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Five Suggestions to Improve PodTech
I received so much great feedback on my suggestions for TechMeme that I have decided to offer more suggestions to more companies. If you have a company that needs some suggestions, send in a note. Today, it's PodTech's turn. These guys have been beaten up so bad recently and while I don't know all of the details (nor do I care), I think there are things they are doing right and some areas for improvement. Here are 5 suggestions for PodTech which if implemented will help improve their overall image.
Suggestion #1 – Web Site Design/Layout
The design is just not up-to-par. It's ugly, the usability is poor and it looks like it was created in 1995. I would suggest that they take some of the VC funds and create a new, fresh, functional design/layout. Text is Arial (yuk) and headers are something else (Trebuchet?). There is also nearly no hierachy in the layout area. A new design will give site visitors a belief that PodTech is a forward-thinking, current company.
Suggestion #2 – Brand Shows
PodTech has some of the big names on board including Robert Scoble, Jason Mahalanis and Jeremiah Owyang. I suggest they brand their shows and create a flavor for each one. Why not leverage the talent? On the home page, all of the links on the right take you off PodTech and to the individual bloggers. For example, Jason produces CalacanisCast, but his link takes me to his blog home page, where the CC show is basically nowhere to be found. At least link to the actual show.
Suggestion #3 – Upgrade the Player
This is similar to suggestion #1 in that the player just doesn't feel 2007 in my opinion. It's tiny and it's just not pretty. There is a button that looks like two "o"'s intertwined but has no information so a user has no idea what it does. There is no tagging, no commenting, etc. On second note, it does appear to have a comment link but you need to click "share" first. When I watch the player externally (say on Loren's site), I get an error every time "Stack Overflow at line 7" when I click off the video. For most people, the player is their first interaction with PodTech, don't make it a bad one. Lastly, why not brand the player? Since you are a closed network, why not have a PodTech logo within the player?
Suggestion #4 – Bring the Corporate Shows to Life
Down the right side of PodTech's site are their corporate shows. Clients from Cisco to CA to GoDaddy are all top notch, yet when I visit their section, it's just another boring old PodTech page. I suggest that they bring the shows to life in a similar way to suggestion #2 above. For example, why not have a Cisco logo on the Cisco page? Why show a HP ad on a Cisco page? By bringing the corporate shows to life, PodTech not only will have their current clients marketing their section, but it will become an awesome marketing vehicle for future clients.
Suggestion #5 – Ignore the Haters
There will always be haters. Ignore them. Remember your mother telling you, "Sticks and stones…"? There is no reason that Jason and Robert need to fight with Nick Douglas every single time he posts some story about PodTech? Do you really believe that replying will do any good? If a site offers constructive criticism, replies are fine. If a fact is incorrect, offer the correct fact. But don't get into these absolutely stupid 90210 battles. No one wins and PodTech winds up looking worse after it.