Stand out from the crowd

The web is a very exciting and a very frustrating place. It has made it possible for so many intelligent, passionate and zany individuals and companies to get online and communicate. But how do you attract attention in all the buzz and noise of the internet and stand out for the right reasons?

There is a very interesting blog post by  Chris Guillebeau (http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/overnight-success/) on how he is trying to achieve this as a person. I do not agree with all his suggestions, but he always presents a well-written and entertaining narrative and gives lots of ideas to try.

For us as a business, the original answer many people seem to suggest is to make your site as boring and corporate as possible. Look like a big, dull, plodding corporate company even if you were a small, dynamic company full of talented people because that is deemed safe. But you have just hidden your biggest strength – would most people really prefer to deal with a large, anonymous organisation or a small, enthusiastic crowd who still believe in personal service and not out-sourcing their replies to a call center in another Continent?

We like to think we belong to the second group – if you ring us, you get to talk to us personally. We are deadly serious about what we do but rather less so about ourselves and actually enjoy what we do. Maybe we just need to get out more… on second thoughts maybe that is a bad idea as you might end up having to talk to one of us at a party where we regale you with ‘supposedly witty anecdotes’ from our development day!

But how do you get across the message? With our website, we wanted to get across a feel of this rather than pretending to be something we are not. So the site is designed to be professional – clean, easy to use and helpful.

But at the bottom of our homepage (and on this blog page on the right) there is a little picture of Isabella (she is rather older now) with the tagline “Pdf solutions for big and small customers”. We want to raise a smile when you visit, and hope you will remember us for the right reasons. The 64,000,000 dollar question is ‘have we got the right balance’ – what do you think? How do you get the balance on your website?

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Mark Stephens

System Architect and Lead Developer at IDRSolutions
Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX. He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.
Markee174

About Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX.

He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

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