On March 20, Watchfire announced an interesting product called WebXM eGov Compliance. This is a solution that can crawl a government Web site and report on how well the site follows the eight categories of best practices as defined by the ICGI Web Content Managers Working Group. The product offers a dashboard and can even generate documentation such as Plan of Action & Milestone reports (POA&M in governmentspeak).
The categories tracked by the solution are:
- Basics -- domains and linking.
- Managing Content -- e.g., listing who created the content and when.
- Required Content -- items such as Contact Us, About Us, Site Map, FAQs
- Usability -- consistent navigation, accessibility
- Search -- having a search box, and search help
- Improving Your Site -- e.g., customer surveys and other ways of assessing customer satisfaction
- Collaboration -- e.g., links to other relevant Web sites
- Regulations and Laws -- compliance with Freedom of Information Act, Government Performance Reform Act, etc.
These issues that all Web sites deal with -- however, the government has put a stake in the ground by issuing government guidelines and requiring adherance to government regulations.
A product such as this is just the tip of the iceberg. Over time, companies -- not just governments -- are going to recognize that content management and content analytics need to be more tightly integrated. There is now just too much content and too many regulations for organizations to manually check whether they're generating easy-to-use and compliant content. Public Web sites, due to their everyone-can-see-this nature, are where we're first seeing this trend. However, over time this process will spread to other content repositories -- e.g., intranets and wikis -- as well.