Today I read this Gerry McGovern blog article about how Yahoo is changing the way they perceive content, and this is now shown by their replacing a media-led CEO, by a product-focused one.
The content-heavy website is changing the way it uses its content. Content shouldn’t be there just for the sake of it. It should have a very clear purpose by enabling people to do something with it (eg, decide whether to buy this or that product).
The same should apply to government websites, especially council websites, which main purpose should be to serve the local communities they represent.
What use is it if you search for your local bin collection and, rather than coming across clear information of collections dates and times, you stumble on a number of pages that tell you about the council’s environmental services structure, the strategies (often outdated), this and that, but nothing that you can actually use to move on with your life.
I’m not saying there isn’t a place for that, but this place is not where clear, straighforward, actionable information should be instead.
In his blog, McGovern compares Google and Yahoo’s approaches, with a clear advantage going to Google’s approach. But if Yahoo adopts the search engine mammoth’s approach, what will it be its USP? Maybe Lancashire County Council‘s website approach is the answer?