Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - New site analysis - some issues, but better

Lots of fun for website reviewers these days, as the new site rolled out its overhaul. The general consensus is that it takes advantage of some additional "Web 2.0" techniques (like a Blog, w/RSS and Twitter feed), and is overall a bit more streamlined and updated.

Someone noticed the new robots.txt file - speaking volumes for some new perspective regarding online security and search engine optimization. We'll point out that the usability and basic SEO features are pretty good, with decent metatags (but the title tag could be a little more informative, like "The White House - US President Barack Obama's Residence" vs. "Welcome to the White House"). Also, trying the search for the word "Twitter" from the RSS feed page threw an error "The page did not process successfully because of the following: Field 'Email' is invalid; Field 'Zip Code' is empty". Not a very "social" response.

Also, interesting that the White House relies on TinyURL (vs. other similar services) w/Twitter - while common, you'd think the DoD would have constructed a more reliable, commercial-free tool for the government to use. And one where the service doesn't actually need to "allow it to access your computer"...perhaps the "twittering" is not being done on an official Government network?

Good start!



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