love, you find the time, you make the time to do it;

A round of applause for everyone that made this WordCamp

WordCamp Harare Speakers, volunteers organisers The TEAM

If you were having coffee with, I would tell you that I uploaded the slides from my presentation and you can find them here, contact me if you want me to explain what they mean, I am the story, and the story is me every day I tell a little bit more about it…..

~B

 

PS and of course….. all work and no play……… After Party!!!!

wordcamp harare after party

Wordcamp Harare after party

 

 

You can find some of the conversation on this hastag on twtter #WCHRE

Caspar thank you, for the pics More Can be seen Here  I apologise I only have a grainy one of you but that is what happens when you are taking photos you wont have any of yours

Wordcamp Harare after party

Of Coffee and WordCamps

code-is-poetry

If you were having coffee with me I would say compliments of the season has the festive fever gripped you yet? In my neck of the woods, it’s been a bit low to start  I guess the low disposable income and the crazy circus that is our economy doing a downward spiral which sounds like a fun ride at the amusement park, only that it isnt; it means we have to brace for a trying 2017.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you sent any Christmas cards this year. I did not, so I guess I will not be waiting up on the postman to bring me anything, oh maybe someone can surprise me…. *hint hint*

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you how I attended my very first WordCamp which was also the first time such an event was hosted in Harare; Zimbabwe. The fourth to be held in Africa this year, others having been held in Nairobi, Johannesburg, and Cape Town.

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If you were having coffee with me I would tell you if you ever have a chance to attend one of these, WordCamps, DO!  There is something for all WordPress users from web developers, designers to even the occasional blogger. It’s quite the experience and you will absolutely not leave empty headed not to mention great networking and  a chance to meet up with people whom you might already know but only digitally, and the after-party of course

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you, how slightly apprehensive I was at going; thinking it might be all technical about code, command lines and java scripts and I would be out of my depth, drowning in open source lingo. I was greatly impressed by Sizo who did a presentation of how she built a Website in a little under 24 hours after she had, we wont say lied as such; lets just say maybe say exaggerated her Website building skills to her potential employer during an interview and when she got hired one of her first tasks was to create a website for the company, and she did….

Sizo-Sinyolo-WordCamp.jpg

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you whether the abbreviation SEO means anything to you. I always thought it was fancy speak understood by only by tech gurus. I learnt during a presentation by Trust from Calmlock about Search Engine Optimizations; how if you have an online presence or website and Google cannot find you, you might as well as not exist, so you use SEO to maximise your visibility and he definitely knew what he was on about, because  if you Google: SEO Zimbabwe, his company appears at 2nd position of Google search results.

Have you ever Googled your blog or website are you on the first page of Google? Fortunately if you blog on WordPress.com it does this for you and you get to focus on doing the things you like to do, I am guessing that’s writing.

I also met a Happiness Engineer from WordPress, these are those friendly almost imaginary people who give you help and support on WordPress forums. It seems like a fun place to work and I would not mind being one of those, not to mention I have always been unofficially been helping  out my fellow bloggers with their WordPress features so yeah…. if anyone from Automattic is reading this *looks at you pointedly* does this count favourably towards my application?.

some pics from the day

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WordCamp Harare 2016

Thanks for dropping by, and so come visit again

season’s greetings

~B

PS if you ever been to a WordCamp or meetup do share would love to here your stories and is there such a an event but strictly for the bloggosphere kinda like a meet-a-blogger bash or something …

 

Photocredits: Techzim Job Thomas