Review: New Medalla Light Website

Screenshot of MedallaLight.comWow, has it been THAT long. Late last year, I started a new category called websites. And I really had more intention to do this on a regular basis, but oops, you know, about a million other things have been filling my head, and it got lost in the clutter.

Back in September, I took a look at the Puerto Rico Coors Light web site, if you haven't seen it, take a look first, then you'll know what to expect from this review. And it sort of seems fitting that I'm going to pick this up, sort of where I left on the last one.

MedallaLight.com

A couple of weeks back I checked on last year's winner of the WebAd Awards, and to my surprise, the sight had been replaced by an under construction page. First of all, why do that? Put a teaser on the old site that something new is coming, but for me, a page under construction or site under construction is just pointless.

Anyway, so recently, Medalla Light announced that their new site was up and ready to provide a new level of interactivity. So I decided to head over there and check it out. First of all, let me congratulate Medalla and the designers of their new site Sajo, Garcia, & Partners along with Contactiva Interactive on one thing they have done that is VERY cool. They have broken out of the Adobe Flash paradigm. While the new site does use Flash, it is only to provide some movement to the site, but besides that they are using HTML, Javascript, and CSS. I really mean this, it is important that Puerto Rico Ad agencies and designers move away from Flash and it takes a bold decision to break out of the generic "do as everyone else does" pack.

While viewing the source to the site, however, they may want to evaluate their usage of Javascript, for while it does give a web page more interactivity, it can also slow it down. At times it seems that the new site is a little slow. This might be due to my connection, general Internet congestion, or a symptom of too much Javacript to execute. It's difficult to tell, but I think a little tweaking might be in-store to fine-tine the performance of the site.

The Medalla Light Brand

I think it's also courageous and bold to discard a winner. I thought the old site was very well done, and served their brand very effectively. So I'm not sure what they had as goals for the new site design, but I believe as the announcement I saw, they were hoping to build a platform which engaged their community more. I can't really remember if the old site had any of the functionality I see on the new site, but I do see some cool features.

From joining their community, to sending a link to a friend, to checking out their Facebook group, the new site does have many points for the visitor to interact. I tried out a few of the features and everything seemed to work. A couple of minor picky things. When inviting a friend to see a picture or to invite them to an event, the form doesn't give any feedback (other than clearing the form) that the form was submitted successfully. Perhaps they should use the same code they use on the registration form to simply tell the visitor that the message was sent.

Another suggestion I would make, is for them to customize the emails the page sends out. The message you receive from the system is generic, it should indicate that this is a picture, an event, a whatever. Although the link it provides is to the right content you want to share, the message itself is the same. Also, it doesn't include the name of the person who sent them the message. People are more likely to open a link that kind of looks like spam, if it includes the name and a message from someone they recognize.

Technology


Once again, kudos for not using Flash, but their push for innovation didn't stop there. Of course, they have an embedded music player supplying the bumping sounds. They also have a video section, and two new technologies: RSS and Facebook.

I could be wrong, but I'm not, but there might be a problem with the video section. Either that or the menu link is malfunctioning, because I never could pull up the video section. In addition,, unless the home page is the video section, the videos embedded in the home page are very slow.

While I can definitely understand wanting to be consistent with the branding, I wonder if it wouldn't have been better to upload the videos to YouTube and embed them in the web site from there. Of course, they should already be on YouTube, if you ask me. The logic goes something like this, if you're not in the video hosting business, why host your own videos? Many business experts recommend outsourcing everything that is not your specialty, and in this case I think video hosting applies.

The site now has a news feed, I guess sort of like a blog. Two comments, first, in order to need a feed you have to produce content. The site, so far, is a little light on news. Second, a headline does not make it news. Each news entry should have a little meat on it. Besides that I think it's a nice addition. Time will tell whether they deliver on making the RSS feed valuable enough to want to subscribe to it.

Finally, in the community section they have a link to their Facebook group. Checking out the group it looks like they have a nice little community started. It also seems to be well synchronized to their home page. One dilemma most businesses are facing these days is the typical build or buy (use) challenge. In this case, why build a community on the website, if you've already got one going in Facebook?

Of course, in order to capitalize on the community in Facebook, might require a custom built Facebook application. But of course, they would need a software development company with experience in building those applications. Hint, hint! Leave us a comment if you would like DóndeEs.com to help you build that Facebook application. Oh did I forget to mention that DóndeEs.com is the only software development company in Puerto Rico that has already developed and implemented a Facebook application?

3 comments:

Marc

3 de junio de 2008, 05:27
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dijo...

While talking about technology used in facebook applications here is an applications Talking Photos This application allows you to add movie lines and voice to any Facebook photo and share it with friends. Sure your pictures are already worth a 1000 words but adding a few more couldn't hurt.

MC Don Dees

3 de junio de 2008, 19:00
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dijo...

Thanks for the tip marc. I think I remember hearing about this when it was launched. You know that a million other things you see and say, hmm, that could be cool, but then get distracted.

This gives me and idea for some interesting marketing opportunities.

Thanks for the comment.

Anónimo

2 de noviembre de 2008, 12:34
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dijo...

Medalla le quito la produccion a Ball Corp. en Guayama de sus latas, esa company cierra sus puertas a finales de noviembre 2008 y fue por medio centavo cada lata. Ahora compran las latas fuera de PR, eso no es una company con responsabilidad social. Por mi parte acaban de perden un cliente y se lo voy a decir a todo el mundo. El website no me dice mucho si lo que hay detras de la company no es chevere para el pais.