Web phrenology and the Digital Deca

I just read a very insightful ebook that is a funny yet poignant pictorial narrative about “how negative and positive organizational dynamics manifest on the Web.” It is calledThe Digital Deca: 10 Management Truths for the Web Age” by Lisa Welchman of Welchman Pierpoint web governance consulting, and was evidently cited on April 27, 2010 at the Government and New Media Conference.

Download the whole ebook at: http://www.slideshare.net/welchmanpierpoint/the-digital-deca-10-management-truths-for-the-web-age-ebook-3871478

In it, the author describes a concept called “Web phrenology: The science of understanding an
organization’s strengths and weaknesses by examining their Web presence.” I have been a web phrenologist for years, examining an organization’s web presence and identifying flaws in their strategy, business processes, products, and policies just from how they present themselves on the Internet, then recommending and implementing solutions.

For example, much to the consternation of senior management, I once detected that there was a rift between the licensed products division and movie division of a major studio just by their lack of integration (you couldn’t buy the movies on the online store, for example).

Organizations, whether public or private sector, who think they have hidden their internal squabbles and dysfunction are often surprised to find out these problems are very evident to their customers, competitors, employees, even the media and legislators, many times just by what is and isn’t on their web site.

The web doesn’t let you sweep problems under the rug. Instead, it shines the blazing light of millions of visitors on them. Thus, it is usually best to admit defeat, ask for help from the crowd (both internal and external stakeholders) to identify both problems and recommend solutions, and redesign first your organization then your web site. Your stakeholders… and your organization’s survival- may depend on this.

Leave a Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply