I've been thinking about what makes the curriculum of CONTENTED online courses in writing web content so different from all the rest. At the most basic, we have different assumptions about who we are writing for.
These assumptions are nearly always unspoken. So I thought I would speak them aloud. (Warning: generalisations ahead.)
Many courses (and books) on writing web content assume an audience of small business owners who create their own web sites. They include web design-lite, for example, what to put on the home page and a drop of information architecture.
Some courses assume their students are journalists, especially freelancers. Such courses assume that web content writing means writing articles and handing them over to an employer or client. They tend to omit any technological aspects whatsoever. Outsourced writers don't use the employer's publishing tool: they just hand over the articles.
Some web content courses assume their students are copywriters, producing nothing but persuasive sales or marketing copy.
Obviously, these are all valid assumptions because there really are small business owners, journalists, copywriters and web designers out there who want and need courses on writing web content.
CONTENTED online courses come from another angle. We assume:
- our students write for work, and work for a business or government organisation
- much of what they write becomes web content or intranet content
- they have IT help
- they have no responsibility for web design
- they use a content management system or publishing tool
- their content may have multiple uses
- their content may be stored in an EDRMS and searched by an enterprise search engine
See the difference? Without CONTENTED, these people would not be well served.
But don't get me wrong. Many satisfied web designers and ICT professionals have been through our courses, and say they have enjoyed them and learned a lot.