David Bowen

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Full name: David Bowen

Area of interest: Website effectiveness

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times

Email: dbowen@bowencraggs.com

Personal website: BowenCraggs&Co


Blog: BowenCraggs.com / blog






Career: Business writer for Euromoney and Business magazine. Also wrote for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. Started Net Profit Publications in 1996 (sold in 2001). Currently a senior consultant for Bowen Craggs (a company he started in 2002), a consultancy specialising in 'website effectiveness' - clients include international companies and government organisations such as AMEC, BP, GSK, Shell, and the World Bank

Current position/role: Commentator (FT column since 1988)

  • also writes/has written for:

Other roles/Main role:

Other activities: senior consultant for Bowen Craggs & Co



Broadcast media:



Awards/Honours: In 2004 he was sited as one of the 100 most influential Britons in the first decade of the internet. At the The Independent on Sunday he was twice Industrial Editor of the Year



Books & Debate:

Latest work:

Speaking/Appearances: The Web Effectiveness Conference, Barcelona 8th & 9th of June 2009


Financial Times:

Column name:

Remit/Info: Website effectiveness - this column has ended

Section: FT.Com

Role: Commentator


Email: dbowen@bowencraggs.com

Personal website:

Website: FT.Com / David Bowen

Commissioning editor:

Days published: Thursday

Regularity: Fortnightly

Column format:

Average length: 850/1050

Articles: 2008/2009

no recent...

  • Personal view: How to win by using Web 2.0 - At a conference for corporate web managers a few months back, delegate after delegate muttered that they were thoroughly fed up with Web 2.0. This is serious – if Web 2.0 makes the people in charge of the world’s biggest web presences yawn in spite of its many fascinating concepts, it has a problem - 21st October 2008

  • When the web sweeps bad news under the carpet - I wondered if amid the financial chaos, organisations in the spotlight have been using the web to tell us what is going on. The answer, in most cases, is no - 9th April 2008
  • How to keep jobseekers and analysts happy - A trend in corporate websites that I have come to take for granted is the move away from a focus on investors - 26th February 2008
  • Anglican websites avoid the issues too - Do you work for a fractured organisation that is busy avoiding the difficult issues? Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, does which is why I have been looking at anglican websites this week. And guess what – they are fractured and busy avoiding the issues too - 18th February 2008
  • The web will struggle to massage a country's image - The unfortunate affair of the British Council, during which the Russians attempted to close offices on their territory, brought to my mind the effort countries make to persuade foreigners to think more fondly towards them. Could the web play a role, I wondered - 4th February 2008
  • Which English works on the web? - I was once told by the web manager of a giant Swedish company that the company language was “bad English” - 21st January 2008

Articles: 2007

  • How has the rural web progressed? - Six years ago, foot and mouth disease closed much of the British countryside down. I wrote a column then about how isolated farmers were using the web to find and share information. FMD is back and, while it seems under better control, we now have Avian flu and Bluetongue disease to add to the depression. How, I wondered, has the rural web progressed? - 27th November 2007
  • China's corporate websites leg behind - Time to look at the website of the biggest company in the world. I have never looked at PetroChina before, but then again it only became the biggest company after a small slice of it was floated last week - 15th November 2007
  • Evolution not revolution - I have been looking at government websites to see how they use blogs and video. It’s been interesting – not least because it is clear that their real use has little to do with interacting with the masses. “Web 2.0”, it ain’t – at least not yet - 25th October 2008
  • Burma’s battle with the blogs - Videos taken by mobile phones are whisked out under the noses of the Burmese authorities, eye witness reports are quickly transmitted and broadcast around the world. The long-held promise of the internet to undermine totalitarian régimes is finally being delivered. But how exactly is the material being used, and what is the role of new platforms such as blogs, Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia? - 28th September 2007
  • Company websites do not have to be boring - Sometimes in this column I talk about only one website. I have never before written about one page of one website, but I will now. It is the home page of the engineering group Siemens, it may well set the pattern for the next generation of corporate sites, and it has precious little to do with “Web 2.0” - 13th September 2007
  • Subtleties and hilarities of central banks - Visitor numbers to central bank sites must have been breaking records this month. Both professionals and the “interested punter” will have wanted to see what the Fed and its equivalents round the world have been saying and doing about the tremors running through the financial world - 3rd September 2007
  • Websites can be worthy and fun - As the northern hemisphere takes itself off on holiday, I have been seeing what companies provide on the web to help it have a good time. It seems to me there are great opportunities to provide useful and entertaining information on corporate sites, in the great tradition of the Shell Guide - 6th August 2007
  • Web on wheels - If you want to know about the dangers of corporate sponsorship, ask T-Mobile. One of its team’s riders in the Tour de France has been suspended after positive drug test results came through, but only after he had withdrawn following a collision with a spectator - 24th July 2007
  • An excellent use of the web - Few organisations are putting more effort into getting their recruitment right than the US and British armies. If you have anything to do with recruitment, or you just like a good website, may I suggest you look at theirs? They are (in places) brilliant - 5th July 2007
  • A little bit of functionality does you good - This week the British government announced it had launched a personal carbon calculator – see what your personal footprint is, and rejoice or be ashamed. The public was certainly impressed; so impressed that the site collapsed under the pressure of visits - 25th June 2007
  • G8 protest sites pushed out of view - G8 summits are fascinating for webwatchers. Two years ago it was fun seeing radical dissenters running online rings round the establishment as it gathered at Gleneagles. This week at Heiligendamm they are at it again – more sophisticated than ever - 7th June 2007
  • The web is a front line medium - I have been chatting this week to people who run corporate websites. With remarkable regularity each raised the same issue – how they can get their colleagues to take the web seriously - 25th May 2007
  • Born again in a virtual world - This week I have danced in a giant Coke bottle, crashed a C-Class Mercedes and grown a bright purple beard. In other words, I’ve been messing around in Second Life, the virtual world that business is supposed to be taking seriously. Should it be? Yes, though with a bucketful of caveats - 10th May 2007
  • Private equity must get web aware - Private equity companies may be run by clever people, but they don’t seem to know much about the web. Either that, or they have not noticed that they have some dodgy reputation issues. I suggest that they look at the site belonging to a man who is acutely aware of his reputation, Nicolas Sarkozy, to pick up a few tips (www.sarkozy.fr) - 30th April 2007
  • Why private shareholders cannot be ignored online - I am sometimes struck by the offhand attitude investor relations professionals have to their individual shareholders. We all know they are not terribly important when it comes to real decisions, but surely some effort should be made to keep them happy, if only of the sake of public relations - 12th April 2007
  • The best (and worst) corporate websites - The FT Bowen Craggs Index, which was published in FT Digital Business this week, celebrates all that is best in corporate websites. But come on, what’s really interesting is what’s worst, isn’t it? I have been going through the sites that fail to make the grade to see what patterns I can find - 29th March 2007
  • Sound, the Cinderella of ‘multimedia’ - I was looking at the Aston Martin site this week, because the company has just been sold. Staring at the home page I knew there was something wrong, but could not work out what - 16th March 2007
  • Onlining the annual report - Printed annual reports may be on the way out. Where does that leave their web counterparts? - 2nd March 2007
  • Bus information arrives late - I was a little optimistic when I wrote this in September 1997: “Bus and tram information is available on the Web, and can also be viewed in the windows of mobile phones and pagers - 15th February 2007
  • Steel sites that fail to stack up brilliantly - A lot of people in Port Talbot, IJmuiden and other steelmaking towns must have been looking at two websites recently. They work for Corus, formerly British Steel and Koninklijke Hoogovens, and they will have wanted to know as much as possible about the companies bidding to own them - 2nd February 2007
  • Web is wonderful, but don’t write off newspapers - Barack Obama, the Democratic senator from Illinois, announced on Tuesday that he was setting up an ‘exploratory committee’ to see if he might stand as a US presidential candidate. It was the way that he announced it – through a website – that intrigued me - 18th January 2007
  • Websites should take advantage of broadband - Amid the excitement and fluff of ‘Web 2.0’, it has been easy to miss an organic development that is rather more important: the mushrooming of broadband access - 8th January 2007

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