One of the most appealing aspects of technical writing is that, unlike other types of writing, there is arguably a BEST way to present technical content to users. That’s because the best presentation is whatever makes users most successful, which also likely aligns with your business goals. It's a fun challenge to constantly strive to optimize content to best meet user needs. Expert wordsmithing, thoughtful organization, and strategic delivery are important facets of successful technical … [Read more...] about A Beginner’s Guide to Content Analytics
Knowing how to identify and purchase the right software successfully is not something you should have to learn through trial and error. If you are faced with putting out an RFP for software, you may be tempted to confine your specs to functionality alone, but that's a rookie mistake. Whether you’re seeking an on-premises, hosted, or SaaS product, these questions can apply to almost any software RFP. 1. Is your code developed completely in-house? If not, who writes your code and where are … [Read more...] about 10 questions to include in every software RFP
Why “SEO” and “keyword analysis” are dirty words Yes, dirty words. Because we content creators, at some point, lost sight of the human element. We started to look at SEO as an artificially established set of rules and at keywords as a prescribed list of words we had to chase in order to win. Just look at the terms “search engine optimization (SEO)” and “keyword analysis.” If language is indicative of our approaches, we are without doubt guilty of dehumanizing and ignoring what should be our … [Read more...] about Keyword Analysis: Breaking the Dissonance of SEO Strategies and User Language
Statistics abound showing that customers far prefer to self-serve than contact agents, and self-service can be facilitated with content companies already have. That said, the content needs to be communicated in a way that customers can understand. Smart content consists of enhanced, agile microcontent that is structured in a way that caters to the way the mind receives and processes information. Building smart content into a logical hierarchical structure results in an intuitive navigation that … [Read more...] about Smart Content: The Next Generation of Microcontent
If search engine optimization (SEO) is your game, then you surely have obsessed over one question: How do I get my content featured in a Google snippet? Well, we (MindTouch that is) have performed an analysis, and we have some answers. This is what you do: Not this. Not that. And no, not that either. Huh? Indulge me. What I’m trying to tell you is to forget about all the great advice out there on how to improve your SEO and how to get a page one ranking in Google—at least for a … [Read more...] about Your Guide to Google Snippets and the Secret of MindTouch
What’s behind a sea change? A wave. There’s no denying that chatbots are upon us, and quietly changing business as we know it. And they are changing business because the way we communicate has changed. We have gone from phone to email to text to chat to chatbot. Think about it. We send five times as many texts as we make phone calls. Text messages are a way of life. Using the latest data available: worldwide more than 7 trillion SMS text messages are sent every year, 561 billion per month, … [Read more...] about Why Conversational Commerce Is Transforming Business as We Know It
Congratulations if you made the list!!! We evaluated thousands of members within this community and created a measurement that took into account a wide range of metrics including internet presence, influence, and community engagement and participation. This list is frequently updated and always evolving. The TOP 200 Recognized list is a snapshot of what's happening in the world of Content Strategy today. Are you on the list? Scott Abel, President, The Content Wrangler, … [Read more...] about Announcing the Top 200 Recognized Content Strategists for 2016
With the proliferation of relying more and more on the internet to woo and keep loyal customers, one cannot deny that technical communications experienced a—dare I say it?—yes, a paradigm shift. If you don’t believe me, then you may not have seen the latest announcement from the Associated Press (AP) about the downfall of the Internet with a capital I. The Internet as we know it is dead; it is no longer an enigmatic force. Say hello to the internet with a lowercased i. Whether you end up … [Read more...] about Yes, Times Are A-Changing. The Traditional Tech Writer Is No More.
Or how to let analytics reform your content strategy This is part of an ongoing series documenting the best practices, musings, and confessions on tech writing, as told by the MindTouch Documentation Architect. If you have read my introductory blog a couple of weeks ago, you may have gathered that I am on a mission to rid technical communications of its bad habits once and for all, particularly those involving the weaving of content strategy tales that hurt users more often than help them. … [Read more...] about The "Doc is In" Series: Shake Your Fairy Tale Habits—The Prologue
An ongoing series documenting the best practices, musings, and confessions on tech writing, as told by the MindTouch Documentation Architect. After nearly a decade of structuring and curating content for users who are becoming increasingly smarter and who are more and more eager to self-serve, I’ve realized that most knowledge management strategies are at their core (and often at their very best) fairy tales. The Grimm variety, not the feel-good Disney kind. Rather than relying on hard, … [Read more...] about Introducing the "Doc is In" Series: Is Your Customer Self-Service Strategy Just a Fairy Tale?