Finding ROT Is Only the Beginning

by Denise Eisner

The ROT (Redundant, Outdated and Trivial) web content reduction exercise underway in many federal Canadian government departments and agencies will prove to be a win on several fronts:

• Users will be able to find content more easily;
• Departments will have less inventory to keep aligned with evolving Common Look and Feel standards; and
• Any energy spent on improving content will go toward high demand web assets.

The process typically begins with a content audit, looks at performance metrics to assess usage and then goes through an evaluation process to determine what stays.

But when the audit is over, will the organization know how to:

• Determine what goes on the web, why and for how long;
• Understand web content relative to official records;
• Communicate life cycle guidance and policies to content owners; or
• Identify archival strategies for low-demand content that should not be on the web?

These considerations fall under the practice of life cycle management, which brings together the communications and information management disciplines to formulate appropriate policies and guidance for the organization. It’s a relatively new piece of policymaking that simply requires an understanding of what business rules apply to online assets and then devising operational guidance that is triggered by a business decision to remove content.

If ROT is your department’s diet blitz, consider life cycle management as the ongoing maintenance plan to keep the bloat out of your web presence.

Denise Eisner is a senior consultant within the Government Service Excellence practice.


Denise Eisner is a senior-level web strategist and communications specialist with a passion for creating enhanced user experiences. As a member of the Government Service Excellence practice, Denise’s experience and specializations include web strategy development, information architecture, web analytics (WebTrends and Google Analytics) and web project management. She has led large-scale content audits, developed performance measurement frameworks, and coordinated site updates to meet Treasury Board policies standards and guidelines. Engaged in the evolving spheres of information technology, corporate communications and media for almost two decades, Denise has transformed business objectives into web strategies and information architectures for corporate and government clients in the U.S. and Canada.


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