It’s not often I get to write about 2 topics I’m deeply passionate about, politics and technology. So when I got wind that my very own government (whom I voted against by the way) spent nearly USD600k on a facebook page you can imagine how I blew my top. Now let’s be honest, RM1.8 million isn’t going to make Malaysia bankrupt but it does represent huge amount of government expenditure into something that cost peanuts to develop.
The question of course is why, is it because our politicians don’t know what their spending on? Or is it because they’re pocketing deep amounts of cut backs ..i don’t know. What I do know is that it doesn’t take Rm1.8 million to build a facebook page, and spending money on this isn’t going to bring in the tourist.
So let’s break this down, you can go out to 99designs.com and get a pretty decent logo for under $500 (USD) and you can get a pretty decent wordpress theme designed specifically for you for under $2000 (USD). The reality is that you can cut that budget further down, but on crowdsourcing websites like 99designs.com you’ll need to pay for quality. So how much does a facebook page actually cost? I don’t know, but I can’t imagine it being any more complicated than a custom design wordpress theme, the same kind you can purchase for under USD2000, or if you’re looking for a very particular sort of design, it shouldn’t cost you more than USD10,000.
The tourism ministry has come out to say the Rm1.8 million was for the whole social media approach and not just the facebook page, but even at USD20,000 a page, you can build 30 facebook pages before you hit the amount they’ve spent. Of course I don’t buy this, but…we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
What I learnt from blogging here for the past 3 months is these 2 things.
1) The internet is cheap, and you don’t need expensive websites to draw in customers,
2) what you need is hardwork, good content and good dose of awesome people doing awesome things.
Spending loads of money on ordinary looking facebook pages is ill-thought off and utter rubbish.