Here’s something that plagues organizations and their Web sites: knowing what information should be published to their readers and having the willingness to publish that information. I don’t think a lot of organizations get it.
I just did some work for a group with which I’m involved. Part of the site was a section for “Updates.” Despite the fact that I know of at least a half-dozen things that deserved to be published as an update, nothing was ever done. They had an interface with which to update the site, and they could have just sent me an email or a Word document, but the site has remained silent.
As someone who blogs a lot, I guess my threshold for pushing something out onto the Web is a lot lower than other people’s. For every organization with which I’m involved, I know in my head what I want to see in terms of news or updates, and I can never understand why no one else sees this too.
I just think there’s a “mode” you need to be in regarding blogging or Web publishing. A lot of organizations are still stuck in the “paper newsletter, once a month” mode, whereby they have a publishing cycle and they work towards getting things done for the big burst of info. They’re not used to the constant trickle of information that the Web allows.
A lot of potential content for some organizations gets tossed as “too insignificant,” since it’s not something that would make the print version of the newsletter. And a lot of it gets labeled as such because it’s very “on the spot” — it relates to something that’s happened very recently or that’s happening at the moment — so it doesn’t live up to the semi-timeless quality they look for for their periodical communications. Things that would seem out of context three weeks later in the print newsletter are right at home in a time-stamped blog post.
The communication models of these organizations never gets…conversational, like a blog allows. They still seem very one-way, very formal.
Part of me wants to get people in a room, tie them to their seats, tape their eyelids open, and make them look at blogs for 10 hours straight. Perhaps then they start to shift their thinking about the information that they can, and should, push out there. What will it take to get these organizations to understand the new model? And is there a new model, or am I just blathering?
If indeed I’m on the right track with this, then we — meaning the blogging community and especially those who work with business and organizational blogging — need to collectively develop some training materials and resources that get people to understand. I’m wishing for a 30 minute training course or video that would suddenly make people…get it.