18 May 2010

Ghost Pots

I was sent the following video today about "ghost pots" scattered about Virginia waterways. Although their name makes you think of illicit behavior at a Grateful Dead concert, ghost pots are actually crab traps that have been lost by their owners. This doesn't sound like a big deal until you consider that these pots continue to fish, and uselessly kill, as many as 60,000 bushels of crabs each year.

It makes me wonder about all of the remnants of credit union campaigns, web tools, signage, and the like that continue to fish for and kill the chances for gaining prospective members. I've been to way too many credit union websites over the past 6 months that contain dead links, dated graphics, typographical errors in the copy, poor navigation, and bad information (wrong NCUA share insurance coverage numbers, for example).

I was in a Twitter argument (Twargument?) the other day with a prominent financial advice writer who claimed that credit unions are behind the times when it comes to adoption and deployment of new technology. This claim is definitely bogus. When you look at Verity Credit Union (first financial services blog), Vantage Credit Union (first financial institution to deploy Twitter-hosted banking), Mt. Lehman Credit Union (their list of firsts is a mile long), and the vast number of "firsts" credit unions have been responsible for in technology over the years, it's hard to argue that we have been anything short of pioneering in this area. However, number of credit unions whose websites and technology are stuck in 1994 take the public's attention away from that fact.

Like it or not, we all reflect on one another. We need to do a better job of cleaning up our own shops...and a much better job of helping each other do the same.


Steve Van Beek said...

Your post brings up a good point about removing outdated information. I recently read a tip in the NY Times about googling specific websites that CUs might be able to use to search their own sites.

We blogged about this on NAFCU's Compliance Blog here: http://tinyurl.com/278tgph

I think CUs could use this tip to search for marketing terminology that has changed due to rebranding, compliance-related issues, or a whole host of other potential problems.

Cheers, Steve

Bryan Clagett said...

Great post. Just responded on the @geezeo blog.

terrell said...

Sigh... I recently "inherited" our website and ohmygosh, I am constantly finding outdated info, broken links and the like. It is so hard to keep updated, but I'm working on a system. There's no excuse -- I just wish we had more resources.

Sadly, I take comfort in the fact that most websites I visit have the same issues, so it's not just our industry. I guess that's a bright side?