Content is NOT king

November 23, 2009

Chris Brogan makes an interesting statement …

Content is NOT king

I’ve been thinking along the same lines for the past couple of years.

CMS vendors and products put Content at the heart of the system, and couple of years ago that was the accepted way to think about the content on the web. Web content was “stuff” that you would publish, we concentrated on structure, workflow, layout & design etc. But we were not really concentrating on *who* was going to read it, if they were going to read it all. Web content for the most part was worthless (and still is!) and we continued to publish content that didn’t help our users find what they are looking for. Chris states that *YOU* are king, perhaps it is time we thought differently about content?!

User centered content?

We have all adopted User Centered Design approaches to designing the user experience, this is where design is based on the needs of the user. So where does content fit into all this ?

Like design, we need to think about user centered Content, which is written from a users’ perspective. We need to turn our perspective around so we’re empathising with the user and asking what they would ask, and in the language they would use. Website content frequently needs to be rewritten from “inside out” to an “outside in” view of the organisation, this frequently requires a 180 degress shift in our thinking.

Olalah puts it very well in a recent tweet.

Content strategy

What about the content on your site, is it written from a user’s perspective? What about the information architecture and website navigation? Have you stepped into the audiences’s shoes, does ‘I’ and ‘we’ mean your audience or you?

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When content was King