Content is not king. It’s fodder

Published: August 13th, 2007

paper-stack-web.jpegAnd you thought they were busy parsing Excel spreadsheets and doing OLAP queries. Actually, survey results that were published by the U.S. Online Publishers Association probably won’t be a shock to most IT managers, but they should give them some food for thought the next time they set up something new to help their users.

The survey said that Internet users spend half their time viewing news or entertainment content, surpassing activities such as sending e-mails, shopping or searching for information. I guess that’s good news for editors like me, but what does it say for the companies that are setting up systems to help their employees, customers or partners do business with them electronically? It doesn’t mean that transactional systems lack value?

It means that content is probably the most powerful way to influence user adoption patterns. It means creating more visible (and comprehensable) help menus is more crucial than the colour of an online button or the name of a particular program. It means that telling