Content strategy: the new name for copywriting?

Battle Formation

I’ve been hearing more and more talk about ‘content strategy’ recently. Unsure what it was, I went looking for answers.
I found:

What is Content Strategy?

Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.

Necessarily, the content strategist must work to define not only which content will be published, but why we’re publishing it in the first place.

Otherwise, content strategy isn’t strategy at all: it’s just a glorified production line for content nobody really needs or wants

From: The Discipline of Content Strategy by Kristina Halvorson

I was hoping to discover an interesting new discipline, but I feel like I’ve just discovered a new way to describe copywriting.

More time passed, and I began to warm to content strategy.

Why? Because ‘copy’ is the most important but least respected part of the web. Web copy is often thrashed out at the last minute, after a hundred interaction designers, user experience designers, information architects, designers, developers and colour consultants have spent months refining their corner of the website – and that’s just plain stupid. Copy is neglected, but maybe it’s neglected because nobody has pushed a serious alternative – nobody has pushed a grown-up approach to producing copy.

Copy needs to be more than copy for it to be taken seriously. A copywriter needs to be more than just a rent-a-pen. There needs to be a method, a strategy, a process for producing amazing copy, and if content strategy can be all of that, then wonderful.

I look forward to learning more about content strategy.

Design update at Kendall Copywriting

Tidy workers = happy workers

Welcome to the new-look Kendall Copywriting site!

Regular visitors may wonder why things have changed, given that the old look was less than 6 months old. Well, as time passes you get a better sense of your website’s purpose, and it gradually became clear that to achieve my aims, the site would need a little refresh. So that’s what we did.

With a generous dose of web design wizardry from Guy Anderson of Zero G Media, my site was quickly given a new coat of paint and simplified navigation. Thanks Guy!

Free for all: using Ubuntu in my business

My new Ubuntu 10.04 LTS desktop

This blog post is about my experiences of using Ubuntu, probably the world’s most popular open-source operating system, in my business.

First, I must declare that I came to use Ubuntu because I was writing copy for Ubuntu. Without being involved with Ubuntu and Canonical (the business that leads the Ubuntu project) I may never have used Ubuntu. But these words are my own and they are not paid for, requested or endorsed by Ubuntu or Canonical.

The good

My computing needs have always been modest. Windows was always OK. But when my work with Canonical nudged me into installing Ubuntu on top of Windows XP, I realised that OK was far from good enough. Ubuntu made my old laptop faster, smoother and more reliable – and it did it all for free.

Ubuntu is an excellent operating system, but I want to assess how well it functions in a world dominated by Windows. First impressions were great because I could use Spotify, Dropbox and create .doc files just as easily as with Windows. So I was able to work in exactly the same way as I always had – except my computer was faster to start, faster to operate and faster to shut down. Ubuntu is different, so it took me a little while to find things and to get used to the minor differences, but it was surprisingly easy to ditch Windows.

For me, the best thing about adopting Ubuntu was the novelty of change. Ubuntu provides a fresh vista to eyes tired of gazing upon Windows. Ubuntu feels friendlier than Microsoft products too – it gets out of your way and lets you own your computer.

The bad

When you need help doing something in Ubuntu, you’ll often find advice that features all kinds of scary code, written by someone who assumes you know what to do with it. Far too many fixes require you to use the terminal or command line – something that the average computer user (and me) doesn’t really understand or feel comfortable using.

OpenOffice is the Microsoft Office equivalent that comes with Ubuntu. In a million ways, OpenOffice is amazing. It recreates an expensive Microsoft product and gives it away for free. That’s amazing. Thank-you to everyone who has ever contributed to the OpenOffice project. However, it does have its failings – although for me these are only obvious when I try to collaborate with people using Word. Track Changes and formatting do not carry well between the two programs, making it difficult for me to use in my work.

When I bought a new laptop (which I was forced to buy with Windows 7 already installed) it came cluttered with all kinds of junk. My fresh desktop was loaded with products – although this was probably due to Acer (the maker) rather than Microsoft. When you install Ubuntu you get a clean slate; your desktop is a blank space – because it’s your space.

The rest

I love the fact that Ubuntu makes computing more affordable. I love the fact that every six months my computer gets a free makeover (a new version of Ubuntu is released every six months). I love the fact that every six months my computer gets to take advantage of new technologies – all for free. I love the fact that I’m free of Microsoft, and that I don’t depend on such a questionable organisation for anything. I love the fact that all around the world, people are busy making free software.

So, for the time being, I’m sticking with Ubuntu.

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