Are websites dead?

Listened to this great podcast the other day with someone I really respect, Ev Williams, founder of Blogger, Twitter and Medium. He made a comment towards the end of the episode that really caught my attention. He questioned the need for an actual website; how the growth of platforms and networks make websites irrelevant. Check out the podcast here.

Not trying to compare myself to Ev, who has accomplished so much professionally, but I have kind of been saying the same thing for a while.  There is a huge change happening in the world of marketing with the growth of branded content and it's only now really starting to impact the business world.

Think about how professionals now obtain content and information. They go to places like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Medium, etc. And in specific verticals, there are huge content platforms that house all of the industry's content. This is why I built my content platform for the real estate industry.

Even in search, a person or company’s relevant content comes up higher than ever in the results. And, there are so many sites where you can find unvarnished, less promotional information about someone or their company.

So what about the poor old website? A thing of the past? 

Think about the power of LinkedIn for instance. If I want to learn about someone I check out their profile. If I want news about a company, a quick Google search reveals the good, bad and the ugly.

We live in an age of multiple platforms, where people make their own discoveries and form their own opinions. Going directly to someone's website to see promotional copy that has been professionally written by someone else just seems archaic these days.

However, new forms of websites are catching my eye. I have profiled two of them previously in my industry (real estate). CBRE and JLL content sites. Those two companies get it. Creating websites with amazing content is the future, in my opinion. What will be interesting to see though is if people consume that content on other platforms, or, do they sign up for an email alert.

And that is part of the other phenomenon taking place; consumers of content want things pushed to them or chances are they won't go looking for it.

Even if you are creating amazing content on your website, not sharing it on platforms or networks is like buying a fancy car and never putting gas in it.

The marketing world has changed profoundly and perhaps no place is this more evident than the purpose of the website. It will be interesting to see how it evolves.

For a contrarian point of view, my friend Ben who is a marketing guru wrote this blog on websites: What is Good Real Estate Website Design and How Do You Know When You See It?

Would love to hear others opinions.