Making information easy to get to

Media, in any form, is about conveying a message. In some forms the message may not be clear on purpose (what is Pablo Picasso talling use here Dora Maar au Chat, 1941, Pablo Picasso?) or it may be extremely clear McDonald's. But in either case, one certain way to make your message really unclear is to make it hard to receive. By hard to receive, I mean hard to find, hard to get, hard to read, hard to hear, hard to watch, hard to consume. Hard as in difficult. This is nothing to do with the actual message but more with the container of the message.

Some messages are just hard to get because the container is difficult. Examples of this are invitations to the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland. If I want to experience Davos first had would required an invitation and money to get to Davos. But I can still get info from Davos through proxies; Robert Scoble's unique reporting from Davos brought me info I could not get any other way:)

Other messages are hard to get because the designer of the message did not plan for the message delivery part (not plan as in by mistake; no way to prevent those that planned to make it hard!). A quick example I found was on the release of the Pig International web site, by Watt publishing. Good site start. However, the RSS feed link is really small and remains out of the way. Why am I interested in this? RSS, removing all the techno-speak around the term, allows for information to be supplied into my own personal newspaper in Google Reader. BTW, see Common Craft's "RSS in Plain English" for a great funny (and short) video on RSS.
Google Reader is easy to get, it is ubiquitous, and simple. Below is my simple "Add Pig International" to your reading list button.

Add to Google Reader RSS and XML Feed

Instead, Pig International requires you to understand what RSS is, pick your "reader" and "subscribe". The number of readers listed, via Pig International's deference to the Open Directory Project to list the feed readers, is way too many for anyone to wade through. Most people in the swine industry are in the business of producing swine for market, not figure out what technology tool to use to get news and information. Many will ignore the RSS feed and move on.

Now I realize that web sites are major items in the media world. Just getting this site off the ground was lots of work and someone out there is breathing lightly now that it is "done". But a media site is never "done"; preferences change, things don't work as expected, people don't adapt. So the media company has to change. That is why the Truffle Media (SwineCast being one) sites need a revamp. The very thing I talk about above on making information easy to get... well the Truffle sites are too busy, hard to navigate, and not laser focused on the audience needs. This requires attention to learning about the audience and applying that learning. Deep diving is next on the swine world!