“Re-launch” – How Not to Launch A Website
One of the things I check in my feed reader each day is the OU media release feed (I know, I should probably go to Platform or the intranet, but I prefer going to a single place for my newsfix, okay, which includes news from elsewhere…). Today’s feed included a post that declared:
The Open University today launched an initiative aimed at allowing people around the nation to outsmart the recession by topping up their skills.
The launch of a new website, which gives access to free educational resources, top tips for getting jobs and advice about accessing financial assistance for fee-paying courses, coincides with the New Year’s Jobs Summit hosted today by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The Open University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Brenda Gourley, who is attending today’s summit, says the unveiling of “Re-launch” is evidence of the OU’s commitment to helping to educate the UK out of the recession. [Full press release]
Good stuff. Timely, relevant, and potentially useful :-)
But was there a URL pointing to the new site mentioned in the story? Nope… So I did a search on the OU website for “relaunch”, then “re-launch”. No joy… Hmmm… If the team has done their job right, Google should be up to speed though – so get out the site: limit and try there. Nope…
Okay – there’s a link on the OU homepage to the press release… any links in the body of the story? Err, nope… Hmm, maybe Twitter will know?
Ah yes… of course:
Not the best use of linktext, methinks?
So the site will be called “Re-launch”, I assume, with the page title containing the word “Re-launch”, and maybe even “relaunch” in the URL? Nope – the URL is http://www.open.ac.uk/recession, the landing page title is The Open University – Outsmart the recession – Home and the word “relaunch” doesn’t appear anywhere on the mini-site homepage:
If I had to guess, I’d have said the new site was called “Outsmart the recession” (though of course, I’d have probably gone for “OUtsmart”;-)
(Good to see the delicious and Digg bookmark links in there, though…:-)
PS the version of the story that’s carried on Platform does have a link, so a point to them:-)
PPS I’ll race you to the top of the Google rankings for “Open University relaunch”… heh heh;-)
So easy, it’s not fun any more…
[PS oops - it seems that the website was launched a couple of weeks earlier than anticipated in order to catch an unplanned for PR opportunity. This meant that that not all the mopping up that was intended was done in time for the launch, and "the site was nowhere near the state we would normally launch a website" ... So apologies to the team who put the hours in to get the site out in the time that was made available to them... The initiative's a good one, and the site supports it well:-)]