Writing Well about Terrible People

September 24th, 2017

This morning, I set myself the task of turning my response to a New York Times article into something less ephemeral and annoying than a tweetstorm. I gave myself one hour to do it, which mostly meant not letting myself spend another two hours adding more links. I have a lot of feelings, and I’m […]

Why The Atlantic’s Scientology Advertorial Was Bad

January 15th, 2013

The Atlantic has apologized for the way they handled a “sponsored” article about Scientology on their website last night. That’s good, and necessary. (It belongs on their actual website, rather than in an email campaign, but whatever.)

The magazine would doubtless like for this to be the end of the discussion, and it probably will be. Most readers will forget it happened, except the ones who already hated the magazine. But the thing that happened last night is interesting for a couple of reasons, and I think it’s worth actually laying them out before we all agree to drop it and hope it never happens again. Specifically, there are two kinds of “bad” to talk about, here, and it’s very hard to talk about them at the same time, so I won’t. Read more ⇒

Mobile Content Strategy Everywhere

December 13th, 2012

A few years ago, the number of books that taught editorial strategy and content planning for the web could be counted on one hand—and many of those focused only on writing and style, or on content-as-marketing-tactic. This winter, the full weight of our mini-industry’s labors has hit the bookshelf, and the shelf is on the verge of collapsing in happiness. Read more ⇒

Announcing Contents magazine

August 31st, 2011

The conversation about content strategy, online publishing, and all the subfields and specializations that surround them is flourishing. Wonderfully, it’s no longer possible to keep track of the posts, comments, talks, and events that take place every week within our world. And it’s not just that we’re voluble: our community is extraordinarily generous with knowledge, help, and professional support.

After benefiting from this conversation in so many ways, we’d like to give something back. A bounded collection of ideas and connections. A place to catch up with the movement of our fledgling industry and the much older fields from which it emerged. An editorial lens. Read more ⇒

Now Out: The Elements of Content Strategy

March 8th, 2011

I wrote The Elements of Content Strategy because as the internet worms its way further and further into our lives, digital content becomes centrally important to the ways in which we live and work. And it follows that content strategy—the practice of planning for, designing, and managing content—is also getting closer to the center of both web projects and entire organizations. Read more ⇒

A Content Book Apart

August 18th, 2010

Yes, content strategy is a real thing that real clients and employers really need. But beyond that, we’re in the infancy of a ubiquitous internet—one fully integrated into our lives and environments. The publishing world has been bitten by a radioactive wombat, and we don’t know if journalism’s going to die or mutate into something speedy and awesome. Our brains are changing in ways we don’t understand. Content work matters—yes, now more than ever—and as this thing spins faster, we’re going to need every advantage we can find. Read more ⇒

Paying For It

March 24th, 2010

Yesterday, I wrote that content is expensive, and that there are really only four ways to subsidize content online: ads, subscriptions, marketing writeoffs, and paid delivery channels. But we’re not really publishers over here in the web content world, so we don’t need to think about this stuff, right? Eh. If you work in web […]

Content is Expensive

March 24th, 2010

One of the ideas that kept pecking at my brain while I was prepping for our SXSW publishing panel was this: Content isn’t free. If it’s good, it’s very expensive to make. We can subsidize its production and maintenance in any number of ways, but we have to start being honest—with ourselves, our clients, and […]

A Tale of 3 News Apps

March 4th, 2010

I used to read The New York Times online. Granted, the NYT can be weirdly insular, mesmerized by the trappings of wealth, and bad at covering literature, but I like newspapers, I like plenty of the NYT‘s national and international coverage, and I live in New York. Over the last year, I’ve found myself doing […]

Content Strategy Is About Publishing

March 3rd, 2010

In a couple of weeks, I’m going to be on a panel called “New Publishing and Web Content” at SXSW Interactive, and I’ve been thinking even more than usual about publishing and the anxieties surrounding its supposed demise. When people talk about the imminent death of publishing, they’re usually talking about something narrow, specific, and […]