What’s The Point?

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Warning: minor rant about local websites ahead. Several months ago I got into a minor kerfuffle with someone over at the Great Falls Development Authority about how current – or not – the agency’s website was. It was somewhat of a relief to see that shortly after that exchange they did indeed update the picture on the front page to accurately reflect the current President of the GFDA. It is still somewhat depressing, though, to see that not much else has changed at the site, such as the monthly newsletter section, with the most entry of April 2006 and all “recent” success stories dated 2005; or the Taxes and Incentives page, featuring data from 2005 and a link at the bottom to the Montana Dept of Revenue page that is broken.
The other website that I wanted to mention is The Peak Health and Wellness Center. Most of you know that I love the Peak; I joined in November and truly enjoy going there. But as I mentioned earlier, their site is a bit clunky, too. For instance, large portions of it simply don’t appear when viewed in Firefox. When viewed in MS IE, some of the pages are very old, such as this one advertising programs for 2004 (!), or programs for Summer 2006. Don’t get me wrong – there is lots of current information at The Peak’s site. But when I chatted briefly with the person in charge of the site (back in late November), she told me that the site was being updated and would be ready to go “live” sometime in January. Not that I’m overly pessimistic, but today is January 30…
Most of you know where I’m going with this, and you know that I have no animosity towards either the GFDA or the Peak. I love ’em both, really. I want both of them to grow, succeed, and become even better than they already are. I hope that someone at these organizations reads this and says, “He’s right! Let’s do something about our sites!” – and then does it.
But seriously: what is the point of their websites? What does the GFDA hope to accomplish with it? Do they want out-of-state business people to reach out to the GFDA via their website and then wonder why the most current “newsletter” is nearly a year old? Does the Peak want to encourage people to become new members by presenting information for classes in 2004?
Sigh. If you’re going to operate a website to promote your business, then you’ve got to operate it, not just let it sit there on the internet getting stale.

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1 Comment

  1. This is interesting and perplexing. I don’t presume to know what is going on in the examples you’ve mentioned, but it still surprises me how many businesses feel they should have a web site just because that’s what people do. These sites tend towards the two you highlight; old content, stale layout, etc. I agree with you that many situations such as these result from a lack of purpose. They feel they need to be on the tubes, but they don’t really know what they are wanting to accomplish by being there. Which is why I find the GFDA’s situation so perplexing. A bad site can sometimes be worse than no site at all. Anyway, thanks for scratching my annoyance itch with this one, let’s hope more than these two are listening as well.

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