The blog post was entitled “The destination website is dead”. I’d read several posts like this over the past year authored by people who had moved their online home base away from the traditional Web presence to a blog or social networking site. In dedicating themselves to this new path, they were not willing to simply acknowledge the motives behind their own change but felt compelled to burn the bridges behind them and mock all who continued to hold a presence on the other side.
For my part, I’m intrigued by this shift. As I’ve gotten increasingly engaged in social media technologies, both personally and professionally, I’ve seen growing value in this new application of the Web. The Internet has changed by broad leaps in recent years as have the ways in which it has integrated itself into the lives of millions of people. For someone building an individual brand or an individual consultancy, there is little need of the traditional destination Web site. Their needs are served through their blogs and social networking presence.
For a large healthcare organization, however, the destination Web site still has a strong role to play along with the new opportunities offered through social media and personalized online communications through secure patient portals.
What we really need is the grand unified theory of online communications, at least for online communications in healthcare. So we’ve created the eConnections Framework.
Why do we need a framework?
There are two problems at work here. First, the number and variety of tools out there is mind-numbing, so we wanted to be sure that we had a way to talk about the strengths of different approaches without getting bogged down in that mess. More importantly, though, the specific tools are just that – tools. When we’re talking about strategy, we want to work with goals and audiences. Only after we truly understand the challenge at hand in those terms do we begin to look at the toolbox to find the tools to apply. Without a framework , the discussion tends to turn into “I want a strategy for Facebook” – trying to find a problem for your shiny new tool.