The Elements of Content Strategy (A Book Apart #3)
It's probably because I don't work in this area but I think that touches on what's wrong with the book; this book doesn't know whether it's a guide to content strategy or it's an overview to those who may want to employ or work with a content strategist.
On the plus side the author outlines some great ideas for managing web content and it can be read in a couple of hours.
You don’t START with this book. You start with Halvorson. Then you read Kissane. And then, if you can handle the excitement, you turn to the most important part of the book: the appendix, where Erin talks about all of the other great resources, and then you get your boss to order all of...more
I liked the quote from Kristina Halvorson in Content Strategy for the Web:
"...online, you don't have a captive audience....more
There's something highly ironic about trying to write a book about clear, useful communication when your own communication is not particularly clear nor particularly useful.
Much of the writing's just not well thought out: "humans, being mammals, need [a list of things including] wheelchair...more
Second chapter is ok, but doesn't really bring the material together that well. You get a bunch of ideas that don't coalesce as well as they should.
Third chapter is the weakest - it feels the most uncertain about it's content, probably because this part of the process (the actual process and methodologies) doesn't have hard and fast answers. Some areas like ongoing content ass...more
Have you seen the job statistics lately? More to the point, have you seen the employment rates for recent college graduates? What about liberal arts majors in particular? A study of 2009 college graduates finds 25.2% of liberal arts majors unemployed after graduation. Those humanities majors employed often found their jobs low paying and college degrees unnecessary.
For years, the general assumption was: get a degree; get a job. Well the curren...more
Websites come in many shapes and sizes and serve many different purposes. For many websites, supplying content for the visitor is the primary purpose. A restaurant providing contact information, hours, and a menu. A product-focused company providing information on their product, their pricing, and contact information. A service-focused company providing information on their services, pricing, examples, and contact information. These are just a few examples. Content is everywhere. However, having...more
Also, there's almost nothing included on HOW to create a good content strategy, no real life examples, etc. It's mostly about the kinds of people tha...more
Basically, most, if not all, of the de...more
I happen to work in a small shop where I wear many hats and was a bit disappointed that Erin focused mainly on content strategists who work with a wide range of other team members. The...more
The third installment, by Erin Kissane, delivers. Erin is one of the leaders of this emerging field, so it's great to get her perspective on the subject. The book served as a motivation for me to revisit the overall strategy for communications for my own product. It's just not good enough to, at times, let content be an after-thought.
I read an advanced copy, so I've been plann...more
Aside from my ignorance, it is a well-written book (with fun humor) that has given me a better appreciation for this line of work.
It does it exactly what it says: Kissane shows you what content strategy is all about and why you should care about it. No, you're not going to read this book and walk away a content strategist. But if you're going to be a content strategist, you are going to walk away knowing what you need to go learn. And if you're not going to be a content strategist, you're going to walk away knowing why you need to go find one.
It's a solid primer for anyone getting into the content strategy, or for those who are already in the field. It's a straight forward read that doesn't try to sell anything, and doesn't claim to do anything that it doesn't. If anything, they way it's written directly reflects many of the core principles that it is trying to exude.
If you're in the arena or want to get a better understanding of those who operat...more
I liked Kissane's breezy style and enthusiastic recommendations for further reading on the subject and on tangential topics too.
This little book couldn't possibly cover the whole of this emerging discipline, but it's a great starting point and I'd recommend it to anyone...more
I must say though, that I don't recommend reading it like I did, a couple pages at a time as I could find a minute here and there. It's a tiny 88 pages long. Take an hour or two on a weekend and read it al...more
Still, I plan to use the book to help new content strategists on-board and to do some level-setting (and exploration) in terms of my team's identity within the company a...more
Well, I was wrong.
I understood nothing and I can't even remember anything that I've read. It's too dry and tiresome considering its size.
Maybe it's because it's not meant for people who are new to the subject of content strategy.
Nevertheless, the rest of the collection should be fine. Responsive Design here I come!
It's interesting to me how similar content strategy and information architecture really are. They use almost the same research techniques, with just a slightly different focus, and different (though not always) deliverables. I've been wanting to bring some content strategy to some of the work I've done, so this will be a great reference for ways I can do that in future projects.
As a UXer myself, I follow Erin's posts regularly in AListApart or The Pastry Box Project. I really like her writing and her insights; she's great!
Hence, if you follow Erin's posts, don't buy this book, it doesn't add much. If not, then get this book and get introduced to the elementary of Content Strategy.
I finished the book wondering who the audience was supposed to be and I really didn't find anything that resonated with me.
I also took away a sort of way of thinking about content:
content strategy : writing
product management: software
Nice, quick read too. I'll probably keep it around for reference when trying to think about content related issues.
Also, the "Tools and techniques" section seems more geared toward consultants who want to do content strategy work, so those who are doing the work in-house will have to do adapt the information to their particular context.