Why the Web Stinks and Print Doesn’t
My wife and I have iPod Shuffles (the first generation ones that look like packs of white gum) that don’t work anymore. Googling to find owners with similar problems resulted in information overload, most of which covered issues regarding the product when it first was released almost three years ago.
I’m a fan of British 80s pop music and a lot of bands from that decade have reunited and are coming back with some new music and tours later this year. Granted the bands’ Web sites have very little to offer regarding updates on when fans can expect new music, but scouring search engines reveals little worthwhile information except hundreds of old stories rumoring that the bands are reuniting.
You could argue that these examples are not signs of poor Web content, but more that search isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. I would then ask, what will the Web consist of 10, 20, 50 years from now if nothing is deleted? A good content management system should allow creators to “expire” content (with a 301 redirect to a related page), or how about search engines putting stuff over a year old into a supplemental results section with each entry dated?
Lastly, what a writer puts on paper is permanent, so screwing up could mean his credibility or career. If a blogger messes up, she can correct the mistake before the next person reading it knows it ever happened. Try that it in print.