Web Organization is not Like Book Organization

One of the most difficult aspects of moving content to the Web is that webs are not organized like other things — books in particular. And the difference is not small. It is not that web organization is somewhat different from book organization. It is so different that you can’t even look at web organization the way you look at book organization.

And that may be the biggest problem in moving content to the Web. We are used to being able to look at the organization of our content in a particular way, from the top down, and that does not work on the Web. That makes the difference very difficult to get used to. read more

Correcting our Publication Skew

Technical communicators and content strategists tend to have a skewed view of communications. We tend to think of communications principally in terms of publications. But publications have never been the sole or even primary means by which communication takes place, and in the age of the Web, the role of publications in communication is diminishing. As I have remarked more than once before, the Web is not a publication, it is a colloquium. To move forward in the modern world, we need to correct the long-standing publications skew in the way we look at communications. read more

How the Web Designs Information

John Carroll, in Nicky Bleiel’s recent interview in Intercom, suggests that there has emerged a theory that the advent of the Web means that information does not need to be designed anymore:

I do think that techniques like crowdsourcing and search have caused, what I think, is a radical position that there is no need to design information anymore because it’s so abundant. We can rely on the crowd and search, and between the two we’re going to be able to generate such wondrous amounts of information. read more