What would it take to publish content that’s:
- 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
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.
When we tell people the “right” way to do things, we’re unlikely to get the help we need. Instead we can choose to show people how working with us can meet their needs. Continue reading Show people how working with you can meet their 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
I’m excited to announce a new event: agile content conf is about using agile methods to work together on content.
Continue reading Announcing agile content conf
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
In Episode 25 of the Together London Podcast, I talk to Tiffani Jones Brown about collaboration at Pinterest. You can follow Tiffani on twitter @ticjones.
Continue reading Tiffani Jones Brown podcast interview: collaboration at Pinterest
In Episode 24 of the Together London Podcast, I talk to James Deer, founder of GatherContent, about content, collaboration, and listening. You can follow him on twitter @jamesdeer.
Continue reading James Deer podcast interview: content and collaboration
Last month I had the pleasure of presenting at Webdagene in Oslo. It’s Norway’s leading web and digital conference, organised by Netlife Research, a remarkable company.
Continue reading Video: content, culture & digital transformation
The Dare Conference is about people skills for digital workers. We still have tickets available, and even if you can’t make it, you can take part in the #dareconf fringe events.
Continue reading Come to the #dareconf fringe next week in London