Category Archives: Content

To collaborate on content, go beyond arguments to find an approach that works for everyone

What would it take to publish content that’s:

  • consistent,
  • works for users, and
  • is efficient to produce?

Not just once, but repeatedly. Not just when we’re working on our own, but when our projects involve many people.

It’s not a case of “fixing” the content. The key attributes of effective content don’t live in the content itself. Pointing at effective content doesn’t make it appear on your website… And the key attributes of effective content don’t live in your user, either. Their experience is affected by it, but they don’t influence it…

We need to look at the team behind the content. The key attributes of effective content live in the team that creates it. Not just the writers and editors, but everyone who contributes to or is affected by the content. So the question becomes, how can we support teams to produce effective content? This isn’t about getting “better” stakeholders, it’s about supporting the stakeholders we have to work together effectively. How can we do that? Continue reading To collaborate on content, go beyond arguments to find an approach that works for everyone

Use pair writing to collaborate with subject matter experts

I’ve written a post on the GatherContent blog about pair writing:

Pair writing is a technique for collaborating on content in real time. Instead of exchanging drafts or correcting with a red pen, two people sit down together to write. You can use it to help content specialists collaborate with subject matter experts, or to include managers in the writing process, or to get input from colleagues when you need help. It builds understanding and trust, speeds up publishing processes, and creates content that meets user needs.

Advocating for “quality” content serves our unmet needs, not user needs

When we advocate for “quality content”, we’re expressing our unmet needs by making a judgment. That doesn’t serve user needs.

During my talk at Confab Barcelona—”Use agile methods to work together on content” (slides below)—I suggested that in order to benefit from agile methods, we choose to “serve user need over content quality”:

Although most people in the room seemed to follow, a few objected: someone stated that user needs and quality are the same thing. Later a friend observed that my statement was provocative. I realised that I’m not interested in provoking people and I didn’t actually explain what I meant. I’ll do that here instead.  Continue reading Advocating for “quality” content serves our unmet needs, not user needs

Webinars: agile content and people skills

I distilled what I’ve learned organising #dareconf, the London Agile Content Meetup, and face-to-face workshops into two 90-minute live webinars on agile content and people skills. You can attend online in July (details below). Update: you can now watch a 3-minute taster video and buy the recording for £90.

Buy the recording

Continue reading Webinars: agile content and people skills