Read a good article in Ad Age that ranks some of the best and worst corporate websites. The article captures the inside-out and narrow perspective that make some corporate sites akin to a beautiful but boring product catalog. Why companies don’t think beyond the purchase activity is beyond me. As most everybody knows by now, consumers will browse using a range of tools (usually starting with Google) to find information and links relevant to their interests. And when they end up on a corporate site, they want more than a dry, mechanical laundry list of products and prices. Yes, that’s an important part of the equation, but there are other activities and tools that companies can use to engage and educate potential buyers and sharpen their interest. How about facilitating a dialogue with consumers, or allowing them to shape or create product ideas themselves? How about a place where they can review peer comments and ratings? How about a place where they can just plain have some fun? With everything that’s happened over the past few years, it’s a wonder that some companies have websites that seem to have changed little since the late 1980’s.

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