Sweet module love: the What Would Seth Godin Do? module

7 Apr 2008

This is one of the oddest-named modules out there. Seth Godin is known to the Internet cognoscenti as a guru of modern marketing how-to, whether traditional biz or the latest "Web 2.0" developments. I read Seth's blog, and in his posts I always find some taken-for-granted business issue presented in a new light.

One of Seth's maxims for web developers: use cookies to treat your new and returning visitors differently. One clever developer made a WordPress plugin to simplify that for bloggers. And we now have a Drupal module version as well:

http://drupal.org/project/wwsgd

So what's the module do? The little explanation you'll see in your module list is actually a very poor overview:

Shows a link to the site's RSS feed if someone is a new visitor to the site.

Yes, it'll do that, and it even includes your RSS feed link in its default text. But that "...new visitor to the site" is the far more important thing. The WWSGD module simply tosses up a block with whatever text you like, only for new visitors (you can set how many visits define "new"). And that suggests the perfect use for the block: everything and anything that new visitors should know about your site. Such as:

What's the site about? Why did you make it? What do you want visitors to do and see there? What are some key pages that visitors should check out?

Whatever works for your site. I think it's great to greet newcomers with such a warm and useful welcome.

Now, one warning: Just as I was updating my WWSGD block text in preparation for post, I ran into trouble. My updates wouldn't "take", not on this site or another site on which I installed the module. Problem with my recent upgrade to Drupal 5.7? Browser issue? I updated my WWSGD module, started with a fresh browser session, sacrificed a Twinkie or two, and all was well. But if you place some some long text into your WWSGD block, keep a copy of the text safe, just in case.

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