Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (August 22, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.3 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #503,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #60 in Books > Computers & Technology > Web Development & Design > Content Management #241 in Books > Computers & Technology > Graphics & Design > User Experience & Usability #913 in Books > Computers & Technology > Web Development & Design > Web Design
First, while it may sound obvious, let me state that this book is primarily about content strategy; it is not a user's guide to developing quality Web content. I believe a few other reviews have misrepresented this book, so please consider this before purchasing.With that said, the book gives a very effective in-depth look at content strategy (or the lack thereof) for large corporations. However, there is quite a bit of repetition throughout the book, particularly in the beginning of each chapter. Halvorson also gives off a bit of a condescending tone in some of her writing, which can be a distraction.The book is really aimed toward an audience that is already aware of how to develop good Web content but needs assistance building a strategic plan to implement it. By far, the best chapter is Audit (4) which goes into great detail on how to audit your site's current content.The book is worth reading -- especially if you are in a large corporate setting -- but will not be completely useful if you are not adequately educated on how to create quality content. Before purchasing this, I recommend reading Janice (Ginny) Redish's "Letting Go of the Words."
This book is concise and has meat. I read the entire book in one sitting. A total eye opener.I always knew Content was God, but this book puts a lot of structure and process around content, its creation and management. The author keeps the focus on strategy and doesn't deviate.If I had to abbreviate the learnings in this book, it would be:Content strategy process1. Audit :Content Inventory: Title, URL, contentWhat content do you have? (Text, PDF, Video, Audio, Forms)How is the content organized? (break it into sections, what does each section have)Who creates the content?Where does the content live?Qualitative audit : Is content accurate, useful, well written, user friendly, used by audience2. Creation:What content to be created,WhyWhere will it come fromHow will it be structuredWho will write it3. Delivery:Who will review, edit, approve, loadHow will you deliver content (vehicles: website, blog, social media).Which tools will users use to get to the content?4. Governance:Plans to add, update, archiveThe Editorial Strategy is also part of the mix. This involve values, voice, tone, legal and regulatory concerns.
As a content strategist with 15 years of experience, for multinationals and smaller, national clients, I can say that every word in this compact, straightfoward guide rings true with my professional practice. Ms. Halvorson's ability to break the horribly messy world of global web content into its component parts, to present it in a concise, and yet personal and pleasant way, is nothing short of remarkable. If you are an editor, strategist, or another kind of content specialist, you can quickly gain an understanding of which processes, tools and knowledge are needed in every phase of planning, creating and governing content. If you are an executive or other person in charge of a web presence, this book will enable you to start gaining control of your content and making sure it's the best it can be. It will also give you the basis to make a case for content within your organization. Most organizations today are dominated by IT and visual design, with little or no expertise in the area of large-scale content development for interactive products like websites. I use this book to teach at the University of Rotterdam, to sharpen my own process, and to explain to clients what this business of international web content is all about. Where I go, it goes! Thanks, Ms. Halvorson!!!
This book should be essential reading for anyone who is a web designer, project manager, or involved in their organization's web (re)design process at all. Before you start a project, or pick a CMS, or hire a designer, or do anything, you need to read this book. I have seen so many projects flop because content is treated as an afterthought, or because the amount of work it takes to get your content in order is underestimated. This book made me so miserable, because I knew that every page of it was true, and I didn't want it to be. I liked living in the naive world where you just invent a cool, functional design, and expect everything to magically come together after that. Content will just fall into the nice little placeholders you've set up. Then when things go awry, you get to say, "Oh, the client messed up the site once I handed it over to them."This book is like going to the dentist. You HAVE to go to the dentist, or your teeth will fall out. Do you want that to happen to your website? If you have been coasting along with no content strategy, then yes, it will be painful to pull together an inventory, and get people to assume responsibility for each piece of content that exists. But once you crack the whip and get things in order, well just think about how bright your smile will be. This has been one of the most important books I have read in the last year. It is packed with useful and practical ideas.Today there was a huge fly buzzing around in my house. He landed near me and I totally could have whacked him, but the only thing around was a copy of Content Strategy for the Web. I had the perfect opportunity to swat him, and let me tell you, this book is totally a perfect size and weight for smacking things with. But I couldn't bring myself to tarnish this book with fly guts. Not just because it is an attractive book, but because I felt it was too valuable of a resource to be used for insect smashing. That's what jQuery books are for.
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