BRIDGESENSE.COM
the Swiss knife of
Web & Mobile Development
  • The Power of Attraction

    He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.

    Henry Ward Beecher
    Some of the most poorly designed websites today are arguably the most successful ones.  A great case study is DrudgeReport.com. The news site is virtually featureless, but its viewership outperforms the New York Times.  Matt Drudge’s passion is relevant, unadulterated news.  By his devotion to it he has attracted a loyal following of like-minded readers.

    Aligning Others With Your Purpose
    Therein lies the secret of success to attracting new visitors to a website who will return regularly.  It is about finding like-minded individuals who are attracted to a website’s reason for being.

    It doesn’t matter if the website celebrates a charity or if it is wholesaling plumbing parts. Devotion is contagious.  Providing do-it-yourself tutorials and social media solutions where people can discuss their home improvement projects can go a long way towards moving more plumbing supplies than there is room to store it.  See our section on Contribution for more information on this subject.

    Website traffic always grows exponentially in proportion to the amount of devotion given by those who continue to develop it.  That is the power of attraction.
  • Great Conversation

    A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue.  That's why there are so few good conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.

    Truman Capote
    A survey done in April 2012 by Netcraft received responses from 676,919,707 websites.  It can be safely assumed there are double the amount of active websites in 2012 than the previous year.  In the midst of a tsunami of new information being introduced to the web each day, a remarkable paradigm shift has occurred in web development.  It’s called social media.

    Social media isn’t the Facebook or Twitter widget that gets pushed into a dusty corner of a website--those are just tools. Social media is the art of listening to an audience.  It is the dialogue that inspires the content on every page.  As this participation grows, new content is introduced.  The conversation that ensues between a site owner and their audience is an ongoing relationship.

    Engaging Your Audience
    What’s the best way to encourage audience participation?  We would like to argue that is a natural process or byproduct of the website’s conviction.  It is natural because people are generally drawn in by conversational tailored content.  When a website exudes passion in that format, the audience is compelled to participate.

    It is important to differentiate this concept of conversational tailored content from the social media tools everyone is already familiar with.  The concept is really simple.  Content includes all the information laid out on a web page.
  • Conversion

    In conversion you are not attached primarily to an order, nor to an institution, nor a movement, nor a set of beliefs, nor a code of action - you are attached primarily to a Person, and secondarily to these other things.

    E. Stanley Jones
    When someone is motivated by an ideal, their loyalty is attached to the person who represents it.  That’s the conversion.

    You Are Your Product or Service
    Being the mascot of their own cause is an important concept that the website owner must master.  The integrity of a product or service is directly related to the integrity of the individual who presents it.  So it is impossible to maintain the momentum of conversion without being true to themselves.  The audience perceives this and expects a certain amount of transparency.

    Transparency means opening up, displaying personality, maybe even sharing a few private details!  This creates a call to action signal in the brain.  This is why Simon Sinek mentions in his TED presentation, “We are talking directly to the brain that controls behavior and then we allow people to rationalize it with the tangible things we say and do.”  The more real the mascot is, the stronger the behavior elicited becomes.

    This doesn't have to be a science.  For example, entertaining pictures of the website owner and their staff can be extremely powerful.  When truth is maintained, very little can go wrong.  Alexis Ohanian of Reddit.com states this as if it is a universal law, “It's OK to lose control.  It’s OK to take yourself less seriously.  Given that it’s a very serious cause, you can ultimately achieve your final goal.”

    Thinking Differently About Monetization
    Monetization occurs when regular visitors start purchasing items or services from a website.  Many people will also call this conversion.  We would like to argue that the conversion is not to be confused with monetization.  Monetization is a secondary effect.
  • Don’t Struggle With the Numbers Game
    When visitors to a website are interested in the site’s subject matter numbers are no longer an issue.  Which is better, a million people who drop by and never return or fifty who come back regularly and tell their friends?  Success isn’t metered solely by website traffic alone.  More important is the personal connection with the message being presented.  Website tracking has its place on the sidelines.

    You Are Your Target Audience
    As Simon Sinek explains in the video below, “People don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do it...  The goal is to do business with the people who believe what you believe...  We are talking directly to the brain that controls behavior and then we allow people to rationalize it with the tangible things we say and do.  This is where the gut decisions come from.”  Identify what you want and give it some passion.  Your audience can’t help but reciprocate.



    Attraction  ⇒  Dialogue  ⇒  Conversion
  • Under the new paradigm website content is written in a conversational style manner that entices people to participate.  The boring, monologue styled sales pitch was the old paradigm.

    Success Needs a Schedule
    It’s hard to have a conversation with someone who is walking away.  That’s exactly what it feels like when a great website has been found, but it hasn’t been updated in months.  It is important to establish a schedule for regular communication.

    People are habitual creatures and will return regularly if they have identified with the website’s message.  Providing regular conversation should be as important as delivering on a promise.  When this is viewed as a contribution to a community, the ease of which the content flows will be an inspirational experience for everyone involved.

    Choosing the Right Tool
    New social media tools are being released every week.  Social media tools provide various means of listening to your audience and every tool has a unique twist.  However it is best to start off with tools that you are already familiar with.  What you use on a regular basis is a habit.

    Being able to piggyback an existing habit is much easier than developing new ones.  If the only thing you do on the Internet is check email and browse a few webpages, just include simple, well placed webforms on your site.  Maintaining a website under the new paradigm may be daunting enough, so start easy.

    Attraction  ⇒  Dialogue  ⇒  Conversion
  • What happens when people refer only to monetization as an asset is that their message eventually becomes impersonal and less relevant to the larger audience.  People who regularly visit the website are just as important as the ones that fund it.  They require the same amount of respect and attention.  Without this concept the website’s contribution to the community is lost.  Contribution is major motivator when business is slow and can pull it out of the depths of despair.

    There is No Secret Algorithm
    Monetization is a natural process, the byproduct of loyalty that can happen even when there isn’t an immediate need for a product or service.  Apple is a great case study to drive this point home.  It has the highest user upgrade percentage of any market.  Customers chomp at the bit to buy a new version of their product despite the fact that the previous one works just fine.

    There are things you can do to encourage monetization like stepping back and analysing what people expect from you.  However if you are effectively listening to your audience, they ultimately dictate the frequency of which you can monetize them.  Anyone who says differently is selling you the moon.

    There is no secret algorithm to monetization.  Just be commited to your business, receptive to the dialogue of your audience, and be inspired by it.

    Alexis Ohanian relates his experience in the following video, “Redditors and the Internet community were happy to participate but they weren’t whale lovers.  A few of them certainly were, but we are talking about allot of people who were just really interested, really caught up in this great meme...  This wasn’t out of altruism, this was just out of interest of doing something cool.”



    Attraction  ⇒  Dialogue  ⇒  Conversion