Live from Congility: How to be a Writer in a World of Structured Content

How to be a writer in a world of structured content,Fabrizio Ferri Benedetti

Congility2014Who 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    • It gets quickly out of date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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