Category: content strategy

To err is content

I recently sent out an email to a mistyped  address, and here’s an excerpt of the very long error message I received in return. Notice the names of the servers. They’re French for two highly contagious diseases. Somebody was trying to be cute when they named them. I’m sure they thought the names were funny.

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Which English for your content?

English is the official working language of many multinational organizations. But all companies have national roots. When these roots are in non-English speaking countries, the choice of what English to write in can quickly become a headache. What do you mean by “what English to write in”? It’s very common for international companies to originate

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It’s time to make room for content strategy in branding

Content strategy won’t be considered strategic until it has its own chapter in the corporate brand guidelines. Until then, content will just be web writing and copywriting. Ok, there, I’ve said it. Let me explain. I spend a lot of my time with one foot in branding and one foot in content. One thing I’ve

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Site navigation: Reality check from the underground

The other day, I was walking through an underground parking garage on the way back to my car. I’d just come out of a very interesting client meeting about content strategy and UX innovation. I was backtracking my way up a pink line painted on the floor, which I’d walked along a few hours earlier

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Does your content strategy have principles?

I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of visual, UX and software designers recently. The practice of design has always fascinated me. It started early on, when I received a crash course on graphic design from the first art director I ever worked with. He taught me that I shouldn’t write or think in

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More underwear showing: The escape of the lorem ipsum

While wireframes with lorem ipsum raise the hackles of most content strategists, it’s even worse when it’s allowed to run wild in a production environment. Case in point: I stumbled across this piece of filler content (test bandeau) on the Château de Versailles home page this morning. Oops.

Don't let your lorem ipsum run wild

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Disintermediation of the ad agency?

“…the magazine’s job within Bloomberg is to create added value to the terminal business.”

This quote comes from a short but thought-provoking post by Noah Brier, one of the few bloggers that I read on a regular basis. I find it interesting because I think one of the fundamental obstacles to the widespread acceptance of content strategy is the advertising industry mindset.

Publishers used to run ads to generate revenues that supported their selling of content (journalism) at a loss. Advertisers used to spend money producing ads to sell their products and services. But what happens if advertisers publish content to add value to their products, like Bloomberg or Red Bull are doing? What’s left for the advertising agency?  Smells like disintermediation to me.

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Your underwear is showing

Shopping Cart Error Message

Is this really supposed to be reassuring?

While shopping online today I was presented with this screed of code at the bottom of the Shipping Method Selection page. Goes on for lines and lines. How many people would run away when faced with this? Definitely doesn’t inspire much confidence. And I love the “will go away eventually” line. Error message content at its finest. Proof that sometimes the best content is no content at all. Instead, bang the table and get people to fix the problem instead of shaving the bear.

Out of the closet: An ode to lean CS

The other morning I was standing in front of the closet I share with my wife when I had an epiphany. The closet was a disaster. It was taking me forever to get dressed. I couldn’t find what I was looking for. The lighting was bad. I couldn’t access the shirts I wanted. My suit

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Überaudit: looking for content beyond the site

It’s time to start looking beyond the web site when conducting a content inventory. Big organizations are plagued/blessed with massive web sites with sprawling content. But small and midsized organizations are often faced with the opposite problem: not enough web content. Many of them, for whatever reasons, don’t have a CMS, have a crappy CMS

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