It’s been exactly one month since my follow up post, Go Erie: One Month Later, to my original evaluation of the GoErie site in Web 2.0 terms, Brief GoErie Web 2.0 Evaluation. Now, just to review, this first evaluation stirred quite a bit of discussion about Web 2.0 and what it should be on websites, as well as comments by people agreeing with me, as well as comments by those who are slightly in charge of the GoErie upkeep.
My second post highlighted any changes that had been made in response to that first post (very few, if any), and included screen shots of what the site looked like at the time for your reference, as well as mine. This second post resulted in a very friendly and encouraging comment by Kristin Lynch, Interactive Brand Manager of CyberInk and manager of GoErie.com. In this comment, Kristin said:
“I won’t make excuses for anywhere we’ve fallen short, because I hold the site to even more stringent standards than any site visitor possibly could imagine. I could probably list (but won’t!) lots of shortcomings a visitor or consultant would never even notice. But it’s a work in progress and our goal is to keep building on what is essentially a great web site and work hard to make it better. And I’m confident it keeps getting better. Some of the suggestions you mention here are already on my tick list, and some others are worth adding now.”
Now, Kristen, it’s been a month since I’ve received this comment, and I still see zero changes made to GoErie’s homepage. In fact, I find the ads and videos flashing at me a little bit distracting and annoying.
The Text Alerts application, which I was pleased and surprised to realize was included in their site, is still hidden quite a ways below the fold. The recognizable RSS feed logo is still nonexistent on the home page, although the tiny, size 5 or 6 RSS Feed link, located on the very top of the page is available. Once clicked on, the user is asked which of the 9 GoErie feeds the user would like to click on (Isn’t this a little excessive when the user just wants to hear about Erie?) The RSS feed hiding on the page is NOT helping GoErie increase its RSS subscribers, therefore NOT helping increase its reach! I’m sorry GoErie, you only have 15 subscribers to your GoErie Top Stories blog on Google Reader, and the others aren’t even found when you do a search on it within Google Reader. Any type of search NOT finding your items is a bad thing.
I’ve made these and other suggestions already, so I won’t continue with what I think should change, especially since my comments and opinions about the site have already been acknowledged and praised by a GoErie representative (which I do appreciate very much, by the way). My question is, why hasn’t anything changed? If it takes a small, locally based website one month to make small changes to their website, and multi-million dollar corporations, like Google, about five minutes to make an online change, is that not a hint that things need to be changed?
Recognize the changing need of users. Listen when users are telling you something. Acknowledge that your users are being heard. And do something about it. It’s nice that you like your site the way it is. But your site doesn’t exist without its users.