Case Study Outtakes: King Midas (Content Management)

It’s rare that we take meetings with royalty, but that’s not because we aren’t interested. Every rank of noble is welcome to discuss their branding and web design needs, be they Earl, Archduke, or Viscount. Kings and Queens, of course, would be given extra-special attention.

Even cursed ones like Midas, who one day walked into our office wearing gloves and thick layers, and very nervously declined a handshake or any other type of contact. It wasn’t until he was sitting in our conference room, as far from us as possible, that we even knew he was a king.

For those unfamiliar with the classic tale, Midas once made a wish of a divine being that everything he touched would turn to gold. Although this story began with joy and constant riches, Midas eventually realized that he could neither eat nor drink, since everything he put in his mouth turned to unpalatable gold, and the final straw was when his daughter hugged him and was herself turned into a gold statue. Lesson learned, the divine being reversed the wish and Midas never asked for anything similar again.

This Midas who walked in seemed to be from just before the happy resolution. We’re not sure how that works, either. But he’d come in to see us because he’d decided to make the most of his collection of gold objects and offer them up for auction on his website. To catalog everything, however, he needed a decent content management team, and unfortunately the members of his court who were most suited to the task had accidentally been turned to gold.

We drafted a plan to create a simple series of pages containing a thumbnail photo of each gold item, whether they were shoes, apples, or a songbird that had unwittingly landed on his finger. We also presented Midas with a basic e-commerce system, set up to receive payments for each item after bidding was done. We also spent time making sure that only the items he wanted sold would appear on the website–although his daughter and prized cocker spaniel were off the list, of course, he did think there was a decent enough market for a gilded set of jesters.

The snags were significant, however. Even the money he’d receive from the sales of his knick-knacks would, naturally, turn to gold in his hands, and he was unsure whether or not he wanted to try auctioning off gold stacks of cash as well, much less what he could set as a starting price. Also, the content management required for this project was substantial–besides just the initial launch of the site with all current items, Midas estimated that he turned at least two dozen new items to gold per day. Even with our most efficient WordPress systems in place, a dedicated content coordinator would need to be on the clock practically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week–usually our clients can do this themselves, but every mouse and keyboard he touched became new items for auction. Midas insisted, and we believed, that he had the means to pay for such a dedicated coordinator, but we simply lacked the infrastructure to give him that kind of tireless machine.

We agreed to talk about it again in the future, in case we had ideas on how to solve the problem, but after he left our office we never heard from him again. Possibly because any phone he picked up immediately became useless. Also, maybe he got to the end of his story and didn’t need to worry about it anymore.

Just a friendly reminder, though, that we’re willing to work through any curses you’re dealing with to provide you with the best quality service. Mummies in Egypt, we’re directing that at you.

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