I have started work on a content strategy book. The working title is Content Strategy 101: Transform Technical Content into a Business Asset, and I need your help.The book, in an early draft, is available at contentstrategy101.com. You can read through it and leave us your comments. Will this book be useful to you? What’s missing that will make it (more) useful? What appalling typos did you find?
I hope to have the first edition available in September 2012 in print, Kindle, and EPUB formats. For now, the web version is free.
I have no idea whether this new site will result in a trickle of comments or a flood, but I’m excited about trying out a collaborative approach to developmental editing.
Here’s the opening salvo:
It used to be so simple. A technical writer would meet with an engineer, gather information, write it up—in longhand—on a legal pad, and then send the information off to the typing pool. After some revisions, the typed manuscript and perhaps hand-drawn graphics would be delivered to the printer and, eventually, a book appeared. Over time, the legal pads were replaced with typewriters; then, the typewriters were replaced with computers. In addition to producing text, technical writers accepted page layout and pre-press production responsibilities.
Today, technical writers are more often technical communicators: they produce text, images, photographs, charts, live video, screencasts, webcasts, comic books, simulations, and more. And technical communicators face a bewildering array of options: XML, help authoring tools, wikis, customer-generated content, desktop publishing tools, conversion tools, and so on. Instead of creating content in isolation, technical writers coexist with training, contradict technical support, and compete with user-generated content.
I am looking forward to your feedback at contentstrategy101.com.