Stop Fondling the Hammer, and Focus on the House

For 2 minutes, forget about these tools: Seesmic, Facebook, Ustream, Justin TV, Blogs, Forums, RSS, Utterz, and all the rest of the tools I listed out.

I’m seeing a lot of web strategists over focused on the tools. Secondly, I’ve even seen a few social media books written that focus in on the tools. While there’s a need for this type of focus, it should be at the end of your strategy, not the start.

In too many cases we focus on the next shiny objective, from this video player, to the new light mac book, to the newsfeed changes, or to the latest gizmadget. Only a few professionals out there can do this, like heat seeker Robert Scoble, and honestly, keeping up with him is just frantic, believe me, I should know.

Instead of honing in on the specific technology, you should approach developing your web strategy as you would building a house. Focus on who you’re inviting to come over to your property (websites) and what is it that they want (needs). Start there.

Next, think about the different rooms in your house, and how they all serve a different purpose, from the decor (branding), mailbox (blogs), front door (advertising), living room (chat rooms), and basement (document library), they all do something different. We use tools in a lot of different ways, some are great for attracting folks (advertising) some are great for making them stay (media and content), and some are great for encouraging them to interact (social tools). In any case, the value of each of these on their own is weak, and the real value is all of them together in context.

There’s a couple of ways to develop your strategy, one of which is to follow a methodology of framework, when I speak at events, I’ll often discuss the POST methodology, which focuses on people, objectives, strategy, then tools (and only in that order).

So stop fondling the hammers and nails, instead, focus on what’s really important, the guests you want to attract and what type of house they want.