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How to Sell in Content Strategy

Kristina Halvorson
September 15, 2016

So many of us struggle to get buy-in for content strategy. What's the best way to convince your stakeholders it's really, truly important?

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Aaaaand we're back!

Kristina Halvorson
September 1, 2016

Introducing the new and improved Brain Traffic blog, featuring some Very Important Knowledge Sharing™. We missed you! And, we're glad you're back.

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The Dirt on Editorial Calendars

Melissa Rach
July 21, 2012

Newsflash: This content strategy scoop did not require any phone hacking.

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Content Strategy and Responsive Design

Sean Tubridy
July 19, 2012

Not quite sure what responsive design is? Get the skinny, and learn how it can impact your content.

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Stakeholder Interviews: Engage the Octopus

Melissa Rach
July 1, 2012

Just like an octopus needs all eight arms to move forward, good web content needs help from people at all levels of the organization.

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Mining for (Source) Content Gold

Amy Little
June 21, 2012

As a writer or editor, it’s ideal to get solid content strategy and background information before you start creating content. But sometimes you need to fend for yourself.

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Do It Like a Librarian: Ranganathan for Content Strategists

Claire Rasmussen
June 7, 2012

Although academia and consulting can sometimes seem like different planets, content strategists and librarians have a lot in common—after all, we all love content.

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Know Your Context

Christine Anameier
May 31, 2012

We all know that you can’t create effective content without understanding your audience. But audience isn’t just about who—it’s also about when and why. (There’s also how, but that’s another blog post.) In other words, you need to understand the context for your content.

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Show Me the Content Strategy!

Julie Vollenweider
May 12, 2012

Asking to see a sample content strategy is a common request that’s often complex to address. But it’s not impossible.

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When You Know Your Content Is Bad

Tenessa Gemelke
May 3, 2012

Whether you’re in a decision-making position or not, it can be difficult to figure out how to use your powers for good to defeat bad content. Fear not! If you’ve been quietly suffering the knowledge—nay, the CERTAINTY—that your content stinks, here are a few ways to take steps in the right direction.

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Should You Complement Your Intranet With Knowledge From Employees?

Meghan Casey
April 26, 2012

Employee intranets have traditionally been owned and managed by technology, communications, or human resources. Today, there’s a trend toward employee intranets being owned by teams responsible for internal knowledge sharing or knowledge management.

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Auditing big sites doesn’t have to be taxing

Christine Anameier
April 19, 2012

Now that U.S. tax day has come and gone, we can focus our attention on big audits.

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Style Guide Pep Talk: Rah! Rah! Rah!

Angie Halama
April 5, 2012

Style guides are a necessity, but updating them can be a hassle. So we want to cheer you on with some helpful tips and style guide spirit!

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An intro to metadata and taxonomies

Christine Benson
March 29, 2012

Confused about metadata? Taxonomies? Think they’re one and the same? Get an initial understanding of what these terms mean, and how they relate to each other.

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No-poute routes: Ways to do content strategy on a budget

Melissa Rach
March 22, 2012

Small organization? Small budget? Don't get down in the mouth. A content strategy is still within reach. We'll show you how.

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Workflow that flows

Christine Benson
March 6, 2012

A key to great content? Accurate planning, prioritization, and communication.

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Workflow That Works

Christine Benson
March 6, 2012

How many great ideas never get implemented or maintained because nobody ever bothered to figure out who would do the work? Or work was assigned to someone, but no one ever looked at the tasks that person was already doing?

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Alignment: The Secret to a Successful Content Strategy

Melissa Rach
February 16, 2012

Learn why alignment and collaboration are secret weapons in the fight for successful content strategies.

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How Nonprofits Can Profit From Content Strategy

Tenessa Gemelke
February 9, 2012

Think your nonprofit doesn’t have the time or resources for content strategy? Here are some small steps that can make a big difference.

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Don’t Use That Language With Me

Angie Halama
January 26, 2012

If your writing is filled with jargon, your audience might not be getting your message.

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Brown Paper Packages

Lee Thomas
January 12, 2012

The holidays are over, but there’s one more package to unwrap. (Don’t worry, it’s not socks.)

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What not to wear: A tale of content strategy

Tenessa Gemelke
December 8, 2011

Brain Traffic’s own Tenessa Gemelke is on What Not to Wear!

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With Content Strategy, There’s No One Right Way

Meghan Casey
December 1, 2011

There’s no one “right way” to do content strategy. But, we can build on what’s worked before by adapting and refining for the best possible result.

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Whoops! Cover Your Assets with Content Strategy

Emily Folstad
September 29, 2011

Content strategy can help you put your best face forward—and avoid embarrassing and potentially costly mistakes.

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Bad Words

Erin Kissane
September 22, 2011

Consuming content isn’t the same thing as consuming cake. So how should we be talking about the ways in which people interact with our content?

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Content and the Technology of Today

Julie Vollenweider
September 15, 2011

Choose your own adventure! Technology has changed the way we read. Will it change the way we do content strategy, too?

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Capturing That Back-to-School Feeling

Tenessa Gemelke
September 8, 2011

Do you love back-to-school time? Of course you do, you adorable nerd!

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What We Say and What We Mean

Lee Thomas
September 1, 2011

Surely, We Can Say What We Mean.

Agreed. Now stop calling me Shirley.

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Are You Really Collaborating?

Christine Benson
August 18, 2011

Most people in the CS community agree on the need for collaboration, but are you sure that’s what you’re doing?

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Let's get typical! Common strategy scenarios and results

Julie Vollenweider
August 11, 2011

Gracious stick figure illustrates common content strategy scenarios and results.

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Content Strategy Can Save Us All From Slobdom

Meghan Casey
August 4, 2011

Once on the fast-track to slobdom, this lady has become an organizer … of clothes and content. And I owe it all to content strategy.

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Serial Killer: The Dissing of the Oxford Comma

Meghan Casey
July 14, 2011

Around the world, and at Brain Traffic, opinions vary about whether to use the controversial serial, or Oxford, comma. Most of us are right. Two of us are wrong.

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The Value of Content, Part 2: Nobody’s Perfect

Melissa Rach
June 23, 2011

Get 7 tips for making your content measurement plan perfectly … imperfect.

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Online endeavors need a spare tire

Clinton Forry
June 16, 2011

Your car isn’t the only thing that should come equipped with a spare tire. Make sure you’ve got one for your content, too.

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CS is (Still) Not (Only) UX … and Why It Matters

Erin Kissane
June 9, 2011

UX is awesome. CS is wonderful. The fact that they don't perfectly overlap is a beautiful thing.

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When Words Fail

Tenessa Gemelke
June 2, 2011

What exactly are you trying to say? How unintended meaning undermines good content.

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Give Content Strategy a Fighting Chance

Meghan Casey
May 26, 2011

No stakeholder alignment. No content strategy. Get the people at the table committed to the content cause.

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How to Board a Moving Train

Tenessa Gemelke
May 5, 2011

What can hoboes teach you about becoming a content strategist? Plenty.

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The Inside Job: Getting Started

Christine Benson
May 5, 2011

Initiating content strategy projects inside an organization can be daunting. Here are a few tips to kickstart the process.

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Give Your CS Project Sponsors the Royal Treatment

Melissa Rach
April 28, 2011

It’s not “the wedding of the century,” but to your project sponsor, a content strategy project is a big— and often stressful—deal. So, show your sponsors some love.

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Is Your Metadata Miles Away from Complete?

Clinton Forry
April 21, 2011

Duplicate content and inaccurate or incomplete metadata creates a poor user experience. And sends me into a JAZZ RAGE.

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Keep Your Content from Falling into Disrepair

Emily Folstad
April 15, 2011

Just like home ownership, great content requires owners who care. But how do you get content owners invested in making great content?

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Governance Grows Up

Erin Kissane
April 7, 2011

Content governance is always a beast—especially when it comes to ongoing contributions from subject-matter experts. But it may finally be creeping into the heart of organizations.

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Communication Tips from Client Services

Christine Benson
March 31, 2011

I learn a thing or two about effective communication from our catchphrase-loving VP of client services.

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A-ha: Content Strategists Never Stop Learning

Meghan Casey
March 24, 2011

Brain Traffic content strategists are no exception. Find out what four of us have learned or discovered recently.

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Brain Traffic Lands the Quad!

Melissa Rach
March 10, 2011

Watch out Evgeni Plushenko, Brain Traffic can land a quad. See our infographic describing the four key components of content strategy.

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Content Strategy Is Not User Experience

Erin Kissane
February 11, 2011

Up is down! Black is white! Marketers and data nerds living together!

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Shrink to Fit

Lee Thomas
January 27, 2011

Your web content looks really good in those jeans.

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I Content Strategize, Therefore I Am

Melissa Rach
January 20, 2011

What’s the meaning of content? We’ll tell you what we think with the help of some drunken philosophers.

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Can Your Content Strategy Handle the Truth About Governance?

Meghan Casey
January 6, 2011

Without governance, your content strategy has no teeth. And a content strategy without teeth may as well not exist.

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Tidings of Content & Calm

Lee Thomas
December 16, 2010

Less really is more. Ralphie double-dog-dares you to read this post.

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Own Your Content. And Keep Grizzly Bears at Bay.

Clinton Forry
December 9, 2010

Without mindful ownership and all that goes with it, your content—and business goals–could be in serious danger.

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You Have Problems

Kristina Halvorson
November 11, 2010

I know. Web content hurts. But I have good news: there's a cure.

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Improving Your Content’s Signal-to-Noise Ratio

Christine Anameier
November 4, 2010

Even good content can be "noise." Here are a few tips on how to cut out the static.

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Content Strategy Can Help. Literally.

Christine Benson
October 21, 2010

Customers expect a help section to have helpful content. Make sure you don’t disappoint.

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RSS in the Olden Days

Angie Halama
October 1, 2010

Back then, they had to do it all by hand.

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The "Queen" school of content strategy

Melissa Rach
September 9, 2010

Start seeing content strategy everywhere. Even in epic rock bands.

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Content Battle of the Year

Clinton Forry
July 7, 2010

Kristina Halvorson and Joe Pulizzi face off on content, strategy, and marketing in our very first podcast.

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I thought I liked this site. Boy, was I wrong.

Kristina Halvorson
June 24, 2010

This site is a train wreck when it comes to content. So why did I tell everyone it was a standout?

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Curation Nation

Kristina Halvorson
June 21, 2010

To curate or not to curate? Or is curation even a thing in the first place?

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Maintaining Your Non-Text Content

Clinton Forry
June 16, 2010

We’re all for enhancing the user experience with non-text content, but only if there’s a solid maintenance plan in place.

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How Bad Content Ruined My Vacation

Emily Folstad
May 14, 2010

Ever wondered whether poorly planned content actually affects real people in real life? It does. Just ask my family.

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You’re hired: Outsourcing content work

Julie Vollenweider
May 1, 2010

Take a look at when, how and why it makes sense to tackle a copy project internally, or job it out.

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Don’t Put Content in your Users' Blind Spot

Angie King
April 23, 2010

Simply putting content on a page doesn't guarantee your users will find it.

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Avoid This Common Error

Meghan Casey
March 25, 2010

Guess what? Error messages are content. That means they require the same attention as any other words on your site.

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Clients Say the Darndest Things: How to Deal with Bad Feedback

Elizabeth Saloka
March 18, 2010

Your writing is magic. Their feedback is tragic.

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Personal pronouns: It's okay to own your web copy

Angie King
March 11, 2010

If you want your users to feel connected to your brand, it’s important they know you stand behind your content.

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News Flash: Social media won't fix your content problem

Kristina Halvorson
March 3, 2010

Promising social media widgets will make your corporate website relevant isn't just irresponsible. It's wrong.

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Lost in Translation

Katie Riddle
March 1, 2010

What you should consider before your content goes global

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Content strategy is, in fact, the next big thing

Kristina Halvorson
February 25, 2010

In January of 2009, I started telling people that content strategy would be the next big focus for organizations worldwide. I even went so far as to say, “Content strategy will soon be getting more attention than social media.”

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Anatomy of a web content document

Amy Wallace
February 23, 2010

Knowing how to format a web content document—or simply how to read it—is a crucial step in successful content creation.

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Secret’s in the Source: Gathering Useful Source Content

Elizabeth Saloka
February 17, 2010

Go beyond brochures.

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Sorting through the digital debris

Christine Anameier
February 5, 2010

Treatments or a cure for the common cold could be out there, but it would be hard to tell from a Google search.

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Four free podcasts: Curation Best Practices

Kristina Halvorson
January 29, 2010

Listen in as Kristina talks content curation with IBM.com Editor-in-Chief, James Mathewson.

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Content Strategy: More that a Bunch of Tactics

Kristina Halvorson
January 26, 2010

Content strategy isn’t a bunch of tactics. It’s a plan. Let’s talk about content strategy as a way of doing business, a way of looking at our content not as a commodity but as a valuable business asset, worthy of our strategic consideration.

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Members vs. guests: how to label users on authenticated sites

Angie King
January 12, 2010

They say it's best to call a spade a spade. So why not call your members by name?

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Content People Care About: Find your Orphaned Baby Bear

Meghan Casey
January 9, 2010

You don’t need a cuddly orphaned baby bear to create content people care about. But you do need one of those strategy thingamajigs.

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Don’t Gamble with Automatic Feedback Copy

Angie King
January 5, 2010

Think users won’t be affected by bad automatic feedback copy? Don’t bet on it.

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“Hand-Crafted Content” vs. the Machine: Betting on the People

Kristina Halvorson
December 14, 2009

When it comes to content creation, bet on people, not algorithms.

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Ask Yourself: Will Anyone Care About This Content?

Christine Benson
December 9, 2009

Will this information add to the experience? What if you just got rid of it?

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A Little Label Love Goes a Long Way

Christine Benson
December 2, 2009

Remember: content (rather than design) can show brand and personality.

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Email Etiquette: You are what you send.

Elizabeth Saloka
November 24, 2009

Email can be a tricky medium. Don’t let it trip you up—personally or professionally.

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Let Me Be Clear: Take Time with Your Words

Erin Anderson
November 16, 2009

We agonize over stuff like error messages, links, and headlines every day. Here's why.

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Rupert Murdoch vs. the "Content Kleptomaniacs" and "Plagiarists" (See: Google)

Kristina Halvorson
November 10, 2009

When the religion of the Web is that you can find anything you want, from anywhere, at any time, Murdoch's plan is straight-up blasphemous.

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Be your own content expert

Amy Little
November 5, 2009

Want to create better web content? Take a lesson from someone who knows about good user experience—you.

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Web Developers and SEO: Contentiousness and Common Goals

Kristina Halvorson
October 28, 2009

Finding common ground: the content.

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What vs. How

Julie Vollenweider
October 16, 2009

It’s not what you do that sets you apart, but how you do it.

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Warning: This is a Fake Warning!

Angie Halama
October 9, 2009

Don't fall victim to scareware this Halloween season.

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Content User Experience

Christine Benson
September 30, 2009

Check out this example of content user experience. You know, content. Like, in the happy sense.

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Just fill in the blank?

Meghan Casey
September 16, 2009

Content strategy--thinking done by real, live humans--makes sure your content hits the mark.

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The Value of Content, Part 1: Adam Smith never expected this

Melissa Rach
September 2, 2009

Brace yourselves, content folks. We're going to talk economics. I promise there will be no math involved.

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For content problems, technology is not the thing

Kristina Halvorson
August 19, 2009

Don't try selecting a tool until you really understand what you're trying to build, and for whom. Start with your content strategy.

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Speed-dating your source content in 4 easy steps

Angie King
August 5, 2009

Learn how to weed out the duds (filler information) from the studs (meaty content that addresses users' needs) with our handy-dandy speed-dating tips.

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5 Tips on Working with a Style Guide

Elizabeth Saloka
July 31, 2009

Don't let your style guide derail your sane train. Bone up on these tried-and-true tips.

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Put a Lid on Canned Copy

Meghan Casey
July 22, 2009

Canned content is low on nutritional value.

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Attention information architects: That IS your job

Christine Benson
July 9, 2009

For a really great website, give your web writers a roadmap.

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Advice from the pros: Telling it like it is

Katie Dohman
July 1, 2009

You have less than four seconds to get your user the information he or she needs. GO!

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You’re So Not Welcome.

Erin Anderson
June 1, 2009

How do you help your user feel at home on your site without actually telling her to, uh, feel at home on your site?

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"About Us" doesn't have to be all "Ugh."

Julie Vollenweider
May 22, 2009

Rather than using the "About Us" section of a site like a congratulatory press release, consider approaching it like a magazine’s Editor's Letter. And a little like a middle schooler.

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Useful copy in the real world

Christine Benson
May 5, 2009

On the web or out in the world, clearly communicating your message is always important.

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