Monday, 27 June 2011

Lots of little fires

If I type ‘shops market street hebden bridge’ in google I see 7 shops listed. Next to each is a ‘Place page’ link which gives handy details about opening times, a phone number, email and reviews. On my phone when I'm stood near market street that list is automatic.
However there are over 40 shops on Market Street so google is giving a pretty small sample. Most of the 7 have an ‘owner verified listing’ tick indicating that the details were supplied by the owner. This blog post isn’t about Google Places or even appearing at the top of search results. Telling google your opening times is (my metaphor for the day, drum roll please...) lighting one little fire.
I am suggesting building lots of little fires will have more success than setting light to an enormous bonfire. In this case the big bonfire is commissioning the perfect website. That website could consume all your energy and budget. I’ve seen the big bonfire when I worked at web design agencies. It seems to go like this:
Anne has been itching to do something about getting a website and not getting round to it. Now it is a pressing matter and something must be done. A substantial budget is found and Anne goes shopping and wants to get lots of value from her budget. Everything bar the kitchen sink is thrown in until the entire budget is consumed. Something has been done, the itch has gone (as has the budget) Anne moves on to other pressing matters; the website is left alone until the itch re-emerges and the process starts again.
I hope it is obvious that I don’t think that process is a good one I merely observe it is a common one. My problem is that except for a brief burst of activity Anne is distant and hands off from something that is her identity online.
If you’re tempted to build the big bonfire, try some little fires instead:
  1. Go to google places, jump through their hoops and get those opening times up there and correct.
  2. Learn a little. Demystify the internet with a touch of knowledge.
  3. Find an a template tool such as squarespace and hack away with it.
  4. Don’t hand over a big commission to some suited and booted smooth talker; buy in small improvements. A new look for your blog for instance.


  1. Just found your blog, Robert (great name!) And it's a great read, very interesting. Off to update my Google places....

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, writing is far from my comfort zone.

  3. Greetings Fellow Hebden Bridge Blogger!!!


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