Tag: 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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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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10 reasons to be kind to European content strategists

This post is a follow-up to a recent tweet in which I said: “The biggest enemy of CS in Europe is the budgetary bloat caused by localization requirements. Right tech ends up being too expensive.” I’m a lucky guy. In the past few weeks I’ve been pitching and/or working on projects that involve serious content

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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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Je ne suis pas content: Do cultural attitudes to writing affect content strategy?

I’m convinced that cultural attitudes to writing can have a big impact on content strategy, especially when you’re trying to produce web writing in English for non-English organizations. I’m going to use my experience in France to highlight some issues that I’ve encountered. Please note: I’m going to make sweeping generalizations about the French language

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Don't shoot the copywriter

Am I paranoid or does copywriting have a bad name in content strategy circles? The more I read, the more I feel like some members of the CS community want to distance themselves from copywriters. Worse, an ad hoc caste system seems to be emerging: At the bottom are copywriters, who come in two flavors.

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Why writing is important: error messages

After replying to one of my client’s emails, I received this error message from the mail server: The message carried your return address, so it was either a genuine mail from you, or a sender address was faked and your e-mail address abused by third party, in which case we apologize for undesired notification. We do try

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