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Five Hundred Pages In

Five hundred pages into a content audit, I had a laundry list of things we could to to make the redesign work. My client – a mid-Atlantic university – was angling for a new CMS and a new redesign, and I had spelled out some standard content updates. But I was still searching for that one punch. That one out-of-this-world idea. That one thing that …

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Tools, Dependence, and My War with the Road

It was dark when I stood up. There was a flash and a lot of movement, and then it was dark. Except for one streetlight, and then another. The road was a black canyon, kept awake by the steady blinking of my back taillight. Instinctively, I moved every limb and concentrated on the pain. Where was it coming from? I was scraped up. I already …

“Small CS: A Shoestring Approach to Content Strategy” – Now What? Conference 2015

The discussion around content strategy is framed by large examples, but it’s also the work of regional organizations, small universities, and mom and pop stores. How do we adapt the big concepts of content strategy to work within the constraints of a small organization? This transcript of my talk from Now What? Conference 2015 in Sioux Falls (April 30, 2015) explains more.

Kill Your Processes

We spend a lot of time in the beginning learning these letters — often without any larger picture. We know that these shapes help us spell, but we don’t dive into what it means to spell. We just do it. We know what we can do, but we don’t know what we should do.

A Few Words on Mismatched Minifigs

My son has taken the head off of every one of his LEGO minifigs. He has rearranged everyone’s hair, given them new pants, and tossed the weapons into a giant pile on his LEGO table. He has no regard for canon. In the story of Star Wars, it’s now Darth who shot first, doing so while wearing an old west sheriff’s hat. Who does he …

Where You Are Is Perfect: Thoughts On Titles, Promise, and Camp

I don’t know what to tell people when they ask me what I do. I tell them that I help plan websites, because using my actual professional titles – content strategist; information architect; user experience strategist – leads to more confusion. Confusion not about what the title means, but about whether or not I do the things necessary to claim those titles. Some thoughts on that, camp, kayaking, and a painting that turned out to be totally bogus.

A Too Serious Post on ROI

Society saves seven dollars for each dollar spent on early education, or so the United Way has told us for years. Stats like this are important. But they also bum me out. They focus on doing things becuase they are efficient, not because they are the right thing to do.

We’re at a point in our industry when some clients can’t be convinced, or require a level of convincing that goes beyond what the project requires. Some small businesses require an extra level of attention, but others are continually suspicious and are more work than they’re worth.

The New Smashing Book: Now with More ME!

I’m excited to officially announce the my inclusion in The Smashing Book #4: New Perspectives on Web Design. SURPRISE – I wrote about content strategy. The chapter, which focuses on both sides of the content strategy landscape – both user needs and editor needs – serves as a capstone to all of this empathy stuff that’s I’ve been writing and talking about over the past year and a half. So go buy it.