Content Rot Re-Visited

By Deane Barker on September 13, 2008

Low value content is destroying your website: Interesting article about how Web sites get gunked up with crap. This is a huge problem with intranets. I wonder if Gadgetopia has this problem?

There is a saying: What do you get when you cross a fox with a chicken? A fox. When you manage low-level content and high-quality content on the same website, the low-level content smothers and eats up the high quality content. We must thus manage them separately. We need a website for the low level stuff. But our primary website should be for the high-quality content that people actually need today.

We’ve talked before about Fighting Content Rot which I think is important. Ektron has a nice feature in it where you “expire” content, but when it expires it just gets added to an “Expired Content” report and/or creates a task for someone to review the content. Done dilligently, adding “tickler review” times to content (perhaps forcing it programatically) has value.

However, a commenter on the original post (the one quoted above) makes a good point too:

I’ve had an experience similar to what you describe – finding old, out of date stuff when I perform a search. But… what about the times a user actually needs old information? Sometimes I go to a web site because I need to know what a company was saying in 2002, or I’m searching for specifications for an old product. One of the benefits of this information being available online is that it is findable, whereas in the past it would require human intervention to dig it up.

Does this stuff boil down to poor search engine implementation? Should there be a way to always isolate content by date?

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