Blog: Content writing and content strategy insights

The careers of five best friends begin to merge in a digital workforce

When I grew up I had four besties. Together we were just like Blyton’s Famous Five. Sure, we didn’t roam the countryside solving mysteries and capturing villains. Golly gosh no! But we did freely roam our cul-de-sac for hours enjoying jolly adventures — at least until dinner time.

After university, we all dispersed into very different jobs — one into journalism, one into strategic planning, one into advertising, one into corporate comms, and I moved from solicitor to information designer.

But in the last five years or so, something funny has happened: all our job descriptions are starting to look the same. Disciplines are merging. My friends and I are doing similar tasks and use the same skillsets.

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Spot-check your own web content

We all hope and trust that our content authors are creating findable, usable, valuable content for both web and mobile. But how can we be sure? Here's a quick way to spot-check your own web content without user-testing. 

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How to understand a bad communicator: active listening

Boss and stenographer at work

It takes two to communicate! How do you work with people whose communications are incomprehensible? Maybe they send you cryptic emails ... smother you with gobbledegook ... expect you to read their minds ... give you mixed messages ... confuse opinion with fact ... 

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18 years of writing for the web: how hot is that?

Writing on the web: contented.com for writing courses
Since 1995, writing for the web is a phrase that has come full circle: literary writing online. Business writing, writing on the web, writing for the intranet, blogging, web content, SEO writing, content marketing, mobile content, accessible content, digital communication ... what next?

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Business writing courses: how can you trust them?

I'm horrified at the antiquated business writing guides and manuals that are still being used today. How could students possibly take seriously an online text that looks like that? Yet Google delivered this Brief Guide to Business Writing as result #7 when I searched for a business writing guide. I wish that I could say this is unusual. But buried on many a university's web sites are such documents, presumably still in use

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"Write" (no) "Me" (no) "a Web Page" (no): all business writing is content

Business writing has changed into something unrecognisable: content. The ironic book title Write me a web page, Elsie! reflects a 20th century viewpoint and a world that has gone forever.

The manager who says, Write me a web page, Elsie! has no concept of the nature of the internet. As content strategy, Write me a web page is disastrous. It generates ROT, it undermines information architecture, it ignores accessibility, it stomps on customer service.

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Cross-cultural communication: globalizing English web content

Kyoto path: cross cultural communication

A few years ago I went to a terrific seminar on cross-cultural communication. I was shocked to discover that only a few of the audience were from the business world. Why's that shocking? Because the topic is relevant to every web site—not just those for EFL teachers, ESL and ESOL teachers, refugees and immigrants.

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