HTC : Over-padding content
Use of global content to supplement local material goes too far.
HTC, a Taiwan-based maker of ‘smartphones’, buries the impressive local scope of a common archive.
HTC presents its news releases in annual archives in the Press section of its worldwide and country websites. They draw on a common resource that goes back to 2000, though many country sites start from 2005. The default display is the current year, with release headlines and their respective date and country shown in descending chronological order (most recent first). In all cases, the archive can be filtered by year, from the left-hand navigation, and the chosen annual archive can then be filtered by country from a simple dropdown menu in the right-hand column. There are 48 options in the menu including regional (for example, Asia, Europe, Latin America), alternate language (for example, Switzerland-French, Switzerland-German; Hong Kong-EN, Hong Kong-TC) and all (Worldwide).
Each option generates a tailored selection that includes local-language news releases. This is not apparent, however, in the many cases where local releases are few in number as all Worldwide releases in English are included by default in the results (where their country designation shows as ‘Worldwide’). The US and Canada sites use a different template that does not include the Country Selection filter.
The full scope of HTC’s news release archive and its accessibility from across the company’s web estate outside North America is impressive. Not only does the worldwide site cover local language and country releases – a relative rarity in itself – but the facility is reciprocal on local sites, – even rarer and a real extra level of service for journalists. Many, however, might never know from the way it is presented just how useful a resource it can be.
HTC has an obvious dilemma that stems from the limited number of local language and local topic releases generated for most countries outside its home base (Taiwan) and region (Asia): in most cases very few results are generated and, in some instances, none at all in a given year. That could easily translate into an unwanted impression of local lethargy or disengagement, but the current set-up produces much the same effect with the added drawback of potentially burying local content. While the case for including all company-wide English-language releases can be argued on the grounds that they have some relevance everywhere, to do so automatically is too heavy-handed. Journalists who want to widen their search can already do so from the country menu; a display of local-only results with an invitation to switch for a wider selection of corporate news to the worldwide option would provide a better-balanced and more transparent service.http://www.htc.com
First published on 08 July, 2010