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Why Organizations Think Of Web Content Like They Think Of Invoices

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Embedded deep within the psychic of the traditional organization is the view of content as an historical record. This view sees content as describing an event that has occurred. Web content is a driver of the event. Web content is action-oriented. That’s the big shift and many organizations have not grasped it.

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.

Organizations don’t place much value on content because they don’t see content as having much value. Most managers come from the school where actions speak louder than words. Words are okay but when you want to get the job done you have to act.

Words and numbers are not the act; they are rather a record of the act. An invoice is a record of the sale. It is not the sale. It comes after the sale. That’s where the Web is different. If commerce is selling with people, then ecommerce is selling with content.

On the Web, words are no longer some passive historical record of an event. They are a potential driver of the event. Words can help make the sale. On the Web, words speak louder; words drive actions.

I was recently asked to review the website of a very prestigious organization. Among other things, I found some grammatical errors. When I pointed this out, heads nodded. We’ll have to fix that, the manager stated. But there was no urgency in his voice.

We all make grammatical mistakes. It’s almost impossible to publish content that is totally error-free. I know I certainly make mistakes. The thing is that when someone points out a mistake I made, I act immediately to correct it.

I place a very high value on my content. I know that the content on my website is crucial to my success. Practically all my clients will at some stage read my website. A large majority will have initially come across me as a result of reading this newsletter or my website. Poorly written content loses business for me.

Over the years, I have met a great many people involved in managing websites. Some valued content highly, but the majority did not. These were professional managers who took their jobs seriously. But they didn’t take content seriously.

The foundation of success for any website is to take content seriously. Every word you write has the potential to help make the sale, or drive the consumer to the website of your competitor. The words you publish on your intranet can make your staff more productive. They can also make them less productive.

The fundamental difference between print content and web content is that web content has the potential to be much more action-oriented. Talk to most managers and they see content as a task that takes them away from their ‘real’ work. Once written, most content gets left on the shelf.

The modern manager needs to see content as part of their real work. It is no longer the record of work done. The Web is important and content is where the action is.

For your web content management solution, contact Gerry McGovern http://www.gerrymcgovern.com

Subscribe to his New Thinking Newsletter: subscribe@gerrymcgovern.mailer1.net

Why Organizations Think Of Web Content Like They Think Of Invoices
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