Online identity

When the internet began, it suffered an immediate credibility gap. Wild claims and promises made by early websites were viewed as such, and the new medium seemed destined to remain a digital flea market.

At some point in the process Google came along and took action to clean house. In many ways they did – and that’s important. But in more meaningful ways they did not – and that’s more important.

Today’s internet is an amalgamation of legitimate information and complete fabrication. The troubling part is that knowing the difference is almost impossible.

That simple fact puts those interested in the truth – and their own reputation – in a defensive position. The truth of something is less important than the capacity to publish in a vehicle Google considers credible.

Whether we choose to bury our heads in the sand or mold our destiny is a decision each of us has to make. If you choose the later, understand that social media is not going to help.

The information on Facebook and Linkedin, and other similar websites, does not belong to the person behind the profile; it is the property of those organizations. In order to have control over personal information you must put it on your own website.

If you find merit in this reasoning, watch this space for information on personal websites and other strategies.

web design: common sense seldom prevails

The point of a website is to communicate. Just as in speech or writing, the basic rule is to keep it simple. This is a universally accepted principal – until it comes to web design.

For one reason or another, this simple concept gives way to a myriad of unnecessary elements. Images and graphics are helpful only to the extent that they actually illustrate the central theme or message.

Simple is better and easier. Let’s consider this website as an example. It’s as plain as plain can be, but does it satisfy the following essential criteria:

Is the point of the website immediately clear?

Does it appear to be legitimate?

As a visitor, do you know what action is expected of you?