Things fall apart

My website exploded last night.

It all started with some tweaks to SEO plugin to resolve a description formatting problem. The plugin was trying to be helpful but was making things worse.

Tweak, tweak, tweak…

“Hmm… why aren’t things changing in the header tags?”

Clear cache, tweak some more…

“OK, screw this. I’ll try a different SEO plugin…”

3 minutes later…

“HOLY CRAP! Why is my entire site one giant 404 page!?!?!?!?!?”

Panic sets in, I try a bunch of different things, do a database restore, and then realize the whole problem was caused by a missing .htaccess file, which most definitely was caused by my SEO plugin tweaking.

The technological process that’s happened over the last 100 years is phenomenal. After all, it was only 68 years between Gustave Weißkopf’s manned, powered, controlled flight of a heavier-than-air craft and the first human walking on the moon.

Despite this progress, I’m reminded that there are still plenty of unsolved problems that can be addressed with better software. Off the top of my head:

  1. Full funnel attribution that doesn’t require programming chops. In other words, how can dumb-dumb marketers take their existing stack of marketing tools (email marketing provider, web site, various acquisition channels, list of people who’ve “converted” in some way) and get usable data and insight into what’s working, what’s not, and why? Seems like a real problem that has a potential software solution.
  2. Specialist web presence solutions. I’m seeing some special-purpose web solutions emerge. ClickFunnels is one example. I haven’t used it, but it promises an integrated website, email marketing, and shopping cart package that helps sleazy online marketers sell more stuff. 🙂 What about a similar solution that’s oriented towards lead generation? Or selling expensive services more effectively? My modest contribution to this problem space (http://1pageleadgen.site) is still not a truly integrated solution.

I think there are a lot more unsolved problems out there, including SEO plugins that are easier to use. 🙂

My solution to the market position problem: http://thepositioningmanual.com

Talk to you soon,
-P

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