Customer Magnetism is starting a new blog feature called Customer Magnetism Review. We have put together a series for you this week reviewing various events, websites and products that you might want to check out – or not. After this week, it will become a monthly feature.
Imagine sinking $2 million into your website and unveiling it with great fanfare, only to have it crash shortly after you bring it online. That’s what happened to France two days ago with www.France.fr. How embarrassing. An apology in 5 different languages still appears in place of its home page. An explanation in French blames the disaster on a server configuration problem and thanks would-be visitors for their patience.
France.fr was to have been a showpiece to attract businesses and vacationing visitors to the country and create positive publicity. It had been strongly promoted for quite some time. The unveiling of the website came on Bastille Day, July 14th, the ultimate French holiday.
Apparently, the publicity worked a little too well. Its meta description viewable on the search results page declares that France.fr was a “victim of its own success.” There is no official estimate for when the site will be back up.
France is one of the last European nations to create its own website, instead relying for years on private commerce and the French Tourist office for promotion. Many thought the much ballyhooed product would be an example of the brightest and the best of websites to bolster the country’s image as seen by the rest of the world – something worth waiting for. I guess we are going to have to wait a little longer to be wowed by their technology.
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