While technology problems often steal the attention, fact is that many Web and intranet professionals struggle just as much with the content side of things. We have too much content, outdated content, content that is not user-friendly. The list goes on.
Kristina has identified two key issues:
- Process: In web projects, we spend a lot of time and energy on determining business objectives and user goals, creating strategy and designing the functional requirements. But somehow we always scramble to prepare the actual content just before launch. We don’t plan for content.
- Perception: We think that creating good content is basically copy writing, that it is about sitting down and writing text. But in fact, content is complicated. Often you are dealing with several parties that have to review the content in the first place. Then there is the issue of metadata, formatting, and technical restrictions.
What is missing in most organisations, Kristina says, is editorial oversight. Think of the publishing industry, where content is considered a product. They employ executive editors to coordinate all the input from the different writers. Compare that then to your typical setup with a decentralized network of web editors in most organisations. There will of course be a person coordinating efforts, but that person also has to do daily maintenance, drive the new design, implement the new CMS, manage vendors and many other tasks. In the end, no one has the overall responsibility for the content itself.
In her book, Kristina argues the need for content strategy if we are to deliver better websites. She defines content strategy as planning for the creation, the delivery and the governance of useful, usable content.
You can meet Kristina at our conference for online professionals in November where she will share her method for creating a content strategy as well as steps you can take right away to deliver a better website or intranet.
Do you have anyone looking after your content? Really?