BO.LT – Making web teams more efficient

Author: Josh Slivken


Getting content changed on your website can be a long, drawn-out process and become an absolute nightmare. It almost feels like a never-ending process. You’ve got different opinions on what the content should be, so meetings need to be scheduled to discuss options.  Then branding and legal need to approve your language and style, which means even more meetings.  Finally, you need to get your work onto the developer’s schedule so they can format and code everything, which is never an easy task.  Add into this whole process the occasional curve ball from the CEO, which changes everything and makes you start from scratch.  And if an agency is involved expect your timeline to quadruple. All of this can add days, even weeks, to a process that should, we all think, take only a few hours.

Say good-bye to the nightmare and hello to BO.LT. (http://www.BO.LT)

BO.LT is a new service from the Roche brothers, the creators of one of my favorite tool’s in the world, Offermatica.  (Quick disclaimer:  I’m currently a consultant for Test&Target, which evolved from Offermatica and is now in the Adobe suite of online marketing tools.)  Just launched a few days ago, BO.LT is advertised to have a wide variety of uses.  According to their marketing, the main function of the tool is to allow people to share web content (in the form of the entire web page).

Here’s how it works:

First, a person grabs a copy of the page with their BO.LT account. They can make edits as they see fit. Once complete, they can distribute a link to the modified content to the masses. The tool also provides some basic analytics, targeting and some enticing features found under BO.LT‘s premium service. Premium features appear to include: deploying BO.LT pages on your own domain, a “private” use of the tool (the entire community can’t see your work-in-progress), as well as some advanced targeting/profiling/analytics.

I can see some potential drawbacks to BO.LT. For starters, there only appears to be basic analytics.  Anyone who knows me, knows that in general I think that analytics that aren’t actionable are a waste of time. Another drawback may be lost of internal IT control. Larger businesses may find it difficult to deploy content outside of the tight confines of their internal IT team.

Where I do see BO.LT prospering is in the creation/design/review process – everything that takes places before any new piece of content reaches the website.  Remember the process above where I mentioned the endless meetings, print-outs of the current design, mark-ups and revisions?  Imagine having a working prototype of the page, where non-technical users can make their own edits.  Creative can change and move around images how they’d like.  Legal can change the wording so you’re not opening yourself up to lawsuits.  And the executives can even go in and add whatever spur-of-the-moment tagline they feel would really “bring this all together”.  It’s a dream come true.  And once all of the edits are finished, it’s easy for IT to simply grab the final HTML and deploy.  And all of this can happen proactively!

In a fraction of the time a web page (or site) has been designed, legally approved, and CEO stamped. No more endless meetings, millions of emails, piles of printouts or running in circles for approvals. The result is a more effective and efficient process that allows the online team to focus on driving profits through strategic testing and optimizing, instead of moving a picture to the right and changing the text to the marketing lingo of the day.

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