How to be a writer in a world of structured content,Fabrizio Ferri Benedetti
Who is a writer?
- Doesn’t necessarily know anything about DITA
- Not a programmer
- Good at creating content
- Might know SEO, and can write for the web
- Content: the backbone of the web
Times are changing
- People used to download from regional websites
- Now they are looking to international
- Needs to be available in multiple languages
- Huge catalogue of content
- It gets quickly out of date
- Company focuses on creating new content, instead of revitalizing old content
- To stop content from getting old and stale
- Start by de-blobbing content
- Create a strategy
- Find heroes: the writers and strategists
- The obstacles: WYSIWYG, the mindset of “write it and forget it”
How do we get from unstructured to structured, as writers?
- Unlearn the old process – forget how you adapted and “made it work”
- Look at what the most-used areas are, and make those the base for the structure
- Train on how to use new tools
- Use training sessions to gather feedback
- Use a writer’s approach, not a developer’s
What did we learn from this process?
- It took a long time
- Show the team what’s coming up to help motivate
- Writers love their tools. Give them tools that work
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