Talking Author Experience with the guy who wrote the book about it

When I first met Rick Yagodich in 2012, we got talking over lunch about his ideal CMS. I may have been slightly hampered by a karaoke-related hangover at the time (thanks, CS Forum), but as Rick raced through his incredibly detailed plans for keeping information in its context, for putting references and cross-references at the forefront of information management, and for pushing content presentation way down the list of jobs a CMS does, I realised that this needed more than a chat over a meal to explain. “He should write this down,” I thought. “Maybe then I could keep up.”

One very simple idea was at the heart of things, though, and that was to make the job of authoring and maintaining content as simple as possible. The actual experience of being an author hasn’t been taken seriously enough, which causes a lot of common problems with content. That was something else that I though Rick should write down.

Two years later, bingo. Author Experience: Bridging the gap between people and technology in content management lays out all this and more. My copy arrived this week, but by then I’d already read a draft version (and found myself mentioned in a footnote. Mum! I’m in print!).

I’d also chatted with Rick about introducing AX to the enterprise. Like most of the larger problems we content people face (or imagine ourselves facing – this was very much a theoretical discussion), a lot of it came down to interpersonal stuff, and politics, and money.
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Sticky note overload! My talk from UX Design Day

UX + Content Strategy = Better business

stickyuxcs

So, UX Design Day in Dunedin was a great little conference. My place in the programme was as the one and only content strategist, in town to pitch for as much cooperation as possible between UX and content people as we work on building things.

And what’s the best way to win the hearts and minds of UXers? With sticky notes. So here are my slides.

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This is what happens when I take whiteboard notes at a content strategy meetup

Last night’s content strategy meetup was a bit of a show n’ tell session about content audits. Of course, one of the best things about meetups like these is the little hints and tips you get from each other. So I wrote a few of them down:

My handwriting is so pretty

My handwriting is so pretty

Or, if you prefer things in some sort of order…
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I’ll be at Dunedin’s UX Design Day, October 31

Update, 2 November: UXDD was a fantastic day. I’ve posted my talk material: Sticky note overload! My talk from UX Design Day

One of the hardest things about getting to present at conferences and events is keeping my damn mouth shut about it until the organisers have announced the line-up. So, after a week or two of keeping my trap shut: I’M COMING TO DUNEDIN FOR UX DESIGN DAY!

Dunedin’s a special place, and any excuse to head back down for a visit is always a good thing. I lived there for seven years, it’s where I met my wonderful wife (as well as being her home town), and it’s where I made some of the best friendships of my life. As far as I recall, it was always exactly like this:

Dunedin
(That’s me on the obligatory outdoor couch, in the yellow and black t-shirt.)
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Making risk management work (4): The tools you need

This post is part of the Content Is The Web risk management series.

This post explains the tools and tables you’ll use to manage risks properly. It follows on from earlier posts about the framework and conversations that risk management uses.

The short version:

Each risk is documented in a separate report, and each piece of content you work on needs a register of all its risks. So long as you’re having the right conversations and following the framework, this is basic admin.
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Making risk management work (3): The framework

This post is part of the Content Is The Web risk management series.

Update, 13 Sept 2014: I finally got around to adding in the five steps a risk goes through.

Risk management replaces your old sign-off process. As part 2 explained, it changes what you ask as you work though content with other people. Once you have a big pile of information from these risk reporters, this post explains how to sort through it all. The next post introduces some of the tools you’ll use.

The risk management framework makes the entire process as objective as it can be. It rates each risk’s likelihood and consequence on separate scales, then produces a severity measurement. This determines how acceptable the risk is (or isn’t), and shows you what risks are most important.

The short version:

This needs managerial buy-in, so work with higher-ups. Classify risk consequences, then set objective grades for each type of consequence, and for likelihood. Put those grades on a grid, overlay severity ratings, then track each risks through five stages from ‘reported’ to ‘accepted’. Hey presto, you have a risk management framework.

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