The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

5 For Friday: Website Design, Pinterest, Social Tips & More

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Fri, Feb 22, 2013

Welcome to this week’s issue of the 5 For Friday series. I don’t have a theme this week so it’s a potluck of interesting tips and news I found through this week’s reading.

Pinterest could be the number 2 social network

While we have been tweeting and worrying about Facebook likes, PInterest has roared into our collective consciousness.  Much has been written about what makes good Pinterest content and Maggie McGary even publishes her Pins of the Week.

Which is why this article from Huffington Post caught my eye because it points out how Pinterest is duking it out with Twitter for the #2 social network.  I find it interesting Google+ isn’t mentioned but for some reason the studies they used didn't query about Google+.  

Read more at Huffington Post.

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Topics: association website design, Google Analytics, Pinterest, 5 for Friday, Google+

5 Critical Association Web Strategies For 2012

Posted by Chris Bonney on Fri, Feb 03, 2012

1. Leverage What Works.

The Internet is full of “good enough” information. Trying to be all things to all members is the kiss of death online in 2012. Determine what’s working on your website, what your members seem to gravitate toward, and do more of that. Don’t be afraid to cut content for the sake of doing fewer things better.

2. Curate.

Do the searching for your members. Content curation sites like and make it drop dead simple for people to cull niche content for specialized audiences. Is there a way to curate your organizational or industry content in a relevant and meaningful way for your members? When isn’t making your members’ lives easier a killer member benefit?

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Topics: web strategy, marketing, twitter, web 2.0, checklist, higher logic, facebook, Chris Bonney, social media, website redesign, Google+, association technology, Websites, associations

27 Things I Noticed About Your Website

Posted by Chris Bonney on Mon, May 24, 2010

Yes, this post is for you. It's about your website. You haven't redesigned it in way too many years and it shows. Here's a quick list of things I found.

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Topics: vanguard technology, web 2.0, social media, domain name, website redesign, Google+, Websites

What Google Can Teach You About Your Website

Posted by Chris Bonney on Thu, May 20, 2010

I admire Marissa Mayer at Google. She's the Vice President, Search Products & User Experience at the search giant. In essence, she's the one responsible for keeping Google's home page as simple as it remains today. Not an easy feat. She's loved and hated by many, but she's maintained her integrity and beliefs about user experience and Google remains profitable because of it.

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Topics: web strategy, marketing, user experience, usability, Google+, Websites, marissa mayer

5 Social Networking Secrets for 2010

Posted by Chris Bonney on Tue, Jan 12, 2010

Yep, it's a new year and it's time to take your social networking to the next level. Here are the things your association should be doing that the novices aren't even considering yet. 2010 will be an avalanche of success if you blend these tactics and strategies into your planning and thought work. Best of luck and let me know how it goes.

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Topics: youtube, web strategy, web 2.0, social media, Google+, association technology

The First Thing Your Association Should Do This Year

Posted by Chris Bonney on Sat, Jan 10, 2009

We wish everyone in the association community a very happy and prosperous new year.

If you've made any resolutions for your organization, then here's another one for your list.

It's the first thing you should do this year, if you haven't done it already.

It's simple, helpful and extremely insightful. It can give you a set of ears and eyes that can hear and see farther than your entire membership combined.

It's a way to track what the world is saying about you. It's a way to engage in the worldwide dialoge that is Web 2.0. It's a window into the future of your organization.

The first thing you should do this year is CREATE A GOOGLE ALERT.

If you already have alerts set up, then excellent for you. You get it. You get the value, the giddy feeling you get when Google hooks some information of value for you.

If you haven't set up a Google Alert, then this is the first positive thing you do for your organization this year.

Google describes alerts like this:

" Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic."

Do you get why this is important? In this new world of blogs and wikis and social networks there is probably a lot being written about your organization on the Web. Conversations between members, news stories on niche websites, or possibly even blogs posting erroneous and untrue information about your organization's position on an important topic. It's vital that you're aware of what is being written about your association on the web, and Google Alerts will, well, alert you when something has been said.

It's simple to set up. Go to and click on the "More" button at the top. From there you'll see a listing of all Google products and services. You'll see the Google Alerts link as the first link on the page.

If you have a Google account you're ready to start, but if you don't, set up an account first and then come back to this page and get started. What are some search queries associations are using today to monitor the web? Here are some ideas:

- your association's name
- your association's acronym
- your board president's name
- any keyword from your industry
- your competitor's name
- the name of your annual event

Remember to put your search queries in quotes like this "abc association" so that Goole knows you're looking for the whole phrase in that order.

Have you had luck with Google Alerts already? Do you have any pointers for those just gettings started? Have you chosen not to do Google Alerts for some particular reason? Feel free to share in the comments below.
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Topics: listening, new year, alert, resolution, marketing, Tactics, social media, Google+, Websites, associations

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