Cambridge Enterprise Forum hosted What Not to Web (turn up your volume) moderated and delivered by Fresh Tilled Soil. I felt totally at home with the introductory pre-session play list sharing by some of the Fresh Tilled Soil team and the sneakers and torn jeans of Richard Banfield, the leader of their firm and a real thought leader on the issue of what to web or not to web.
This was a lesson in Zen, in trend, and what works on the web. The web world is already working its way into phase three - Web 2.0 plus all mobile access within the next few years. Web 2.0 is barely understood by most. But social networking, shared services, workflow, and inter-enterprise process management are all enabled by these, so it behooves marketers, CEOs and developers to understand this world and where it is going.
A series of web sites was subjected to a '20 minute makeover' (a great learning technique which was used to see a variety of businesses and how they can web better). A great panel, the founders of Grasshopper.com, and web-o-matic who webbed their way to business success, along with Banfield and the audience, judged several sites and discussed how to improve them.
We discussed technology, tools, design, social networks; small vs. large business; content vs. product vs. services sites; as well as understanding demographics and their interests and preferences for interaction.
The audience was a collection of seasoned (that means older) as well as young (that means poor) entrepreneurs, with a zest for learning that transcends age. And that was one of the critical learnings - good design transcends groups.
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