I heard of an interesting concept today (from Alistair at AKQA) - digital ghost towns.

These are corporate websites built at great expense, no doubt expecting a large number of visitors, but which don't get any.

I suppose the most notorious is Bud TV - just the 940,843rd most popular website in the world (according to Alexa).

Another example might be Texaco, which is only the world's 1,844,509th most popular website, despite its super-useful Texaco garage locator. (For when you need petrol, but only Texaco will do).

By some measures, Second Life is another, having 15.5 million registered users, but only 70,000 in any 24-hour period.

Arguably, the internet itself is one giant ghost town. Millions of sites, the vast majority being almost totally empty.

I guess the lesson is the same one it always is. People aren't interested in corporations, they're only interested in what corporations can do for them. So an insurance company has to offer security, a deodorant must give you confidence and a brand of football boots a winning mentality.

And a company website must offer something useful - something that people want - or it will become a digital ghost town.

'Fess up - have you built one?

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