Editorial Strategy

The Dirt on Editorial Calendars

Melissa Rach

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

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Serial Killer: The Dissing of the Oxford Comma

Meghan Casey

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

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

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Shrink to Fit

Lee Thomas

Your web content looks really good in those jeans.

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Tidings of Content & Calm

Lee Thomas

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

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

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RSS in the Olden Days

Angie Halama

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

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Maintaining Your Non-Text Content

Clinton Forry

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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Content People Care About: Find your Orphaned Baby Bear

Meghan Casey

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

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

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A Little Label Love Goes a Long Way

Christine Benson

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

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Let Me Be Clear: Take Time with Your Words

Erin Anderson

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

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

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

Finding common ground: the content.

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Content User Experience

Christine Benson

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

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

Melissa Rach

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

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

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

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

Canned content is low on nutritional value.

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Attention information architects: That IS your job

Christine Benson

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

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

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

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

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

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When All of Your Content Is Video Content

Angie Halama

Some nytimes.com readers aren't so happy with the video content on the website.

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Web Content Style Guides that Don't Suck

Kristina Halvorson

The style guide is a long-overlooked tool in good content strategy. But style guides are a great investment for creating useful, usable content. Get some pointers here.

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Here Be Content

Melissa Rach

I have always liked the idea of medieval mapmakers using the phrase "Here Be Dragons" to denote unexplored or dangerous territories.  Sticking a fire-breathing reptile in documentation when you run out of facts? That's panache.

Unexplored and dangerous territories, indeed

These days, people aren't so stylish. When an information architect (or user experience designer) doesn't have the time (or the talent) to document content requirements, they stick a "page stack" on their site map.  It looks like this:

Don' t get me wrong: I'm cool with the stack if there is accompanying documentation that provides content details.  But when an information architect uses the stack in place of content requirements, they are leaving the client in unexplored and dangerous territories (without even a dragon to warn them).

A little dragon goes a long way

So, I have an idea. If you're a web professional doing information architecture and you're not documenting content requirements, stick a dragon on your site map instead of a page stack. This will be a nice heads up for your client and particularly fun for those of you who used to be designers.

If you're a client and you see a dragon on your site map, consider why your information architect is not worried about the information.  Then, call Brain Traffic.

P.S.: Unfortunately, that here-be-dragons bit is mostly a myth. Only one medieval artifact, the Lenox Globe

(ca. 1510), actually has the phrase "here be dragons" on it. Well, technically, there's also the Borgia map (ca. 1430), but it doesn't really say "here be dragons." It says (over a dragon-like figure), "Here are men who have large horns of the length of four feet, and there are even serpents so large, that they could eat an ox whole."  Put that on your site map.

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How To Fix (and Evolve) Your Corporate Website

Kristina Halvorson

Fixing your corporate website requires planning, creating, publishing, and overseeing web content. So how do you support that process?

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