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Content Strategy for Mobile

(A Book Apart #8)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  459 ratings  ·  50 reviews
You don’t get to decide which platform or device your customers use to access your content: they do.

Mobile isn’t just smartphones, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you are on the move. It’s a proliferation of devices, platforms, and screensizes — from the tiniest “dumb” phones to the desktop web. How can you be sure that your content will work everywhere, all the time?

Paperback, 165 pages
Published November 5th 2012 by A Book Apart (first published January 1st 2012)
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Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I wish everyone at my company would read this book...
Graham Herrli
Feb 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: design-related
This book is the most cogent argument I've yet seen for the separation of form from content. Karen McGrane explains how and why individual fields of content should be annotated with information about what they contain to enable them to be used in a variety of contexts, letting the individual devices determine how to display what is needed rather than specifying it when content is created.

Content strategy tends to be a bit dry, and this book is no exception, but McGrane does a good job of advoca
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
When i first bumped into this book i was put off by the title as i was not looking for content strategy for mobile but for content strategy in general. However that is just what this book is about, "holistic content strategy for enterprises". As Karen explains; "Mobile’s the buzzword on everyone’s lips right now, so that’s the label we’ve slapped on this problem."

The key message in this book is to separate content and presentation and to create content packages that will work on the device users
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it

Typically practical, thorough and useful handbook to making your content go mobile.

It’s written in the breezy, cheery conversational style common to many content strategy and web books, with facts, links and example.

It’s actually almost a ‘self-help’ book intended to assist content strategists, editors and web managers over the hurdle of making their content responsive, and is full of inspiring wee anecdotes and pep talks to get them going.

In fact the message is that going responsive is actuall
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ux-bookclub
Loads of useful information in here and short enough to read in one sitting. I really love everything I've read from the List Apart series so far. For a book this short, it's hard to really dig into the hard stuff of how to influence change as a content strategist. There are some huge challenges to address in terms of processes, tools and organisational culture but it's great that awareness is building and a critical mass is forming. ...more
Russ Little
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
In this sort work Karen McGrane makes sort work (all pun intended) of what can be an overwhelming subject. Namely, how do I reach my customer/clients where they live? Along the way, she also makes a well presented argument for a content-centered workflow, which is the key to the holy grail of write-once-and-publish-everywhere. This book is worth reading and certainly worth having in your back pocket if you're a content evangelist. ...more
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Karen McGrane doesn't soft-pedal anything. She takes on conventional design wisdom in this excellent book—specifically the idea that you can write and design for a more task-oriented "mobile use case." Not so, she says; your user needs to access your whole website, from any device. It's our job to give it to them. ...more
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Anyone who works with content that may go online (read: anyone who works with content) should take an evening to read this book to get forward-thinking on structuring information architecture AND workflows/organizations to make content usable anywhere.

Oh, and try to get your executives to read and grok it. Good luck with that.
أسماء ربيع
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Boring ..
As if he read a bunch of online articles and trying to structure lengthy paragraphs around them!
Book repeats now and again that you should go mobile .. u must go mobile .. mobile is good .. metadata is the future .. structure your content ..
design ur content to be deployed everywhere
This can be summarized in another long online article
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm not an editor or writer, but information, organization, processes excite me. This book is based on a well-known presentation by McGrane. The presentation is inspiring to watch and the book is a great resource for anyone working with content. ...more
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Karen McGrane is one of my favorite people.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great meditation on the challenges of multi-platform content production. Really actionable advice - looking forward to seeing how practical the proposed approach is.
Bob Mabbitt
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Not even kidding when I say this book should be considered for our campus' "Common Read" selection next year. Thanks & congrats to Karen McGrane! ...more
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design, technology
Learned a lot here about the thinking behind building adaptive content structures. This book is a necessary companion to anyone building large scale responsive web sites.
Lauren Golembiewski
Extremely valuable book!
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend this book for communicators. Wow!
"Don't waste money on advertising if you don't have a mobile website to back it up." (p.9)

"There's no such thing as writing for mobile. There's only good writing. You should think about how to improve the quality of all your text. Once you've done so, there's no need to change the substance or the style to make it more appropriate for mobile." (p.123)

"Knowing the type of device the user is holding doesn't tell you anything about the user's intent. Knowing someone's location doesn't tell you anyt
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
This book focuses on the processes and organization behind putting together a website that is fully cross-platform, optimized for both desktop and mobile. While it doesn't always seem like it should be a lot of effort, this book goes into how some of the best practices can require some changes in the workflow of organizations compared to what they do now.

Though the book doesn't focus on the type of content we have at Goodreads, there are a lot of similarities, and there are certainly lessons we
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: web, a-book-apart
Of all the books from the A Book Apart series I've read so far (that's eight of them), I found that the ones about content strategy are the hardest to read. It usually takes me double the time to finish them.
I suspect it's a personal thing. Maybe it's because I haven't had the chance to work on a project that involves content strategy and I'm not that invested in it.

This one, however, was the most informative.
It made it clear that content strategy is very important and that adaptive content is
Marcel Kalveram
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this recently on a quest to finish all the ABA books. I've always loved this series of books but in recent years failed to keep up with the speed with which they release new stuff. It's quite funny to read about the paradigms and ideas that were around 4 years ago and seeing that nowadays most of these have become common sense. Especially the content creation/distribution space has evolved a lot since 2012 and it's great to see that today there are solid and affordable services that help ...more
Petr Stedry
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Maybe I was expecting something else, maybe it was the author's style. All combined this would be useful for people 5 years ago (when the book was originally published) that have very limited insight into or experience with information architecture or with writing content. I imagine people in the marketing department of a big US corporation trying to decide if they should have a mobile website.

Definitely not very useful for me in 2018.

Note: My rating of this book is based on the number of highli
Brandt Kurowski
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short, sweet, and to the point, but filled with a ton of useful infoformation to help guide your organization's (or your client's) content strategy. The "for Mobile" bit is something of a misnomer, as the author explains, as it would be folly to pursue a separate content strategy for mobile platforms. But "for mobile" is a very useful canard to get stakeholders thinking "outside the box" that their desktop CMS current forces them into! ...more
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Should actually be called "Content Strategy for Multi-Channel Publishing". Will show you why mobile is only the first step in a coming multi-channel content revolution and how you should prepare your content for that.
Number one advice: Don't put everything in one big blob, instead use content packages.
Clint Robinson
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
McGrane's book is the definitive guide to why your business needs to make mobile strategy a priority. She provides compelling arguments for mobile being more than a subset of data from your 'desktop' site and puts focus on creating datasets built for reusability on any platform that you may wish to publish them. ...more
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: info-and-design
3.5 - a good book with solid advice about optimizing content for mobile. Some sections seemed obvious for someone working in thus industry, but overall worth reading. Main point: don't "guess" what your mobile users will want to see content wise- they'll probably want to see a lot of things on their phones that you won't guess, and then they'll be frustrated. ...more
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work-better
If you have not read other books about content strategy, content modeling, responsive web design and such, you will probably give this 5 stars. It's actually really great, but duplicates things I have read in CS books written by McGrane's friends. It will do much to help you make the case if you are trying to talk with the higher ups about why you don't want to build a mobile site. ...more
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
A clear read with lots of good examples. Some of the things I've suggested for our CMS were keys points of hers: previewing the mobile version of a page, having objects separated for different treatments in different locations rather than being embedded, not cropping important parts of images, and having all the functions available on desktop also available on mobile. ...more
Nov 25, 2012 added it
Excellent book on content strategy. Don't let the title fool you, it's *not* just about mobile. McGrane gives excellent advice on how to structure and manage your content to accommodate myriad devices and publishing channels. A must read for anyone working in the digital world. ...more
Tricia Rosetty
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work
This was a quick, fantastic read that left me feeling really excited about where content strategy is going. I'm sold on the thinking, but still a bit unsure of how to actually achieve some of the CMS-driven changes. I'd love to take a workshop to put these ideas into action with a bit of guidance. ...more
Bryson Meunier
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: seo, business
Good book about adaptive content, but an incomplete book about mobile content strategy, with a terrible section on mobile SEO. Full review at Marketing Land: ...more
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