Interesting piece on the register noting that “some research or other” found that 65% of 500 businesses had no idea whether the money spent on their website was good value or not. Research is, as the Tim infers, only as good as the questions, the underlying agenda and the researcher, but gut feel says that this is probably right. At a session over breakfast yesterday, one of the attendees was talking about the need to put a credit in the accounts for everyone that used the website (the more they do, the higher the credit I guess). So, someone who checks the company address maybe credits a virtual 25p to the website coffer (offsetting the expense of build in a sort of double-entry manner), if they go through the FAQs and don’t call the help desk, maybe they credit more. Seems to make sense to me- and it wouldn’t be hard to come up with some simple metrics that allowed you to figure out what was going on.
Ian Dunmore, over at Public Sector Forums, has cottoned onto this notion of “value” in the past as well as more recently. You’ll need to register and answer a few nearly-onerous questions (as Ian said to me, this stuff has to pay for itself so you give some “value” to him and in return, he gives some value back – seems a fair trade).