Your content is not special

Sarah O'Keefe / Humor2 Comments

You. You over there with the finicky formatting and the inability to use templates and the hours of adjusting graphics when you add a paragraph.

Yes. You.

Look, I get it. You are awesome at web design and even print design and you want to show off your mad skillz.

But there is a problem. Your approach to content publishing is time-consuming and inefficient. When you place all your graphics by hand, content changes break things. And there are always content changes.

When you rely on custom page (or line) breaks, you have to redo all of those custom breaks when your text shifts.

Add a paragraph at the beginning? Redo the page breaks.

Translate into German? Redo the page breaks AND the line breaks.

Use formatting overrides to get the effects you want? It’s unmaintainable and will probably break the mobile version of your web site.

We don’t insist on templates and style-based formatting because we are joyless formatting automatons. We insist on it because the alternative is expensive and doesn’t work as well.

If your content production process resembles this tweet, it’s time to make some changes:

Your content is not special. Follow best practices like everyone else. Your workflow will be more efficient, and you won’t need sacrificial chickens.

chicken image with text: Templates: because the chicken wants to live

About the Author

Sarah O'Keefe

Twitter

Content strategy consultant and founder of Scriptorium Publishing. Bilingual English-German, voracious reader, water sports, knitting, and college basketball (go Blue Devils!). Aversions to raw tomatoes, eggplant, and checked baggage.

2 Comments on “Your content is not special”

  1. The oldest localization saying I know is “Anything can be translated,” How much time, money, aggravation, etc. you want to spend is your choice.

  2. Pingback: Your content is not special – Technical Writing World

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *