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It took all my powers of persuasion to stop the 6 flash-only sites he wanted.
My pages are incredibly heavy due to the large number of graphics Im told to put in.
The text I am using is cheesy sales pitch crap, which ideally I am going to re-write, but not with 3 re-designs and 3 new sites demanded in the next few weeks.
Some snippets of conversations Ive had over the past week....
Me: "eh, but the search engines may have a hard time indexing that"
Him: "well, does it really matter? At least they will look good..."
Me: "These pages are way too large - they will be really slow to load"
Him: "Ah people can just wait"
Me: "I dont have any text for these <widgets>"
Him: "Just take it from our competitors site."
Me: "Er, duplicate content, and frankly badly copy anyway"
Him: "Doesnt matter"
Me: "I need <widget> graphics too"
Me: "I still need to optimise these sites"
Him: "It can wait - it´s not important"
Chairman: "So we getting 10k visitors on the sites yet?"
Shoot me. Shoot me now!
And yes, I have tried explaining the ins and outs of SEO, but the chairman wants a pretty all singing, all dancing site first and foremost. And then, of course, demands results later.
My problem is that I joined the company and noone had any IT knowledge at all (hehe thats why they hired me! ;)) and no website.
I knocked one together and got decent traffic.
Now they figure (from a sales point of view) - one site = xxx traffic, therefore 6 sites = xxx times 6 traffic. Instantly.
They dont realise that Im going to have to undo half the work im doing right now to get results, which means taking longer that it should. But they need everything yesterday.
And dont get me started on the managers going off and signing us up to search engine submission services without bothering to consult me......
Ah! I feel better already! :)
I love my job.
Did I say I was an external internet consultant?
So....how does one go about becoming an internal internet consultant? ;)
Knowing my luck they would pay through the nose for some cowboy to come in and tell them they dont have enough hidden text....
It also sounds like their egos are involved and they don't value you. I would help lead THEM to the right answer. More gentle and quietly, one-on-one discussions. Nothing confrontational.
Must be frustrating for you.
I tried to explain what I was doing and what I was going to do for months after I started, but after 5 minutes the boss said "ok, im bored, when will you have it done by?".
Which is cool - I got left to my own devices and got some decent results.
Just now with company expansion, a redesign of the existing site was needed, along with the addition of several more.
As my graphic design skills leave a lot to be desired, we got a graphic designer in. He´s an old friend of the boss and basically gives him what he wants (read: likes), which is simpler with graphic design than what we do.
So the boss made him IT manager. Which again is cool - he´s a sound guy, we have a laugh (share an office) and the graphic side of things is being expanded more than the IT side. Plus we are in a business that employees tend to bugger off and start up on their own, so its common for employers to put people they know in management jobs.
But now the graphic designer is responsible for the websites (which means I dont have to piss around chasing up the boss for content and budgets and stuff, so im happy with that).
But because his focus is "give the boss what he wants regardless of all else", Im pretty much limited for options.
Im basically gonna do the sites as im told, and after a couple of months when our 6 or 7 sites are getting less visits than the one i was in complete control of before, Ill bring it up.
Just wanted to bitch n moan about it - this is the only place understand what im complaining about! lol!
The education of the IT manager needs to be as follows.
1. Grab head
2. Beat with a blunt object
3. Repeat until said subject is understood
You really have bosses who do not understand the internet and who are asking you to STEAL content for your competitors site. Thats some real sticky areas to be in for a webmaster. I would try to talk to the IT manager first and if both of you go to the boss and say the same thing he will most likely listen and if not you can "educate" him as well.
Sounds like you are between a rock and a hard place here. Senior management is responsible for inadquacies in many of our sites due to there lack of trust for the ability of us 'minions' - but it has been getting better - we tried the same approach as you have mentioned and after the traffic all but dried up for the Image heavy flash based site they began to believe we knew what we were talking about ( thanks WW ;) )
Takes time to trust your staffs ability and if over time they do not trust your sense of judgement and knowledge then 'bugger off and start up on your own' ;)
In our industry, the widget manufacturers provide retailers with content and images and openly encouage the use of them in marketing material. This is what our competition are using.
My problem with it is:
a) It sucks. It's cheesy nonsense most of the time.
b) It is unoriginal.
But due to fairly unrealistic time constraints, its what we have to use.
Im working on the redesigns at the minute, and we have come to a decent comprimise. The sites, if anything, look dam good and by far out class our competition.
I'm fairly confident I can work with what ive got and achieve results, but it will be far from ideal.
Well in the widget world I guess it is hard to come up with a new description for the same thing.
Throwing up what they want for the moment is not going to be too bad. After I got the initial site up I would go ahead and come up with new descriptions for the product or at least make it less unoriginal and cheesy.
It's not exactly my kind of business (too hard core sales with little focus on anything else). Im hoping to setup on my own eventually, but I aint got no captial! :)
And personally, I think the boss knows it, so thats why I dont get paid much! ;)
So....how does one go about becoming an internal internet consultant?
Easy. Be an external internet consultant for about 20 years. The only problem then is that people think as you work for the same company (and don't demand enormous fees), you know exactly as much as they do and not more. So you are back where you started.