Still, the complaints about content
At the Media Post blogs today, Derek Gordon is "Mourning the state of content."
It caught my eye because it involves other than newspapers and media properties. I do some consulting for small businesses, too (starting with my sister-in-law's catering biz and erstwhile restaurant), and one of the things I find myself harping on lately is content.
Too many people see the Internet as one big shopping mall and think if you just throw up a store front people will come - and stay. The Google analytics on too many sites show differently - high skip rates, little foraging into the depth of sites, etc. (Sounds a lot like some newspapers, too, doesn't it?)
But on the Internet, everyone is a publisher and the ethos is different: Give me some good content and I'll drop by and maybe set a spell -- maybe even buy something. "Engaging" is the new watchword. I've told my sister-in-law, for instance, that just once a week she needs to take 20 minutes and put up a little tidbit. Maybe a recipe, maybe just something simple like how to core and apple easily or squeeze a lemon without getting the seeds everywhere. Pretty soon that stuff turns up in search engines, and that's when the action starts.
Gordon also laments some basic tech skills, but I'd just settle for some content. He writes:
But I must confess to one overriding concern that grows with each new Web site I encounter: Too many business owners have built sites that are to some degree unprepared to conduct business on the Web.
Whether this is a commentary on our fast-changing times or the failure of our education system to adequately prepare our citizens for work in the 21st century, one thing is clear: There is a widespread lack of basic writing abilities and an equal lack of even the most basic technical skill. ...
But the thing is, from my experience, the problem seems to be widespread. Folks from many socioeconomic backgrounds and from every corner of our country seem to suffer from the same limitations.
Web sites are undermined by basic composition problems. Where there is copy, it's often unfocused, with grammatical problems and, often, misspelled words. Even when it's well-written, it's left to grow stale or fails to be interesting enough to be link-worthy. In terms of technical ability, too many Web site owners are unable to install the Google Analytics tracking code in their site's footer on their own. Even those who use a good content management system such as WordPress will have very often failed to employ the standard SEO pack. Mention HTML, and they break into a cold sweat.
Check out the rest of it. Food for thought.