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I'm thinking of unifying at least two of my three web sites, what do you think?

By Andrew Pollack on 12/22/2007 at 01:22 PM EST

I have three sites I try to maintain. This blog site, the main NCT site, and my Second Signal web site. I don't think I'm quite ready to fold in Second Signal yet -- it probably needs its own identity. Do I really need to be all that distinct between NCT and my blog? Many of my peers spend a great deal of time making web sites that look like they're big consulting agencies. I know one guy who's web site almost makes you think he's one of the big analyst firms. I can't imagine that the charade holds up for long when he actually does business with anyone. I've never asked, because frankly I don't like the guy at all.

Originally, the reason I did the blog as its own design and have almost no link from the main site to this one is that I say things here that are decidedly not business like. On the other hand, although I don't call attention to the fact, I've never pretended on the main site that NCT is larger than it is. I find, lately, that my business is generated largely from being me. I'm thinking about acknowledging that and moving the product pages (which are hopelessly out of date) and the pages which describe the kind of consulting I do into an integrated design with this blog site, so that the blog is me, the company is me, and the products are things I offer. This is, in fact, simply a reflection of the truth after all.

Now is the time, as I'm planning updated releases (finally) of all three products. I think I'm much more likely to gain by spending more time focused on a single site that just works and looks better.

Will I lose business from people who might have gone with me for consulting because I say things on the blog? I doubt it seriously. I can't imagine I get much consulting work as a result of NCT's web site. Maybe someone who comes across one of the products will see the blog and be turned off -- but really, that's not where business mostly comes from.

As to the obvious question about why I don't just shut my pie-hole and start only saying nice things on here, the answer is simple. I am what I am. Yucksk.Yucksk.Yucksk.Yucksk. (Popeye). Back in high school, one of my good friends (and still one of my good friends, when we have time to keep in touch) told me about something that happened after I'd gone into a classroom to drop something off. It seems that a discussion about me kicked off when I left. About half the people in there thought I was a complete ass. The other half thought exactly the opposite. The thing that struck her was that almost nobody in the room had no opinion or didn't know who I was. The same probably holds true today, although hopefully the percentage is at least a little better. The funny thing is, probably both sides are right.

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re: I'm thinking of unifying at least two of my three web sites, what do you think?By Ben Langhinrichs on 12/22/2007 at 03:32 PM EST
I think it is a very good idea. I unified my site a long time ago, although
with the site at the center and the blog integrated in, but I have seen other
sites where the blog seems to be the center with the site integrated in.
Either way can work. I would agree that most people who hire you for
consulting are hiring you for you, not for a pretty site. There are those who
somehow believe Genii Software is bigger than it is, and there might be a few
who believe that of your company, but I don't see it is a big deal the way it
was even seven or eight years ago. Personality cults are all the rage these
days, and you are a certifiable personality (pun intended).
re: I'm thinking of unifying at least two of my three web sites, what do you think?By Chris Miller on 12/24/2007 at 10:42 AM EST
I say make the homepage for NCT and have a link for the blog on there like many
sites. This leads those to read what the company has to say. I see it more
re: I'm thinking of unifying at least two of my three web sites, what do you think?By Charles Robinson on 12/26/2007 at 10:25 AM EST
I agree with Ben that you're a certifiable personality (but not psychotic...
this time), and with Chris that a business-specific frontend with a link to the
blog would be a better approach.

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