We are our websites…

This is perhaps more in Hillary or Liam’s zone than mine, but I was struck by some of the things that Tom Steinberg has to say in this post about how government fails to think about how it projects itself and whether this applies to us too.

His argument is that often our websites are how people view us – and points at the difference between Amazon and government:

The real difference is one of management structure and focus. At Amazon, CEO Jeff Bezos and his executive colleagues worry all the time about whether their site or app or Kindle are as good as the competitors. But in central and local governments around the world, the top bosses do not stress every day about whether the user experience of their website is up to scratch, or whether conversion rates are lower than desirable.

The main reason that they don’t worry is because their management boards don’t historically contain anyone whose job it is to worry about the performance of digital services. A council chief exec will worry about finance because their finance director will constantly be nagging them about money. But a council CEO won’t be worrying about whether 10,000 people left their website bitterly disappointed last week, because such issues are not ‘normal things to discuss’ at a board level.

I think we have started to think about our web presence much more in recent times, not hard given that two years ago we didn’t even have a website of our own, but how often do you:

  • Visit the site yourself?
  • Write something that tells our potential audience what you have been doing?
  • Promote the site, or particular pages, to the people we’re trying to influence?

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