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Sunday, April 8, 2007

Some Thoughts About the Quality of Online Content Products

9:52:00 PM Posted by Oscar Berg No comments
According to my experience, many companies do not treat online publishing with the same seriousness as they treat offline publishing (such as CD-ROM & DVD productions) and print publishing. And I believe that the answer is simple - it can be found in the relatively low cost of publishing and distributing content products online compared to offline and in print.

In print publishing, the cost of sending a content product to print can be enormous. And to correct any errors, such as major spelling errors or incorrect contact information in a printed catalogue, the content product needs to be printed again. You simply don’t afford to discover errors after the content product has been published. However, the same is not true when publishing a content product online. In most cases, any errors can easily and at almost no cost be corrected after the content product has been published.

It seems as when there are no apparent costs connected to quality flaws, it tends to lead to sloppiness in the production and publishing process. Still, there are always indirect, less obvious costs of publishing content products with quality flaws online. A mistake in the information about a product in an online product catalogue can get the same negative consequences as if it would happen in an offline product catalogue. The consequences of such an error might get even worse online if the online catalogue is used for e-commerce where there is no human “intermediary” (like the cashier) that can discover and correct any errors before a purchase is made. And, then there’s the damage that an error – for example in an online campaign - can do to the brand. And bear in mind that the online content product might reach a bigger audience than the offline or printed version.

My point is that a company should be just as afraid of making an error in an online content product as if they make it in a content product that is to be published offline or in print. And it should put as much effort in ensuring that the quality is as desired before publishing a content product online as they would when publishing a similar content product offline or in print.

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