Laws, Sausages, & Web Content

Otto von Bismarck supposed to have said:

Gesetze sind wie Würste, man sollte besser nicht dabei sein, wenn sie gemacht werden.

Which translates roughly into:

There are two things you should never let people see how they’re made. Laws and sausages.

I suggest that Bismarck, had he lived to see the internet, would use Web content as an example of something one should not be allowed to see being made because it is such a messy process.

The good news is, when compared to bringing laws and sausages into this world, content production can be beautified quite easily. Content creation and care can be clean, smooth and fun. It can be a security net, an unwavering stalwart in the storm that is digital communication.

How? By thinking and acting strategically. That is, being smart about what you want and focusing your energy and resources on getting there. Or, as Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter puts it:

Strategy is choosing to perform activities differently than rivals.

There you go.

The challenge, however, is often not the goal or objective of your strategy, but the obstacles on the way to getting there such as the politics of Web content. Everybody wants to communicate and, as Watzlawick pointed out, it is impossible not to communicate. However, if there is no strategic framework to guide communication efforts, everybody ends up talking, but to the wrong audience.

Content strategy can help clarify the process. It can be the director giving everybody the job they do best, putting the piece together just so, concerting the ensemble, with the result that every participant is put into the best perspective and shines through. Content strategy is able to guide the process along so nobody feels left out or misses their entrance.

Creating and taking care of Web content in a strategic manner is a security blanket for everybody involved. Because a strategic approach manages expectations and internal communication. The energy, thusly, freed from fear and insecurities, can be put into making the stuff you actually care about like creating wonderful content that is entertaining and purposeful.

The fabulous Relly Annett-Baker found the right words for it:

Bringing up Content with a client for the first time is like discussing contraception, It might be awkward and either party would probably rather be doing something else but it needs to be broached before any action happens

Details & meta

Wed, 22/06/2011 - 12:07