Tech Writer This Week for Sept. 12, 2015

plank-rope-sea

My grandmother had many memorable sayings, including “It’s a poor choice among rotten apples.” It describes those times in life when you have to choose between two (or more) less than desirable actions or outcomes. Often in the content business, we end up having to choose between treading water in the open sea, or facing a crew of angry pirates who mistakenly assume we have the treasure map. Both analogies describe situations we all face more than once during our working lives.

Yes, you can make eloquent business cases for how a true CCMS will solve content problems, improve productivity, increase revenue, etc. You can design amazing workflows, and recommend new channels to reach the customers. And you’re right. But PHBs and HMMs tend to be deaf and blind to reality, especially when their yearly bonus or raise is at risk. Then you have to decide: stay in a not-exactly-forward-thinking organization and make the best of it, or move on and take the plunge into an uncertain future. Like many other life events, there’s no right or wrong choice, only the one that makes the most sense at the time.

Part of the decision relies on your natural inclinations… are you more of a content engineer or a content creator? One can jury-rig some innovative solutions out of what’s laying around. The other focuses on the creation rather than the tool. Sometimes you can stay the course, and build incrementally towards that ultimate content nirvana. Sometimes you can’t survive another day of those ubiquitous and totally inadequate tools and platforms. Sometimes you walk the plank, sometimes you poke the walker with your trusty sabre.

Happily, many of the best content seafarers share their hard won knowledge on a regular basis. We’ve tracked them down and collected the most valuable treasures, including:

While you prepare for next week’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day, pull off the eye patch and wander through the latest edition of Tech Writer This Week.

Connie Giordano

Connie Giordano is a partner in INKtopia Limited and editor of TechWhirl's Tech Writer Today online magazine. She has been a list member and contributor since the days when 14,400 baud was high speed communications, and Windows 95 was state-of-the-art.

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