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”.

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w00tonomy makes Scottish Government digital marketing roster

We are delighted to announce that, in conjunction with our consortium partners The Union and Conscia, that w00tonomy has been selected for the Scottish Government’s digital marketing services framework.

This is a major achievement for a young agency and we are delighted. Along with our consortium partners, we look forward to providing the Scottish Government and other bodies using the roster with our services:

Turbocharge content to optimise appeal to online customers.

Creating messages that interest customers rather than messages they ignore.

We make online spend work harder. We deliver higher returns on online investment through the use of targeted, quality content to build a lasting relationship with your target audience.

If you’d like to know more, please contact us.

w00tonomy and The Drum create Drum TV

w00t! w00t! we were really pleased to see the launch of The Drum TV this week. This is a new innovation we have been working on with those good people at The Drum so it was great to see it go live. Let us know what you think.

Scottish Marketing Association on the digital future

Mark GormanStewart writes: To Denholm Associates in Leith, courtesy of the Scottish Marketing Association, there to scoff and quaff free food and wine. After a while its chairman Mark Gorman was good enough to point out that I was there to take part in a discussion on the future of digital marketing and not to break gluttony records. (I would like to take this opportunity to thank the security staff for being so restrained in removing me from the crisp bowl.)

The panel, Mike Coulter, Eliza Dashwood, Scott Howard and me, were led by John Campbell up a spiral staircase to the lurking audience as the theme from Rocky blared out from loudspeakers. (Might have been the music from Question Time but I’m not sure, having been mixing my own brand “Leith rosé” from the drinks cabinet.)

The standard of debate was very high and I think the audience of 30 marketing types were interested, judging by the fact that the stayed put instead of stampeding for the exit.

Needless to say, I emphasised the centrality of online content to the future of marketing. Aside from a lively debate about whether what was happening online now was the biggest upheaval we’d ever see, the panel agreed on some key points:

  • Digital agencies need to give better service to clients, learning from their “offline” antecedents.
  • The agencies of the future need to be nimble so they can, in Mike’s memorable phrase, “dance on the waterbed” that is the changing landscape.
  • The barriers between marketing, advertising, PR and SEO are shifting.
  • Analysis and measurability are key, especially in these straitened times.
  • Content is crucial (yay!).
  • The users are in charge in a way we’ve never seen before.
  • The iPhone means incredible things for the mobile market.

We all agreed that that last point is an entire discussion on its own.

Se7en deadly sins of online – SLOTH

We are uncovering w00tonomy’s take on the se7en deadly sins and the virtues of Content Marketing. These are the vices we’ve seen drag businesses into the express elevator to redesign hell. Going down!

SLOTH – failure to plan beyond launch

slothful homer This is the sin of indifference to your content and failure to make the most of what you have to market. It always happens after the dust of the project delivery has settled. The hustle and bustle of the project review meetings are a distant memory of post-it notes and cheap cofee. A good job has been done by one and all. But nobody has planned for what to do beyond the launch date.

Thinking and acting like a publisher is essential for seeing beyond the go-live date. Content marketing means a delivered site is just a tool to get started on the job of attracting an audience.

w00tonomy director relentlessly delivers nauseating self promotion

Stewart Kirkpatrick, our Content Marketing Director, has induced a bout of vomiting at w00tonomy with this self-serving communique:

“I have been elected to the New Media Industry Council of the National Union of Journalists (in a jobshare with Euan Williamson of Imagineering). Like nearly every large body, the NUJ has struggled with what the web means for today and tomorrow. I am delighted to have this opportunity to help guide its thinking.”

Stewart will also be speaking at the Sunday Herald’s Shaping Scotland’s Digital Future event – at 9am on 24 April at The Teacher Building, St Enoch Square, Glasgow – where he will be tarred and feathered by the rest of w00tonomy if he comes out with anything similar in tone to the above statement.

w00tonomy and Scotland’s digital deficit

We have launched w00tonomy – our content marketing agency – today with this statement:

A radical new online agency has been launched with a view to helping Scotland overcome its “digital deficit”.

Stewart Kirkpatrick Editor, Content Marketing Director of w00tonomy and award-winning editor of scotsman.com from 2000 to 2007, said: “We believe that Scotland’s online ecosystem is five years behind London and ten years behind where it could be. There are many very talented web and marketing professionals in our private and public sectors but for one reason and another that pool of talent has not led to the digital landscape that Scotland deserves.”

Kirkpatrick and his colleagues, two of Scotland’s leading online thinkers, Graham Jones and Tony Purcell, believe that Scotland needs a national discussion on how to rectify this situation. They believe that their content marketing agency offers a unique service and is well placed to lead the debate. Kirkpatrick said: “Scotland’s invention gave the world television, tarmac and penicillin. We have traditionally punched above our weight – and still do in the games market – but as a nation we have yet to get to grips with the opportunities of digital.”

“Imagine a world where every citizen could access every piece of information they needed wherever they were, whoever it was from in a way that was relevant, engaging and – most of all – interesting to that individual. Imagine too that they were then able to enter into a dialogue with the organisation that provided the information so that they felt involved and engaged with the service provided. Every message would be tailored to them, every point of contact would make them feel part of a community and every transaction would involve something far more meaningful than the simple exchange of cash.

“Thanks to the improvements in mobile phones and the evolution of the internet into a two-way discussion based on the sharing of information, all this is possible now. All we need to do is make it happen.”

About: Formed by three of Scotland’s leading online experts, w00tonomy is the first “content marketing” agency in Scotland and it represents the next evolutionary step in online marketing.

w00t: (Internet slang) Used to express joy, particularly that felt during success or victory. (From Wikipedia.) W00t was Merriam Webster’s “word of the year” in 2007.

-onomy: system of rules, laws, or knowledge about a particular field. (Also from Wikipedia.)

Why did we do this? because of the way we saw the internet moving. The first phase of the internet was really about technology, the second was about the visual element. But for now and for the future it is all about content, particularly with the launch of new mobile devices like the iphone.

Our experience has taught us that to reach target audiences clients need to build a relationship with them based on interesting and relevant content – not ads. This content must be developed over time in response to intelligence about how the audience behaves. This is at the heart our business – content marketing.

What we stand for: We believe that every client has a story to tell to every one of its customers – w00tonomy will tell that in a way that builds a long-term relationship with the online audience.

How we work: We use the changing online landscape to deliver and develop our clients’ message through high-quality creative content on next-generation platforms, and then give them bite-size intelligence about how it performs so it can be evolved.

How we are different: Traditional online marketing has focused on building a web or mobile site, uploading the client’s content and then (maybe) monitoring the traffic. The process ends there. But this approach fails to take into account how people and content behave – especially after Web 2.0. All content competes for attention with all other content – regardless of who publishes it. Our business is built on the realisation that clients now want to demonstrate real value from their online spend. Our directors boast decades of experience in editorial, strategic, technical, analytic and operational fields. We bring all components together to make your online presence effective. We will guide our clients on every stage of building a successful online strategy.

Stewart Kirkpatrick – Content Marketing Director
Stewart is Scotland’s leading content consultant, working for the Scottish Government on major projects. He was editor of scotsman.com from 2000 to 2007. In that time traffic increased ten-fold to 4 million unique users a month. The site became one of Google News’s top 30 worldwide news sources and was identified by Media Week as the sixth biggest news site in the UK. scotsman.com won the Newspaper Society’s New Media Award for Best Daily Newspaper Site in 2002, 2003 and 2006 and was shortlisted for numerous national and international journalism awards. Last year, Stewart, a member of the international committee of the Online News Association, was named as one of “the top 50 people shaping online journalism” by UK Press Gazette.

Tony Purcell – Online Strategy and Research Director
Tony is a pioneer of the Internet industry in Scotland and a serial entrepreneur. He founded Communicata in 1995, a company specialising in web application development. Along with developing web applications, the company produced promotional websites for a number of large corporates including Sony, Scottish & Newcastle, The WM Company, Newcastle United Football Club, General Accident and the SQA. In 1999 the company was listed in Oracle’s top 50 list of e-business solutions providers worldwide. In 2001 Tony founded CIVIC with Graham Jones which went on to become the leading digital agency in Scotland. CIVIC provides a wide range of web services to the public sector in Scotland and is a supplier to the Scottish Government. Tony is also a business mentor and represents the interactive industry on the Scottish Skillset industry panel.

Dr Graham Jones – Client Services & Planning Director
Graham was Managing Director of CIVIC, Scotland’s fastest growing Online Communications Agency from its inception, in August 2001 to Nov 2007. In this time the business grew from an initial £0.5m and 7 staff to £2m with a staff of 28 people. His responsibilities throughout this period were to provide the strategic vision and direction to meet the needs of a dynamic and rapidly growing marketplace. His responsibilities also included Client & project Management, contractual negotiations, managing legal risk, business development and marketing of the agency. He was successful in establishing a reputation for credibility and industry expertise with clients to the extent that CIVIC became trusted suppliers to the Scottish Government. Graham has also worked for 7 years in the software industry, 5 years at Edinburgh University as Research Associate & 4 years as a Management Accountant.