The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

5 For Friday: Resources & Reading for Web Design, Website Management and Associations

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Fri, Feb 08, 2013


Welcome to the first installment of our new 5 For Friday series. Each week, we will find 5 relevant articles or resources that relate to how associations are building and managing their websites.  Some of these might be new articles and others might be “oldie but goodies.” So grab a cup of coffee and read on.

Content Curation

As Elizabeth Engle at Spark Consulting pointed out in her whitepaper titled Attention Doesn’t Scale, the problem is the amount of information that is online – it is a matter of filtering and finding good content.  As she points out, content curation is the solution to this problem.

Associations are great at finding the best content and telling their members “this is what’s important for you right now.”  However, the typical user experience is to simply link off of your site and take the user to the final destination.  The problem with this is you lose the site visitor and any follow-up marketing opportunities.

That’s why this article from Joe Pulizzi titled Fair Use of Online Content with Content Curation is so important.  Take a read and make sure you are following his best practices so your site enjoys the SEO benefits and stays on the good side of content curation.

Responsive Design

It’s no surprise that the use of mobile devices and tablets are exploding.  But how should you plan for it?  Check out this article in this week’s issue of Technoscope titled How to Respond to Responsive Design: The New Reality of the Mobile Web written Vanguard’s Chris Bonney (ASAE member login required)

While you’re at it, you might want to also check out this whitepaper written by Forrester titled Understanding Responsive Design.  It’s a great whitepaper offered by our CMS partners over at Sitefinity.

Your new website is live. Now what?

We love website launch days. The site is clean, the navigation works just like we want and the homepage is uncluttered with clear calls to action.  Of course, there’s often the follow-up conversation we have about six to 9 months after the site launch when our client calls saying, “How do I maintain control over the site? All these departments want their content on the homepage?”

This is where the concept of web governance comes in.  Here is an excellent article from A List Apart titled Web Governance: Becoming an Agent of Change with an overview and guidance.

Are you Reaching Your Audience?

My friends over at the Social Studies Group just concluded a study on mommy bloggers and their online behaviors.  In the article Missing Out On The Bigger Blogging Audience over at Mediapost they point out that not everyone engages online in the same way and on the same platforms. 

Topics: website redesign, association website design, responsive web design, 5 for Friday

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