This morning, AJA had an interview with an Indian programmer and software entrepreneur and this guy raised a point about the barrycare web page that I had not yet heard before, and I’d be curious about the response from the more tech savvy amongst you. I don’t use the web to shop (or for anything else other than this blog) so I can’t really assess what he is saying.
He was saying that big e-commerce companies like e-bay and Amazon are basically rewriting their software almost every day. Small start up companies that create new software and new apps and new platforms that become trendy captivate the e-commerce market, and the big web pages make subtle adjustments all the time so that there web pages do not become stodgy, and so they are not a dozen steps behind new innovations. I have had that experience–as someone who doesn’t use Facebook or other social media pages, I am now often baffled by web pages that duplicate the look and feel of what is current, because I am clearly behind the times. By way of example, I occasionally participate in activities with a particular group, and I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how to use the on line registration system they are now using. I’m totally clueless. So now I don’t even bother. So, if I understand what this guy is saying, the big web commerce sites work like crazy to make sure that their sites don’t become as old and stodgy and dated as Holmes and Company, even, which, I can’t really figure out.
The point of this is as follows: healthcare.gov has no plan for updates and innovation. Once the system is up and running, it will run as written until a new contract is awarded some day to refresh and update the system. without those changes, there will be a bell curve drop off as the site becomes less attractive and less in tune with evolving technology. Worse yet, the system today reflects a web page circa 2011, meaning that the functionality shelf life and attractiveness of this web page is probably less than one year. This programmer was pointing out that in the world of e-commerce, its evolve or die, and the real threat to Obamcare is not whether someone can log on today, but what the government is going to do next year, when it may be too late.