Undervaluing Content

by Meryl Evans | Category: Meryl's Notes Blog 1 comment

Gerry McGovern writes, “Over the years, I have often wondered why organizations place such little value on content. Many public websites are a mess; intranets are even worse. And organizations don’t really care, because deep down they don’t value content.” He has echoed my thoughts when it comes to Web content.

Words do drive action though managers think otherwise. When you go to eBay, do you bid on a product without reading the description? Many people are selling Mac computer boxes and nothing else. They’re a collector’s item, but I’m sure there are some who think they’re getting a Mac for cheap bucks… unless they closely read the content.

The article mentions that when the author writer points out grammatical errors, the manager responds with no sense of urgency. Heck, many of you have caught me with errors. What do I do? Immediately fix them. I often catch typos, but don’t bother saving them for the Gotchas since they’re a symptom of fast typing, lack of proofreading, and simply not interesting. We read fast when reading online and a typo can send a message to the brain something is funky. It’s happened to me and I scramble back to see what happened to find it’s a typo. Distracting.

If you send e-newsletters or emails to get visitors to your Web site, a picture or a link isn’t going to make them come. Words do. Words matter. Content is serious and as important as programming the backend of a Web site maybe even more so. If customers don’t take action based on the convincing words, then the backend programming is useless.

You can’t simply take all your printed materials and slap them on a Web site. People read online and printed content differently. When I read the newspaper, my eyes go up and down along with the column. But, do that on a Web site and it frustrates the heck out of me because of the scrolling involved.

Sure, I’m motivated to sell content as an important factor of a Web site because of the work I do. But, I wouldn’t have chosen such work if I didn’t think it was purposeful.

Added 04/17/03: Ha, I goofed and James Roberts brought it to my attention. I accidentally typed George McGovern instead of Gerry. How did that ever happen especially since I enjoy Gerry’s stuff?? Thanks, James.

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  • Posted by Is Content Finally Getting Respect?