By Dan Williamson
A friend in the web industry recently admitted that she didn’t ‘get’ content production.
After I’d picked myself up off the floor, I thought I’d post something helpful but enlightening on their behalf.
I suggested to the person that they might find it useful if they compared content production to something they’re more familiar with – like technical development and the programming process.
After all, the technical development process depends on:
- A detailed brief from the client or PM for the programmer’s (editor’s) background
- An up to date IA / sitemap to map out the solution and gauge the work required
- A functional spec (in an editor’s case, a content plan or strategy which outlines each section and page)
- A sufficient lead in time to write code (or copy). After all, like rushed code, rushed content will not work
Feel free to add anything else you think will help with our cause. In the meantime, it can never hurt to read the insightful Cure for Content-Delay Syndrome on A List Apart.
I like this website. I like linear websites. Websites that are linear – I like.
The Enfatico story – which is what this website is: a narrative – is well written and immersive. I winced a little at ‘reinventing the client-agency model in a zero-legacy environment’. But to be fair, I got the point.
If you didn’t already know, Enfatico is the new name for the bespoke agency that WPP developed its work on Dell. The reasoning behind it being that the tailored ‘agency’ worked so well, it’s now going to see how it works with other clients.
Industry opinion about the choice of name appears to be divided on Brand Republic’s newly launched boards.
I always read make time to George’s i-boy blog, but I’ll admit I’ve never seen anything as so damning as his latest post, which talks about Mark Kingdon’s move from CEO of digital agency Organic to CEO of Linden Lab, the owner of Second Life.
Sure, there’s been a strong reaction to Kingdon’s move on Linden’s own site (which i-boy has helpfully published), but George himself is just as scathing. Check out the multiple choice options!
Take a look for yourself at i-boy.
Maybe this should be titled ‘The benefits of captcha’. I was enjoying Richard Townsend’s blog post on the real value of dotcom content and was impressed by the 22 comments he’d received. Until I clicked further and realised they were spam posts.
Despite the website Circus Street are an impressive bunch. They’re a collective of digital media strategists including the likes of ex-Revolution editor Philip Buxton, Henry Stokes (ex-WPP’s Mindshare Digital), Jeremy Hill (ex-Starcom UK) and Aimi Mackay (another ex-Starcom-er).
Google’s new ‘search within a search’ feature might hurt publisher’s data gathering / ad budgets says SEO agency altogether digital
. This got us thinking about creating contextualised content (and, er, inappropriate alliteration).
As content specialists, we’ve always harped on about the need for content on clients’ websites to be super contextualised, given that the majority of users don’t (want to) see your home page and go straight to the page they’re looking for – cold – without seeing any ‘How this site works’ or ‘About us’ information. Why should it be different for newspaper / publisher websites? Granted, they need to pay for the upkeep of their website more than so than the majority of other website owners, but this ignores the sad, but very real fact – users don’t care about advertising. They put up with it as long as they get the information they’re looking for.
It’s up to publishers to ensure their users are successfully encouraged to browse other areas of the site once they’ve finished the article they originally came for.
And as for Google’s new feature – let’s face it, newspaper sites’ internal search features are generally…unhelpful [expletive omitted – Ed]. Thank you Google.
“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” – John F. Kennedy
If you deal with clients and discuss costs, this is worth reading.
Read When selling ends and negotiation begins at the Telegraph Business Club.
Sign up for contentcontent’s email newsletter
A contact at an agency just told me they’ve been invited to pitch. Woo-hoo etc. But what’s interesting is how they got in touch – the client searched for ‘award winning digital agency’.
Today’s takeaway moral? Never, ever, ever, ever underestimate your user or make assumptions. When developing copy for your website (or your client’s), explore EVERY possible keyword and phrase they’re likely to use or be reassured by.
Put simply, make sure your copy includes keywords which resonate with your user. It helps with your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO).
Sign up for contentcontent’s email newsletter
By Dan Williamson
A good content matrix can make all the difference when launching a website. Given that delays in content production is often cited as one of the most common reasons a launch date slips, it can even have a positive effect on your career. As in not being sacked.
A content matrix, usually an Excel spreadsheet, ensures the smooth running of the content production or migration process.
The matrix is managed by a content editor, producer or project manager and aims to track all elements of the content development process, page by page.
Used in conjunction with sitemaps and wireframes (preferably ones which have been signed off) , the matrix includes elements such as a page’s title, description and purpose, production status, related links and micro-content like metadata and alt text.
It should also detail who will be providing the content, the content source, who owns the content, any sign off processes, language or format information and, most importantly, all deadlines for delivery.
If you detail all of the above, you should have a clear critical path of content delivery and launch the site on time.
NGN is reviewing its digital agency arrangements for its tabloids, says Brand Republic
Interesting news, but this page on Haymarket’s marketing portal has a few other things worth noting.
One: the mid page ad for Getty Images. Spooky. Nothing happens, but the guy pictured is mesmerising with his (engineered) bug eyes and slight movement / shifting on his feet. We clicked on it and went through to the site to see what the bug eyed guy was all about. Clicking an ad is a first for us in months…
Two: breaking exclusives or brave marketing ploy? At the bottom of the story, the line goes: ‘For the full story see next week’s edition of Marketing.’ Next week’s? Blimey – either it’s public domain (in which case, Marketing’s competitors will pick up on it) or someone’s on the BR editorial team has slipped up (unlikely). An interesting approach either way. Wonder how well it works?
Global advertising group WPP has bought Schematic, a digital agency employing 255 people in LA with revenues of $29.6 million for the year ended 31st March 2007. The press release says the move “continues WPP’s strategy of developing its networks in fast growing markets and sectors and strengthening its capabilities in digital media.”