As part of my ongoing research to keep up on web trends and topics, I’m reading The Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane. I’m only part way through and I’m already weeping with joy at what I’m reading.
In the first chapter entitled ‘Basic Principles’, Erin writes about the process of updating and maintaining content on a company’s website, and the difficulties of doing that for most businesses. The reason that…
…most content is not properly maintained is that most content plans rely on getting the already overworked to produce, revise, and publish content without neglecting other responsibilities. This is not inevitable, but unless content and publishing tasks are recognized as time-consuming and complex and then included in job descriptions, performance reviews, and resource planning, it will continue.
The Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane
Hoping that a content management system will replace this kind of human care and attention is about as effective as pointing a barn full of unmanned agricultural machinery at a field, going on vacation, and hoping it all works out. Tractors are more efficient than horse-drawn plows, but they still need humans to decide where and when and how to use them.
I’ve written and tweeted about it before but it’s refreshing to see it written down in a published book – content management is hard work and until businesses, both small and large, recognize it as such we’ll be stuck with mediocre content on websites that frustrates and annoys users.
I’ve purchased the entire set and only just started reading, but I’d highly recommend picking up The Elements of Content Strategy if you’re at all interested or concerned about how your website is presented to your users.