Findability is a Content Problem, not a Search Problem

Findability is a constant theme in content strategy and technical communications, yet it  seems to me that people often treat findability as a problem existing outside the content. Findability is addressed using SEO tactics and by devising sophisticated top-down navigational aids, such as taxonomies and faceted navigation, but it is seldom seen as issue to be addressed in the content itself.

I believe this focus on top-down findability is wrong. Top-down finding aids have their place, but the majority of the focus should be bottom up, and it should start with the content itself. read more

Fewer People Read Longer Topics, and that’s Okay

Fewer people read longer topics. But it’s not something to lose sleep over, and certainly not something to shorten topics over.

Tom Johnson has a recent  series of posts on topic length (Does DITA Encourage Authors to Fragment Information into a Million Little Pieces?Do Short Topics Make Information More Findable?, and Why Long Topics Are Better for the User). The discussion around these posts dwells, as all such discussions seem to do, on the question of whether fewer people will read longer posts/topics/articles/etc. read more

Book Outline — Every Page is Page One

NOTE: There is a new book outline posted here: Revised Outline: Every Page is Page One. Comments on this version of the outline are closed. Thanks to all who commented.

As I announced a while back, I am working on a book called Every Page is Page One: Topic-based Writing for Technical Communication and the Web. The book is in pretty good shape at this point, so I wanted to share the outline with you to see if you have any feedback that I can incorporate before the last i is dotted and the last t is crossed. read more