Content Strategy

What I learned about content strategy last year

I spent the first two years of my content strategy career trying not to freak out. Every day was full of terror: what thing that I’ve never done before and have no idea how to do would I have to do next?

This year, things got better. My blood pressure went down a bit. I’ve done this stuff before, I know what to expect. I don’t think the impostor syndrome-fuelled terror will ever totally disappear, but this year I got to focus on refining my work and processes (instead of just trying to survive the day). Here’s what I learned.

Selling more software to DITA users using one magic ingredient: Relevent content

DITA software vendors: stop making it a chore for prospective buyers to find out how your product will help them author DITA content.

You’d think that this would be self-evident, but as I work on compiling a list of DITA-optimized editors and Content Management Systems I am continually amazed at how hard some vendors make it to find what I would consider to be basic information about using DITA with their product.

Taking the pain out of content migration

Whether your website is a collection of static HTML pages, running the latest and greatest Content Management System, or somewhere in between, migrating to a new platform can be a major headache. The process will inevitably involve heaps of nit-picky little details which seem nearly impossible to resolve. At Yellow Pencil, we've been working hard to change this because we believe that your content migration should be a painless, dare we say enjoyable, experience.

Crushing Tokyo with Your Content Strategy Skills (And Giant Lizard Feet)

Much like Godzilla, Content Strategists have to contend with small things trying to trip them up underfoot. While in the case of Godzilla it might be pesky tanks, buildings and electrical pylons, one of the things content strategists need to think about is the arrangement of content within an information hierarchy. While much as we might like to take the Godzilla way and simply stomp on things, Content Strategists need to be a bit more delicate, despite a natural inclination to do otherwise.

Why an enterprise CMS?

Almost 20% of websites are powered by Wordpress today. It’s easy to use, easy to setup, easy to backup. With that in mind, why would anyone spend considerable time and money purchasing an enterprise CMS?

Well, there are a few reasons. At YP we work with three enterprise Content management systems: Drupal, OpenText, and Oracle.

Each has a different speciality, and we start each project with an open mind about which tool we're going to use.

What size is DITA and where is it going?

Welcome back! Let's continue our discussion about DITA and how it's maturing. One other thing that emerged from the job posting information I discussed in the past articles from this DITA series was that it matched a pattern I have seen before. It suggested that DITA is a "one size fits all" solution. The same pattern is seen here, with very-large, large, and mid-size firms being those who are seeking people with DITA experience the most:

Where are the DITA Jobs in the US?

In the last couple of articles in this series we have looked at the continuing growth in the use of DITA across the States, and at what appears to be solid evidence that DITA has become a mature platform within many of those same companies.

DITA takes flight

Evidence of DITA Maturity: Shift from Senior to "Regular" Technical Writer Positions in Job Market

As mentioned in the previous article there is steady growth in the job market for technical writers with DITA experience. What's interesting is that there are further signs that DITA usage within firms is maturing, indicating that DITA is now out of the "early adoption" phase.

DITA Experience Rules, FrameMaker Usage Declines Further, DocBook is Dead

Job postings seeking DITA experience continue to grow while FrameMaker usage continues to decline. DocBook as a viable technical writing standard in the job market is dead. While it is clear that the majority of firms out there are still asking their writers to create their content in an unstructured manner, there is a clear and steady increase in the number of companies seeking writers with structured content experience, with DITA leading the charge.


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