I struggle with NZEdge. They mean well for New Zealand, but I often feel they are disconnected from reality.
It’s owned/run by Brian Sweeney and Kevin Roberts, but it seems to be operated as a one man band by Brian. Both Brian and Kevin are in the advertising and communications game, and this effort is a very poor advertisement for their services.
The NZEdge emails are unreadable – basically a long list of stuff we either already know or don’t care about. It’s a late laundry list of news that we all follow online or offline, and it is formatted soo poorly that it is painful to read or parse.
I forget how I ever subscribed, but I just unsubscribed (and easily – thanks).
Actually I wanted to link through to the email on the website, but all I got when clicking the “Having trouble reading this email? click here” link was this:
So the emails are sent using some sort of marketing tool (constant contact), and the unsubscribe page allows to to subscribe or unsubscribe to both the NZEdge and some newsletter from Kevin Roberts.
Let’s turn to the website. Turn your volume down before clicking that link – there is a very loud loop track “Come to the place you know is home” that does not appear to have any off button. That’s poor etiquette and pretty much going to make sure I never return. I guess it does encourage to to click on something, anything, to stop the music, but that something is going to be whatever it is you need to close the window.
Then there is the explanation about what NZEdge Aims to do. It’s clearly not aimed at geeks:
- Introduce metaphors and contemporary frameworks for NZers to articulate who we are (positively hammer some boundary poles of the self into the whenua).
- Articulate and leverage our difference through the edge proposal (landscape, location, attitude, history, Maori, Pacific, character, fringe innovation).
- Increase the prosperity of the country, in spirit and in pocket, by spreading the edge DNA thickly over the culture.
Whatever. There is plenty more of that sort of guff on their about page, under the headings of, wait for it, Story Telling Compatriation (sic), and Index.
There’s a blog – but it’s over at blogspot and not integrated into the site.
The last update was on the 4th of December, the previous one a month before and the text of the posts is identical to that of the emails. So why does the link to “Having trouble viewing this email? Click here” not point to the blog? Well – the last post in fact is several weeks before the last email – so they are not even in sync. So basically the blog is not a blog, but an out of date repository for the old emails. Of course there are no comments on the blog.
They advertise a Twitter account on the blog – “Follow the nzedge.com headlines twice a day on Twitter. Register for updates at http://twitter.com/nzedge” but the last update was on December 28th and the writer is not following people back and engaging in conversations.
No comments on the blog, a handful (relatively) of Twitter followers and no facebook presence. There is no community associated with NZEdge – it is just an email list, and I would guess that very very few people actually read those emails.
NZEdge feels dead – an initiative started by a couple of guys with a “good idea” back in the day, but one that never moved beyond basic marketing sloganism and email spam. There is zero evidence of community involvement, and it is all one way traffic.
I would even question whether it is having a positive or negative effect on New Zealand.
But that’s me – what do you think? Does anyone find NZEdge useful? Is there a point?