The "Lamest Feature Ever" on a Corporate Weblog

All right, it’s probably not the lamest one ever. But it’s the lamest one we’ve seen in quite a while.
Sprint has a weblog that lists podcasts the company has created. That’s fine. But for some reason the site has a prominent tool to let the user change the background highlight color used in the weblog’s graphics. Not the whole background, just the highlight color. And there are only four choices.
Just one click changes the color
From one perspective, this is playful and harmless, and we’re being Grinches for critiquing it. But the site features the color tool very prominently at the top of the sidebar, above the about box and the index of previous posts. What does this tell the user about Sprint’s priorities?
And besides, every other page on Sprint’s website is highlighted in yellow, the corporate color. Why is this one different? Our guess is it’s because the podcast website was developed by an outside contractor who didn’t follow Sprint’s visual guidelines. What does that say about the content of the podcasts? Are they unofficial as well? Is Sprint really behind the podcasts?
Companies sometimes treat web media as an add-on that’s not central to their business. That denigrates everything they do online. They key to successfully marketing online is not bolting something on, it’s learning the new media and embracing them wholeheartedly into the mainstream of your company’s operations.

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