10 July 2007

Rapid Info... Yet another portal...

Let me say one thing. I am the FIRST person to applaud entrepreneurship. To have been part of something - and seen it cocked up - I understand the pain and dedication it takes to start something. The balls required to put you and your idea out there. So, I really hope this doesn't come acoss as a rant.

I'll play it out more as... advice.

Another content portal seems to have launched - with a pile of advertising behind it. Which is interesting, because from the look of the site - it looks like someone's personal labour of love. You've seen the TV ads... Rapid Info.



Righto.

1. When there are so many, so many open source Web 2.0 engines out there - why not use one of the sexy ones? (Hasn't Vinny Lingham just released one?) The site looks a little 2 years ago...

2. Your main audience, I gather, is still the Generatio Y'ers. 25+. Easy access to Internet. These guys and gals expect shiny, glinty, 3D, Ajax'y goodness. Not old style content lists.

3. What's the big difference? The MOST important question to ask when you launch into the content portal market. Why is this different to MWEB? News24? Yahoo? And with the major revamp to 24.com - there's some stiff competition in the "everything to everybody game".

4. On that note. The most successful web startups have been simple, single-minded ideas that are done really well. Emphasis on simple. Isn't the "everything to everybody" website game over? Dominated by big players who are steadily losing out to the might of the long tail?

5. It's not SEO'd. Yowsers. That's a crime. Especially in the content market - every little keyword should be eeked out to maximum effect.

6. There's no RSS. The world has changed, let's face it. Content must come to YOU, not you to the content. To not plug in RSS, considering how easy it is - is chasing away the X'ers and the Y'ers and anyone who now has Windows Vista with built in RSS. I'm overexagerating. But you get my point?

7. There are no Google Ads in free advertising space. Ja. You don't have to. But while you're trying to get sales through the door - it's not a bad idea to profit off some of your traffic. Isn't it?

8. There's no Contact Us form - just lists of email addresses. Concerning on 2 counts. In exactly T Minus 2 Days - the chaps at Rapid Info are going to be SO inundated with spam. And... you're reliant on email technology as your contact point with customers. No SMS. No lead tracking. No alerts and escalations if your staff don't get back to leads. Nada.


Kudos on the balls to get out there chaps. But advice, help and 2.0 goodness is available FREE on the web these days. Use it - and turn the labour of love into a viable business.

Just my 2c.