A second title for this article could be, ‘The world doesn’t need another directory’.

An entrepreneur lucky enough to secure a fancy domain name, a cheap web host, and a WordPress template for a business directory has just emailed me with the best idea he or she could have thought of with their new WordPress setup that cost them a $50 or so.

They open the email addressed to me personally with the headline,

Claim your free listing on Wedding Connected, Australia’s most loved wedding directory.

In a country of 23 million humans, where over 120,000 weddings will take place this year, Australia’s most loved wedding directory doesn’t have 14 people ‘talking’ about it from it’s 1400¬†Facebook likers, or 44 followers on Twitter, 2 pins and 20 followers on Pinterest, 195 views on YouTube, nor would they be following over 2000 Instagram accounts but have only convinced 487 people to follow back.

Australia’s most loved wedding directory’s domain name would be older than a year and four months.

The truth is, that Australia’s most loved wedding directory, which isn’t the one mentioned today:

  1. doesn’t need to say it is Australia’s most loved wedding directory and,
  2. it isn’t a directory, because no-one loves a directory. No-one cares about directories.

No-one is dying to find a new directory. Directories, in-fact, don’t matter. Much like the road to the holiday house you’ve rented, or the screwdriver you’re using to assemble the new furniture, or the cup that’s holding the cold water, the vessel for discovery and engagement doesn’t matter.

The vessel for discovery doesn’t matter, the discovery matters.

Directories don’t matter, and they’re not loved. Discovering and engaging are actions that will forever be loved and will always matter.

How to do directories better

Make them pesonal

The simple answer is to create a directory that matters. It might be a directory of my personal recommendations. That’s what the celebrant.directory is for me, celebrants I personally recommend. Personal content, ideas and thoughts that an algorithm can’t generate is always going to matter more than a computer-generated list.

Make them not-popular

A directory of things that wouldn’t normally make their way to a list, like Brisbane’s worst vegetarian restaurants.

Make them massive

Easy Weddings can easily swing it’s genitals around because after many years of hard work they truly are Australia’s biggest and best wedding directory. They top out on most Google searches and they boost with ads where they don’t. They also hold a really important key which makes for the fourth idea:

Make them sticky

Easy Weddings, for many wedding businesses, holds they key to reputable reviews and testimonies. Google and Facebook also hold this key but they aren’t offering an iPad to brides and grooms making reviews. As a result most wedding businesses are linking back to Easy Weddings because of the reviews they get there.

Make them matter

Your directory may not hold to any of these tenets, but if nothing else please let it hold to this one: make it matter. If your directory didn’t exist, would people notice?