Now that you’ve had a chance to take a stand on the corporate blog content you search out as a consumer, it’s time to turn the question around and back to technical communication and content management and corporate blogs. If you work for a traditional technical communication department, a trendy content management team, or some as yet-to-be-named hybrid communications function, we want to hear from you. The tech comm blogosphere buzzed with discussion and debate on how compatible technical content is with what we think users want–information on the web. The Tom Johnson/Sarah O’Keefe/Mark Baker debate of a few weeks ago, Mark’s columns as TechWhirl’s Users’ Advocate (Where Have All the Users Gone, and Treating the Buyer as a User), and a range of surveys, discussion threads and questions all looking at what happens next with technical content and the web.
Publishing content on TechWhirl is a different animal than what most communicators do for their employers. We write our own articles and opinions, edit a group of wildly diverse contributors, curate from around the web, create seemingly random survey questions, and deliver news about our profession. User guides, FAQs, and tutorials are the subjects of our content, rather than the content itself. So naturally we want to know whether and what kind of content you publish to your company blog (or blogs). You may be working for one of those employers who believes PDF files of user guides and release notes are more than sufficient. Perhaps you’re breaking down traditional silos and helping get marketing and customer service content ready for publishing on your site. Do you double as the executives’ writer personas-creating content under the CEO’s avatar? Maybe you work for one of “those” companies, that have decided to keep everyone but the trendy twenty-something webmaster away from connecting to your customers and prospective customers.
We think finding out about the typical, and not-so-typical environments for content developers and producers (tech writers, bloggers, copywriters, graphic artists, video geeks, and so on) today is critically important to understanding how the industry is evolving and whether we’re keeping up, or falling behind. So take a look at the answers, and if we missed anything, be sure to let us know by adding a comment to this post. Or start up a thread on the email discussion list that tells us how, or if, you using the company web presence to reach and inform your customers.