I just read an an article with the headline I used as my blog post title. It said things like:
Speaking with reporters, web users expressed a near unanimous desire to visit a website and simply look at it, for once, without having every aspect of the user interface tailored to a set of demographic information culled from their previous browsing history.
Although some people reported that they were open to voicing their opinions every once in a while, a majority of users rallied against websites’ expectations that they participate in a discussion on nearly every piece of published content, regardless of its significance or subject matter.
How would you react if you’d read it? I’d bet that, since you’re on GovLoop, you’re a pretty savvy person online, and that you’re having a very quick reaction in some direction, or you’re already formulating your arguments in support or opposing.
I reacted by thinking “yep, that sounds about right,” even though I already knew that the article was on the humor site The Onion. Read the rest of it and then come back here . Go ahead. I’ll wait.
As it often does, The Onion has touched on a real issue. This time, though, it struck me as more correct than funny. I get annoyed by sites pestering me to rate what I just bought, or being asked my opinion of every show I’ve seen.
Now, if you know me, you know I’m a huge proponent of using social media to engage people. But I also have always had my doubts that everyone coming to a government website really wants to be engaged, or wants to share their thinking on every policy issue (or any policy issue, for that matter).
So I don’t have an answer. Sorry about that. But I did want to acknowledge that the article raised some good points, and we should think carefully when we create engagement opportunities.
Now, of course, it’s your turn. What do you think (he asked somewhat ironically)?