Yearly Archives: 2012

Time for Content Management to Come out of the Closet

Two recent blog posts, Structured Content is Like Your Closet by Val Swisher, and Content Strategy Can Save Us All From Slobdom by Meghan Casey, both illustrate how content management works today by analogy with a well organized closet. It is a perfect metaphor for current content management practice, and provides the perfect starting point for examining what… Read More »

Tech Comm’s Obsession with Novices has to Stop

Once upon a time (sometime in the 80’s) everyone in the tech business was a novice. Novice tech writers wrote for novice users about novice products created by novice developers employed by novice entrepreneurs (most of whom, apparently, had recently dropped out of Harvard). There were no conventions about how any of this stuff was supposed… Read More »

The Long Tail and Why Docs are Frustrating

It is often a matter of some perplexity to technical writers that more and more people seem to prefer searching the Web rather than looking for information in the documentation. It is perplexing because information found through a Web search is of variable quality, sometimes hard to navigate, lacking in authority, and has to be… Read More »

Creativity in Structured Writing

One of the most frequent concerns that writers express about structured writing is that it will rob them of their opportunity for creativity. In itself, this is not an argument against a business adopting structured writing. Businesses don’t exist to provide creative outputs for writers, but to create products for customers and income for shareholders.… Read More »

Differential Content Strategy

Traditionally, the content strategy for technical communications has tended to be undifferentiated. That is, organizations would define the components of a doc set: user guide, admin guide, quick reference card, reference, etc, and would produce that same set of documents for every product and every product release from 1.0 to the very last release before… Read More »