Content Everywhere
Strategy and Structure for Future-Ready Content
By Sara Wachter-Boettcher
Publisher: Rosenfeld Media
Final Release Date: December 2012

Care about content? Better copy isn't enough. As devices and channels multiply—and as users expect to relate, share, and shift information quickly—we need content that can go more places, more easily. Content Everywhere will help you stop creating fixed, single-purpose content and start making it more future-ready, flexible, reusable, manageable, and meaningful wherever it needs to go.

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oreillyContent Everywhere
 
4.5

(based on 2 reviews)

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Interesting book

By Matt 'the Matman' Brier

from Louisville, Ky

About Me Support Analyst

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Easy to understand
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate

    Comments about oreilly Content Everywhere:

    Sara Wachter-Boettcher is an independent content strategist, writer, editor, and consultant. She has written a much needed treatise without resorting to a dry, academic style. If you work in web development, content development, web design, database design, or any field that requires you to break down and reassemble data into a usable format this book is for you. Don't let the cover fool you. While the book primarily deals in web terms, there is a lot to be gleaned from this book for other people.

    This book is a high level treatise on designing content for the coming years. It is a challenge to break content down in to pieces that are usable in many applications. The World Wide Web as we know it is an every changing animal. We are no longer able to depend on a static page of information to serve as a viable representation of who we are as companies or individuals.

    The web isn't just being viewed on the 17 inch CRT monitors of yesterday. It exists on cell phones, tablets, 24 inch flat screen monitors, and 72 inch flat screen tv's in Hi-def. Our challenge is how to tailor the data in a way that is usable in all circumstances or as near as all circumstances as we can get.

    This breaks down into four parts. The first part covers content strategies, what they are, and why we need them. The second part discusses content, what it is, what it isn't, and breaking data down to its most usable form. The third part moves into a practical case study of how to make the most efficient use of content. Keep in mind this is a higher level book, there isn't a lot about specific coding. You won't find 5 steps to make your HTML more responsive, but you will find reasons why responsive design must be on your radar. The fourth part is a primer to help the content manager make a case with those outside. It is the type of no nonsense information that would have prevent many a blinking gif by a well meaning manager ten years ago.

    All in all I can say this book should be on your list, especially if you are currently working or looking at working in a position that requires a consistent approach to presenting data in an ongoing capacity. I don't currently work in a web based position and I still have found plenty to think about and apply to the reporting work that I do in my current position.

    (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    A Solid Conceptual Approach to CM

    By shawnday

    from Ballsbridge, Ireland

    About Me Designer, Developer, Educator

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Easy to understand
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Content Everywhere:

      Content Everywhere by Sara Wachter-Boettcher introduces the casual end-user or first time content manager to structured web content and provides a quick course in the connection for how things are stored and how they can be deployed. It is very familiar in tone and the author presents a potentially deep and intricate topic (one that simply dares distraction) in a logical manner. The various sections build from a case underlying the need for structuring and simplifying web content to methods to structure nd encode to the various processes that aid in its deployment to the web. Simple and logical.
      Because much of the tone is informal the prose comes across as being a bit of a rah-rah session to get the crowd behind the team. At times as well, the references to other authors and works gives the volume a bit of an academic feel. This maybe good for some and troubling for others. For me it was a little bit of an inside clique - but is is substantiation for the need and the process proposed.
      This volume should not be mistaken for a hands-on, case driven learning manual. It seems more intended to demonstrate the philosophical underpinnings and get the use thinking about the whys and wherefores of the task at hand than proposing specific ways to tackle the process of content deployment.
      The process proposed is a solid one and I don't mean for my critique to sound less than positive. Know your content --> consider your audience --> allow for the unanticipated --> and stick with the standards. All wonderful reminders and certainly reinforcing best practice. In many instances as well, Wachter-Boettcher provides a very clean and concise exploration of the particular language surrounding structured content. This is particularly valuable for those working as part of groups and needing to communicate with colleagues tasked with different parts of the content deployment process. Getting up to speed rapidly with the finer parts of content structuring, being able to ask the right questions and do so using the appropriate terms is perfectly suited for the audience of this book. I am a huge fan of making sure you invest the time in advance of the project with getting a feel for what you are facing. Taking the time to turn a funding proposal into a true project plan has been a constant mantra of mine for the past decade. All too often its a skipped step and the cost in the end can be very high. Learning about how to content model and work with specialists in information architecture for example is valuable in any guise.
      There is much to praise in this book. It covers a wide swathe of information management beyond purely content management and the treatment is if largely intended to be an overview - a very thorough one and the references to others work and the interjection of use cases (Q&As with a variety of practitioners) are good pointers for where to go for deeper information. The prose as mentioned is very approachable and the author likes her puns and playful turns of phrase - 'the semantics of semantics', or 'the lowdown on mark down' to throw a couple at you. The volume is well illustrated, both with custom graphics to give it a lively feel and with screen shots and diagrams that do help to illustrate concepts and cases being discussed. I like the look and feel of the book. It's friendly and fun and approaches a dry topic in an engaging fashion. The author makes a strong case for structured content for greater reusability and this book will suit anyone who wants to read and absorb content to get up to speed. It will not suit those that like a hands-on series of exercises or look for an easily scannable reference book to fall back on when facing a specific problem. This is as I mentioned a short course to bring one up to speed with content management best practises. In that it succeeds admirably and if this style suits you you have found your friend. 200 pages or so of great messages, pithy thoughts, useful references to use cases and all well and thoughtfully presented.

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