Tech Writer This Week for June 20, 2015

Suffering through triple-digit temperatures this week, means we have no desire to do anything that requires any form of energy, other than mental… and sometimes not even that. We get to ponder stuff, like how cool it is to cover so many aspects of the content field, and still be able to work in it every day. And that led to pondering the wisdom of crowds versus the inertia of organizations.

Crowds of people way smarter than us provide marvelous guidance on why do content strategy, how to write more compelling content, amazingly geeky ways to manage content in all its forms. We interview them, follow them, and listen to them speak at conferences and read through their books. It’s great wisdom. And it doesn’t often match up with real life in the trenches of organizations. There are better tools than Word or SharePoint to do content-related things in the course of a job. And worse. We’ve been struck by the fact that some very large companies we interact with have a content authoring tool of choice that will horrify most of our wise content crowd… PowerPoint. And the inertia endemic to such large organizations means that will not change for the foreseeable future.

It’s not that they don’t want to develop, deliver and manage content in more efficient and productive ways. It’s that the fire drills they go through on a daily basis don’t give them the time to consider strategies or make decisions with a longer lifespan than the current work week. At which point earnest content developers, committed content strategists, and top-flight content engineers must resign themselves to waging a slow ground campaign, rather than a quick airstrike. Welcome even small victories, like actual IA designs for that new SharePoint site, or sensible and simple naming conventions. We continue the good fight, laying out tools for business cases, templates that  help make things just a little smoother, and the occasional light bulb goes off over a C-level’s head… then it’s game on… woo hoo!

Our wise crowd of strategists and tacticians provide great ammunination for the ground campaign, so in the tradition of war correspondents past and present, we gather the best and provide a tale worth telling to the folks back home:

Sit down with a tall, cool drink, and dial up a whole array of of useful posts in the latest edition of Tech Writer This Week.

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