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Should we stop using the terms blog and microsite

December 2, 2010

A Facebook page is a microsite.

So is the company page on LinkedIn.

So is a blog.

While we’re at it, a YouTube Channel, Delicious feed, Slideshare Pro Account and even a Wikipedia entry are microsites.

Or are they landing pages?

Or simply websites?

This might sound like a semantic argument, but I think it’s an important one. Because consumers don’t care about these kinds of terms. They only care about getting content on a site about a brand.

So why should it matter?

Because of budgets. Brands budget a lot of money for a website. They might even budget a lot of money on a microsite. But if we don’t think of Facebook, Ning, YouTube, Slideshare as websites, there won’t be the same kind of investment.

To be clear: I’m not advocating creating all of these things. I’m not saying that all bands should have Slideshare, YouTube, a blog, a Twitter feed, a Facebook page and all the other things one could create.

The point is this: when thinking about a digital plan, the words we use limit the planning. We focus the interactive plan on websites and landing pages and microsites.

Then, over in the corner is the social media strategy. The strategy for those other sites.

But the point is this: they aren’t separate. The website, the Facebook page, the YouTube Channel, the interactive tools that consumers use to engage with brands are all the same thing.

Websites.

And until we change the terms we use to describe them, we’ll continue to silo them.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2010 11:29 am

    Thanks for the thought provoking post.

    I guess I’m one of those guys who thinks a website is a website, and all the rest are not. That’s not to say that each one doesn’t have value, but they are not the same, so hiding all of them behind one word, ‘website’, so they can get some street cred with the purse string holders doesn’t really work with me. If I wanted to bind them all together so they get equal consideration in the budget planning process I think I would use the word Internet-Marketing-Tools, and not confuse the issue by calling something a website when it really is a page or more aptly a (pre-approved interruption) feed.

    I think the key is in your comment “when thinking about a digital plan”. Each one of the items you mentioned has a different value and purpose when trying to accomplish different marketing goals (assuming you plans have come from goals). You might be able to use only one, or maybe it works if you use several. Heaven forbid you would actually have to use traditional media then drop them on one of your Internet-Marketing-Tools.

    I also think there is a problem with terminology. There is a problem with prejudices. There is a problem with education and understanding. There is a problem with lack of vision and recognizing trends. And none of these problems are solved by calling something a website when it’s not a website.

    Good Hunting.

    • December 3, 2010 5:49 pm

      Tim,

      Thanks for your comment. You’re right, this is more about “prejudices” and less about semantics. And it’s not really about getting more money for a Facebook page, but more about tearing down silos of how we look at digital sites in general. We have these terms “Microsite”, “Website”, etc, but I don’t think consumers will distinguish.

      In the long run, they will all be websites to people. And I think that will happen before we in the industry fix our vernacular.

      Or maybe not.

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