Category: web writing

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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Did anyone reread this?

Yesterday I called my mobile operator Orange to change an option. The sales rep informed that I was eligible for a new service plan that would save me €40 a month. She could send me the documentation if I was interested. Nice sales funnel, I thought. Not too pushy. The email arrived a couple seconds

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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



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.

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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Strategic traits of content #2: Staging

This is the 2nd in a series of three articles about the traits shared by effective web content. The first installment was about progress. How well content achieves it purpose depends a lot on how it is staged. We don’t think twice about restaurants serving us a meal in a series of courses. But it

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Strategic traits of content #1: Purpose

Jeffrey Zeldman famously tweeted back in 2008 “Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.” I’d like to add: Purpose precedes content. Content in the absence of purpose isn’t content, it’s masturbation. Books have purpose. Writers don’t give readers a bunch of pages and then hope they’ll put them

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Prologue: Habits of highly effective web content

I sometimes get the feeling that the world of content strategy is perpetually obsessed with strategy, and less with content. Discussions quickly speed past content creation on their way to talking about managing it. For each PowerPoint slide describing the different forms of content you get a dozen more on how to slice and dice

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Pre-flight checklist: Is the client ready for content strategy?

Clients are increasingly open to content strategy. So are agencies. But does being open equal being ready? The success or failure of a content strategy project depends on a great many things that are totally out of our control. So before starting a project (or providing a quotation), I try to get a feel for

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