Why the Web?

At the last few meetings of the AIA Westchester / Mid-Hudson Practice Management Committeee, we discussed websites and how they could benefit our practices. I just wanted to share some of the work I’ve done online for my firm, Fivecat Studio. I thought it might be helpful for your own practice.


We built our first website in 1999. It has gone through a few redesigns since then, but it has always been intended to simply educate our potential clients. It answers some basic questions and presents a selection of our work. It’s bascially a preview to our client interview. We developed the site and maintain it all in house. That way we can easily update and revise it as needed. Our next step is to add more photos to each project. People love photos!

Living Well in Westchester

This was my first blog, launched at the beginning of this year. It’s all about residential architecture and design in Westchester County…and beyond. The readers of this blog are people interested in residential architecture; basically, we’re talking to the general public here. Readers can subscribe to this blog here.

Entrepreneur Architect

I launched this blog in February. My passion is business, so I decided to launch a blog about business success and the practice of architecture. My audience here is intended to be you; architects and other design professionals interested in business success. Readers can subscribe to this blog here.

Residential Architecture and Design Lens at Squidoo

A Squidoo lens is one person’s view on a topic that matters to her. It’s an easy-to-build, single web page that can point to blogs, favorite links, RSS feeds, Flickr photos, Google maps, eBay auctions, CafePress designs, Amazon books or music, and more. Then, when someone is looking for recommended information, fast, your lens gets him started and sends him off in the right direction. It’s a place for searchers to start, not finish. I created this lens to be a clearinghouse for anything and everything that has to do with residential architecture. I send clients to my lens regularly to reference specific links.

Ira Grandberg asked if I would present my ideas on the web to the committee. I would be happy to share what I have learned over the years and answer questions anyone might have. Let me know your thoughts on the web, by clicking the “comments” link at the top of this page. I would love to start an online conversation about this topic.


3 Responses to “Why the Web?”

  1. 1 Lena West March 24, 2007 at 11:48 PM

    For quite some time we tried to help companies in the Design/Build industry make better use of the Internet for their businesses but to no avail. Either we didn’t have the right message or they weren’t interested.

    I hope you have better luck showing them the way.

    I applaud all the work you’ve done online. Ponte bravo!

  2. 2 susan March 26, 2007 at 5:47 AM

    I’ve always seen myself as being fairly close to, and observant of, “the next big thing” on the web in relation to how the web can help my business. In my case, I have a design studio within a separate section of my residence, I do not have a “store”, so the web is my “main street”. That changes everything.

    In my own website, although I do have some programming changes coming soon, I have relied on two things…heavy text and heavy (meaning many) images.

    In terms of text, contrary to what many say, I believe that people WILL read what you have to say, particularly if they are prepared to invest several hundred thousand dollars with you, or even 50. Then, I don’t think one can have too much text on a site. I have tried to separate text on my site via colored text, which speaks directly to the scanners and highlights important information for all; colored titles, and a friendly “voice” which I hope provides fairly interesting reading and connects with potential clients. I have given enormous thought to the web and my business over the years. My hope is that potential clients see the passion behind the entirety of my site.

    I started my blog because I wanted to explore this next frontier and see where it takes me. I do not have answers yet, but I am absolutely enjoying the ride. I just finished a 2 day course last Thursday and Friday in New York on blogging, sponsored by Yahoo and Google. I received lots of great information there. If you’d like information in preparation for your talk, I’d be happy to share. Just send me an email and I can gather it together.

  3. 3 Mark March 26, 2007 at 8:52 AM

    Susan – I would love to get any information you have. It would be great to share it with the committee. Thanks for the offer and your thoughtful comments.

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