The advent of Web 2.0 technologies has introduced all sorts of new ways of working with (and sharing) information. It seems ironic that many Web 1.0 sites fail to take advantage of even the most basic of techniques – make it easy for someone to provide feedback. Commercial web sites seem to be most in the dark about this new caring, sharing Web 2.0 world. Clicking on a ‘contact us’ link, the assumption is usually that you need help (either buying something or supporting what you have bought). It doesn’t seem to have occurred to many sites that a 2-way conversation is possible, i.e. that you might be offering them help – feedback to help improve the site.
Example for the day: Microsoft
I was browsing through Microsoft’s web site, specifically the area for enterprise customers, doing some research for a service in development. Wanting to check how the product range is currently grouped, I ended up at the following page: http://www.microsoft.com/business/enterprise/products.mspx. I noticed that the page refers to Office 2003, somewhat out of date given Office 2007 launched over 6 months ago. Ever the good ex-employee 😉 I figured I’d let someone know. So I clicked on the ‘Contact Us’ button, which takes you to http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?WS=business (UK details for me, might be different depending on where you are located). Now on the contact page, I can request product support, sales information, licensing details, corporate ‘stuff’, PR announcements… can I offer some feedback about an error on the web site? Can I hecks!