WordPress helps techno-incompetent redesign our site

Stewart hard at workAs part of International Bring Your Luddite To Work Day we allowed our Content Marketing Director, Stewart Kirkpatrick, to redesign our site. 

Now, the boy can do words, pictures and what users like but, to be frank, couldn’t code his way out of a paper bag. In fact, getting him to make a cup of tea involves a map, a torch and painstaking discussions on the essential nature of the word “kettle”.

It does sound a bit of a risk entrusting the care of our corporate site to somebody challenged by the technical problems of turning on a light switch. But we had a secret weapon: WordPress.

WordPress is the free, open source, Web 2.0 content management system. It is so simple to use that if you can handle Microsoft Word documents (or not in the case of Stewart) then you can make WordPress work for you.

As well as offering simpicity it can also be as complex as you need. And this is where the rest of us weighed in with our technical expertise. This site uses a heavily customised version of the Atahualpa theme. To make it as sophisticated as we wanted it to be we’ve given it a cocktail of plugins that we have found to be particularly effective – though some  needed a tweak or two.  These range from SEO to mobile versions to video display and beyond.

As for how the new site looks, it’s less Stalinist than the previous version but remains true to web guru Clay Shriky’s dictum: “behaviour first, design second”.

Brilliant Today programme viral

Here’s a wonderful bit of viral marketing for BBC Radio 4′s prestigious Today programme. It’s not frightened to send up the brand in order to engage the interest of the audience and promote the product. In fact, the genius lies precisely within that conflict between the content of Rubber Republic’s spoof and the most uberserious news programme on the airwaves.

It’s precisely this kind of invention that is at the heart of content marketing.

Web creator lays out vision of what comes next

Sir Tim Berners-Lee tells TED 2009 what the web of the future will look like.

For his next project, he’s building a web for open, linked data that could do for numbers what the Web did for words, pictures, video: unlock our data and reframe the way we use it together

Blogging tools and the future of your organisation’s website

At w00tonomy, we’re fascinated by the endless possibilities of blogging tools.  While we are able to carry out all singing, all dancing Rolls-Royce-and-caviar redesigns, we think they’re not right for all organisations.

In fact many would be better off building their websites on cost-effective open source blogging tools like WordPress rather than spending tens of thousands of pounds on bespoke solutions. There is nothing particularly radical in this. The sites of both No 10 Downing Street and the Wales Office were built on WordPress.

WordPress is easy to use, flexible and comes with an awe-inspiring array of plugins that will keep your site ahead of the curve. The plugins are simple to install and, among many other things, allow you to optimise your site for search engines, link up all your social networking activity and boost traffic. Also, a WordPress site does not need to look like a blog. It can have a professional design and all the functionality that makes it so powerful.

This site is built on WordPress (though this is supposed to look like a blog) and we are performing a WordPress migration for a client at the moment.

But it’s not just about saving money. Clients who go down this route can spend their money on making their messages more interesting to their target audiences – thus making that spend work harder. 

Our bearded Content Marketing Director, Stewart Kirkpatrick, was recently quoted in a Sunday Herald piece about blogging journalists on the importance of content in making a site work:

 “Attracting an audience is not so easy. You need to make sure the content is frequently updated, that you’re saying something unique and reaching out to [others].”

(Stewart also recently wrote a piece for journalism.co.uk on the plight of Scotland’s papers and the need for them to improve their content and websites.)

w00tonomy is one year old

Happy birthday to us. Happy birthday to us. Happy birthday, dear agency with the slightly peculiar name.

Yes indeed. w00tonomy is one year old. (Though, strictly speaking, as it was formed on 29 February its next birthday is not until 2012.)

It has been a very successful 12 months for us. We have won clients from the Scottish public sector and from the personal finance, IT and media sectors in the UK and abroad. And we have made it onto the Scottish Government’s digital roster.

Our clients have been attracted by our ability to make the web work for them – whether it be through social networking, improved content, strategic consultancy, analysis or web redesigns.

w00tonomy on the radio

Our Content Marketing Director, Stewart Kirkpatrick, has once again graced the airwaves with his considered opinions. Mercifully for the eyes of the public, he was on the radio this time. (His appearance on BBC 1 Scotland’s Politics Show required teams of makeup artists working in shifts to cover the most appalling crevasses).

Stewart was on Lesley Riddoch’s programme talking about the Scottish media and public sector issues with SNP MEP Alyn Smith and the Leader of Glasgow City Council, Steven Purcell.

w00tonomy on the telly

Stewart Kirkpatrick on BBC Scotland's 'Politics Show'

w00tonomy’s Content Marketing Director has continued his relentless self-promotion with an appearance on BBC Scotland’s ‘Politics Show’.

He was talking about the future of Scotland’s indigenous newspapers. 

Unsurprisingly, the former editor of scotsman.com (when it was good) emphasised the importance of targeting quality content at key audiences who would find it of value.

As well as taking part in a live panel discussion, he was interviewed while attending the Scottish Government’s recent summit on newspapers.

In that vein, he was also quoted in the Sunday Herald on the recent change of editors at The Scotsman.

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