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Web content migration: disastrous strategy

Gerry McGovern says it's no point taking old intranet content and migrating it to a new system. I do agree that it's a waste of resources to migrate content that is not useful. But many intranets do have useful information. The problem is that the useful info is in bits and pieces and present all over the intranet. This is where migration issues become tricky. Yes, intranets can have a clean up during the redesign, even using copywriters to prep the content. But this is not a long term strategy. Unless there is a shared commitment to publish good quality content, any clean up will last only till the next published piece. A shared commitment takes time and does require constant monitoring. And yes, it does require few people to drive the initiative -- the guiding coalition. Only when this is in place that we can expect to address the reasons for bad content that McGovern lists:

  1. We allow the organization to publish puff, fluff and vanity, instead of focusing on the needs of our customers/staff.
  2. We don’t hire web content professionals. Instead we find the most junior person in the department and give them the job of managing the website.
  3. We don’t see the Web as a unique medium-we just take print content and print thinking and shovel it onto the Web.
  4. We don’t review and quality control. We have practically no processes to take old content off our website.

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