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Obamacare Website Not that Bad

Obamacare’s website is really bad says an article on Washington Post’s Wonkblog.

That’s because when 3 million people logged onto Healthcare.gov last Tuesday, what they found was a website riddled with glitches. It turns out that huge volume (traffic) overwhelmed the system causing it to crash within the first few hours.

The new website for Obamacare

The Fact of the Matter

Here’s what we know for sure based on a report from USA Today.

  • The site was expected to draw 50,000 to 60,000 simultaneous users but instead drew 250,000 users at a time.
  • The bugs in the system prevented people from creating user accounts which would enable them to shop for health insurance.
  • More than 8.1 million users visited the site from Tuesday through Friday last week.
  • The part of the site that explains how the new law will work, and gives broad information about the plans that are available has continued to work throughout the troubled launch.

As expected the administration is defensive..

“We’re building a complicated piece of technology,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said on the first day of Obamacare, “and hopefully you’ll give us the same slack you give Apple.”

Without getting into the politics of the new law (or the comparison of the site with Apple products), here’s what I think about the whole thing.

Speed Beats Perfection

We live in an age where every minute counts…at least in content marketing. Those who wait for the perfect campaign will eventually lose out on reaching and connecting with potential customers. In other words, speed beats perfection.

Remember when the lights went out during last season’s Superbowl, and Oreo sent out that famous tweet we’ve all come to love, “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark”?  

Sure, it was a brilliant tweet. But what really made it remarkable was the speed with which it was executed. Within a very narrow window of time, they seized the opportunity and the outcome was amazing.

In the case of Healthcare.gov, millions of families need this information right away (remember, the part of the site with all the information about how Obamacare works was not affected) and while it’s not desirable to have a sluggish website, I think they just had to get started and confront the problems as they went along.

The fact is, no one actually wants to be sloppy. Most people (including the folks behind the Obamacare site) have worked very hard to get the best message in front of consumers. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. Yet the decision has to be made –  get it out there and reach out to folks or tweak it to death while the clock ticks.

Your Turn:

What do you think? Are the technical glitches affecting healthcare.gov excusable or not? Please leave your comments in the box below.

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