Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Time for Content to Become More Scientific

Focusing on usable written content ...

"Senior managers don't take content seriously because people who write content don't come across as being serious. If content professionals want more respect, they need to present content as a science, not an art.

I have spent most of my adult life writing content, or else advising people on how best to write and manage it. I have found it very hard to get senior managers to take content seriously.

Most senior managers simply don't see the value of quality content. Sure, they don't want their organizations to publish poor quality content. However, they are wary about really investing in content. Where professional writers are employed, it is expected that their salary will be modest. Why?

Part of the reason is that as writers we are often too precious about our trade. We are loath to admit that there are formulas. In fact, to say that writing is formulaic is a criticism, not a complement.

You wouldn't criticise a headache tablet for being formulaic, would you? Let's face it, most of us live in formulaic houses, drive formulaic cars, use formulaic computers, eat formulaic food, wear formulaic clothes, listen to formulaic music, watch formulaic movies, and read formulaic newspapers and books.

When a writer says to a manager that there is no right way to write a heading or summary, that doesn't impress the manager. When a writer says to a manager that you can't really judge the impact of a particular piece of content, that doesn't impress the manager.

Managers must manage. To manage, you must be able to measure. That which can't be measured, can't be managed. Managers love formulas. They love systematic ways of doing things. Laws and regulations are formulas, and it would be impossible for societies to function without them. So why can't content have formulas?

Some writers think that if their writing is shown to be formulaic, they will be valued less. Some writers have a fear of the quality of their writing being determined by its impact. Some writers look at writing as an expression of who they are, and that being able to write however they want is some sort of fundamental human right."    (Continued via UIEtips)    [Usability Resources]


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< Home