David Bowen commentaries
In his regular columns for the Financial Times and ft.com, senior consultant David Bowen has pursued themes ranged from customer relationship management and career marketing to ‘ethical’ retailing and royal family sites. His collected Financial Times and ft.com columns from January 2001 onward are indexed by theme and available for viewing on this site.
You can access articles directly by selecting a link below.
What is RSS?
Many websites have links labelled "RSS". This means that you can find out about updates to our website without having to visit the site in your web browser. This feature is often referred to as "syndication" or "aggregation". Sometimes it's just called subscribing. And these days, instead of one of these words, lots of sites will use a feed icon that looks like this: Whenever you see this icon it means: The site you're viewing has a feed available.
How do I use RSS?
Just like when you want to watch a video clip or listen to music on the web, you need a "player" of some kind to subscribe to feeds. Good news: Most of these tools are free, and there are many to choose from, so you can find the one that best suits you. The "player" for a feed is called a feed reader . This tool lets you subscribe to any feeds you want, checks automatically to see when they're updated, and then displays the updates for you as they arrive. Internet Explorer 7, Firefox and Safari all include feed readers.
Once you have a feed reader, just click on our RSS icon and follow the instructions.
How business models shape educational sites
The internet has added a new dimension to what and how we can learn about the past. But the way educational sites are resourced can influence how the material is presented.
Why Ikea should go with its 'gut' feeling
The way that Ikea, the Sweden-based home furnishings and fittings seller, lays out its physical stores could be a template for an e-commerce website. But the online environment throws up some tricky extra dimensions.
How travel is broadening the minds of internet users
Companies in the travel and holiday industries are using the web's unique strengths in information aggregation and display to provide services that would have previously been unthinkable. The result is more than just a deeper reference source: it is foste
Some things are done best in the heat of the moment
Factions on all sides of political struggles understand the power of the web as a weapon of mass communication. But while their sites thus provide a rich source of unfiltered argument, the link between their quality and content and the immediacy of issues
Adapting business models to online expectations
With its aura of 'free and available' the internet is threatening the business models of successful subscription publishers – producers of specialist publications that get their revenue primarily from subscriptions rather than advertising. Most are usin
An articulate language policy can speak volumes
Business users are three times as likely to buy when addressed in their own language, according to the authors of a study* of the use of foreign-language content on top UK company websites. Whether even this justifies the cost of a multi-lingual site is a
Play to your strengths
Like England’s football team the live web performs poorly if it tries to take established performers on at their own game. But when it plays to its strengths it can shine.
Putting one’s side of the story
Not many organisations face higher public scrutiny or have a greater need to justify their existence than the world’s surviving monarchies. But their efforts in the realm of online reputation management have lessons for all their subjects.
Commercial best practice in bloom
With hardier business models now in place, the garden sites that have survived the freeze in online investment are becoming nurseries of commercial best practice.
Where companies can learn from their opponents
Organisations that find themselves targeted by protest groups can learn a lot about how to use their web sites to fight back by studying how their opponents present their case online.