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Book Review: Content Strategy Connecting the Dots for an Epic Win

TechWhirl WebsiteTechWhirl Website United StatesPosts: 396 admin
edited September 2013 via Wordpress in Content Management
imageBook Review: Content Strategy Connecting the Dots for an Epic Win

I have a habit of relating most things in my life to video games and board games (some people call this gamification). I find that this way of thinking is especially relevant on a professional level. My quest—as someone who produces and manages content within a content lifecycle—is to overcome obstacles, to complete these tasks, and to achieve my epic win. Content Strategy: Connecting the Dots is the strategy guide that gets me closer to the epic win.

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  • Scott AbelScott Abel United StatesPosts: 2
    via Wordpress
    "Content Strategy: Connecting the Dots Between Business, Brand, and Benefits" is indeed a great example of bringing "everything together to explain why content lifecycle and content strategy are important, why you shouldn’t have one without the other". I'm glad you found it useful. And, you are correct that content strategy as a search term on Linkedin (and elsewhere is trending upward). But, before technical communication pros start referring to ourselves as content strategists, we actually have to understand HOW to perform such work. I'm hopeful more books will come out that explain the "how to:, otherwise, we're likely to find the label just another piece of worthless metadata.

    My view: If you don't know how to do a content inventory, a content audit, model content, structure it, create a reuse plan, etc. you aren't a content strategist.
  • Ryan MinakerRyan Minaker CanadaPosts: 6
    via Wordpress
    I completely agree.

    While I was writing this review, I kept thinking back to the Word of Warcraft strategy guide that I bought way back in 2005. It explained what the game was, the important things to know, how to get started, and a few tips. Adding 'how to' information wouldn't have been realistic because there was just too much to know and too many variations on what to do to fit into one book.

    I think 'how to' information relating to content inventory, content audit, structure etc. would end up being just as vast.

    Every so often I come across a really great book that saves me a lot of time (e.g., The DITA Style Guide), but even this book didn't cover everything that I was looking for.

    Maybe we need to compile list of 'how to' books that are out there now?
  • Richard HamiltonRichard Hamilton Posts: 8
    via Wordpress
    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for the review. As Noz and Rahel's publisher, I appreciate thoughtful reviews like this one.

    Regarding your points concerning how-to information, I think you are correct that all together there's a lot. Each area deserves an in-depth treatment (maybe not always book-length, but in-depth).

    I also think Scott is on the money with his assessment of what it takes to be a competent content strategist.

    Richard Hamilton
  • John Paz (@techwriterninja)John Paz (@techwriterninja) United StatesPosts: 1
    via Wordpress

    I'm strongly considering purchasing this book to assist me with developing a content strategy at work.

    But, I'm a little hesitant because it seems like it could possibly be more than what I need. Any way to get a sneak peek at the TOC? That would help.

    A quick Google search didn't reveal much, and nothing on Amazon either. I just don't want the first purchase I make using company money to be one I don't get much use from.

    I'm the first tech writer ever hired at my company, a healthcare technology software developer. I've not been tasked with developing a comprehensive content strategy, but it's becoming apparent that we need one. My fear is that I spend considerable time planning a strategy and making a business case for it, but that it could inevitably be shot down. The company tries very hard to keep costs low, so much so they had to delay hiring me in order to find funding in their budget for doc. I worry that my salary may have taken whatever money was allocated for documentation, and that many content strategy proposals start with expensive CMS technology.

    I may just purchase the Kindle version with my own money, but I always prefer having hard copies of books I reference frequently. Sometimes I just prefer paper.

    Thanks for the great review of this book, it's been the driving factor in my consideration of purchasing it.
  • Ryan MinakerRyan Minaker CanadaPosts: 6
    via Wordpress
    Hi John,

    Thanks for the comments.

    I also had some trouble finding this book on Amazon the first time I looked for it

    If you look on Amazon.ca, it's definitely there (http://www.amazon.ca/Content-Strategy-Connecting-Business-Benefits/dp/1937434168). If you click on the image of the book, you can 'Look inside' and there are quite a few pages to take a peek at, including the ToC.

    Good luck!
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