As soon as she rattled her jewelry at me I knew that I was in for a debate.
It was one of those gala dinners where you get to dress up and prepare to engage in some friendly chit chat with people outside your normal circle.
At least that was what I was expecting. I wasn’t really prepared for a duel. I didn’t really think I would have to defend my honour and choose my weapons.
But, without warning the main course conversation drifted to the riveting topic of “websites”. Now this was not my fault – Not this time anyhow. Take it from me. There is no better way to kill a dinner conversation than to suddenly start expounding the virtues of niche based, content websites or web hosting or even blogs.
But websites it was. And this was my turf. I had to defend it.
She had mentioned earlier that she owned a restaurant. I actually had been there many times. Beautiful old building steeped in history, Wonderful ambience but yet very trendy. She ran a great business.
I have no idea why she was inviting discussion on her website. Maybe she was just proud that she had one. Doesn’t matter. I was like a lamb to the slaughter. I sheepishly suggested “Maybe you should put up a page talking about the history of the building”.
Why? She snapped back.
“My clientele are young and trendy….they don’t care about history” Mmmm I thought. I have bitten off more than I can chew here. Another drink perhaps?
I wasn’t quick enough to say that “Well I am quite interested in the history of the building” and “I like to eat at your restaurant – maybe there are others out there who feel the same way” No, that would have been too smart. Instead I lamely volunteered “A history page would generate some additional traffic on your website”
“Why?” She snapped again. “I dont need traffic on my website”.
At this point I knew that I was on a hiding to nothing. Time to gracefully retreat from this little conversation.
I said. “Really. It sounds as though your website is working really well. Best not to mess with it” What a wimp! I didn’t really believe that.
Couldn’t help myself. Before hitting the sack I checked out her site.
Sure enough. There it was – a graphic artists dream. Flash intro with no “opt in” page in sight. No way to build up a customer list. Lots of photos but virtually zero content. There was no way she would get any free passing Google traffic.
Here was a really smart business woman who was totally ignoring the online potential of her business. She didn’t even own her own .com domain name. A competitor could easily take advantage of this.
But, then again. Her business was thriving. Her energies were obviously going into making the restaurant the absolute best that it can be. Can’t argue with that.
“I can see her point” I thought. But I couldn’t really.
What a wasted opportunity.