Sometimes you see incredibly stupid moves being pulled in our business. And I mean INCREDIBLY, but the cringe factor of this latest stunt is just off the charts.
In an effort to “renew” Sveriges Radio (Swedish public service radio), somebody (apparently with zero URL-strategy know-how) came up with the brilliant idea to change the classic URL sr.se to sverigesradio.se. Now, here are some basic facts about these two URLs:
- sr.se has been registred since 1990 (!). It’s one of the earliest popular sites.
- sverigesradio.se was registred as late as 2003 (!!)
- sr.se is 2 characters + suffix
- sverigesradio.se is 13 (!) characters + suffix (with all that comes with that in terms of things like misspellings and Twitter-unfriendliness)
And then we haven’t even BEGUN talking about the fact that people actually use “sr” when they speak about these radio stations and that they have only these two letters in their logotype – one of the most classic logotypes ever made in Sweden, by the legendary Karl-Erik Forsberg. How many 2-letter URLs do you know of with gold standard attributes like these?
Normally, if this had been a regular company, I would have smiled while shaking my head and jotted down notes to use in my next talk (an excellent example case to use), but this lunacy is actually funded with MY MONEY and hard earned cash of my friends since it’s public service. This pisses me off. Rumor has it that we’re talking ball park figures of 30 000 000-40 000 000 SEK ($5 000 000) total budget for all changes associated with this. Somebody should be fired.
When I started looking at this I didn’t realize who was masterminding these circus moves, but now I suddenly realize that the agency behind this is actually most likely (like 99% likely) THE SAME AGENCY that was behind the spectacular SEO-fail when The Church of Sweden got a couple of million SEK thrown in the waste basket last year. Goosebumps. Please tell me that this isn’t true. As I’ve said before, I respect their storytelling capabilities, but when will people ever stop throwing web budgets at these guys? Not knowing is one thing, but not learning is quite another. Having me pick up the bill… well… WTF! And even if they have nothing to do with this (highly unlikely), they, being SR’s lead strategic agency, should understand enough to stop crazy stuff like this.[EDIT]: They’ve even had the audacity to waste even more of our money making jokes about their idiot URL-change, creating a URL-lengthener site. Unbelievable. [EDIT 2]: If you know Swedish, you can read an absolutely amazing post by Joakim Jardenberg about the new Sveriges Radio site here.
This blog is written by Walter Naeslund and has been around since 2007. The blog is about the journey of starting an advertising agency and a sneak peek behind the scenes of what goes on at the Honesty HQ in SoFo, Södermalm. It is also a blog about communication & technology. The blog has gathered almost a thousand posts over the years with several longer and shorter breaks. Welcome and enjoy.