Earlier this week, Seth Godin posted about role models and related young girls dressing like Barbie to web site designers who duplicate the look of a role mode website. And some website design companies are taking full advantage of this. In the photography world, BluDomain sites can be seen everywhere. As a matter of fact, it seems that just about everyone has one. Surf photographer sites long enough and you'll notice that they all start to look the same. Many of them come from BluDomain.
To take advantage of that role model status, BluDomain invites high-profile photographers to come and act as a guest host on the BluDomian blog Happy Hour chats. So for aspiring photographers that spend time on the role model site and blog, they then go to the BluDomain site to see the chat with the role model, and then they find out that they too can have a site that looks like the role model site.
Take, for example, Jessica Claire. With her amazing wedding photography and now, the launch of her uber cool ShootSac, she is the talk of the town. And earlier this week she hosted a chat on the BluDomain blog where visitors could post questions about any subject and she'd answer them in real time. Very cool idea. And while they were at it, they could check out the flash websites similar to the one Jessica Claire herself has (I don't think hers is actually a BluDomain site although they have site similar to hers).
They have lots of other guest hosts either that have just had their chats or that are scheduled for the future that are very popular with aspiring photographers for inspiration so it really is a brilliant marketing technique. Examples of other guest hosts: [b]ecker, Chenin Boutwell, Skye Hardwick and Audrey Woulard (my favorite children's photographer). And I didn't have to go far for the links to their blogs - they are all in my reader!
Does any of this sway me towards buying a full-flash website. Nope, still not. But I'm definitely in the minority for photographers. Check out my Flash of Bling post for my thoughts on Full Flash sites. And I do use flash on my website in the portfolio...just not for the entire thing, navigation and all!
What was your inspiration for your website? Did you have a role model or go it alone?