Soylent Green moment: It's all made out of 'content.'
Websites are all about content. Whether your website contains widgets, video, audio, images, quizzes, animations, or infographics, it is the text post that contains the chewy, searchable goodness.
The moment when you realize that text content is the main ingredient – your Soylent Green moment – is when you must follow a playbook to help your readers get the most out of the content.
How to build a more efficient text post
- Scannable text (highlight keywords with color and typeface variations)
- Super sub-heads (not newspaper clever, no time to waste)
- Inverted pyramid (clever newspaper idea, begin with conclusion)
- One idea paragraphs (users will skip end of long paragraphs to next scannable item)
- Less is more (cut the word count in half – then cut again)
- Bulleted lists (like this one)
A brief well-constructed post provides an idea in text that is short enough that users will actually read it online. Detail and depth are layered with source material and links.
People are searching for the main ingredient in your text. Make it tasty.
Who are your favorite bloggers?
What’s my philosophy on blogging? Well, since you’ve asked, I read bloggers who deliver the goods. I read bloggers who provide very detailed knowledge on one subject, can toggle to an alternate subject for variety, and are very good writers. I get excited when my RSS reader signals a new entry from a short set of writers.
We all love great design, and you can Wiki or churn info from just about anywhere, but really skilled writing stands and delivers. Many bloggers and sites can have excellent SEO, but when I arrive and find dull, dated or jargon-filled content, I exit fast.
My three favorite stops at the moment:
Live Laugh Learn Lead – Marcia Conner speaks passionately on two topics – social media and education (informal and experimental learning). I learn something new each time I visit her site, and I also regret that I have not attended Foldschool. Great Tweets, as well – chock-full of ideas.
Iowahawk – Funnier than corn. Dave Burge has the ability to span politics and love of hot rods. Great ear for dialogue and slang tuned in Iowa – go figger. Plus, I’m a charter member of Operation Magneto having contributed a Toledo Mud Hens magnet to a PSYOP unit Humvee that is chillin’ as the ‘wildest whip in Baghdad.’
Michael Yon – Meet my No. 1 pick in the beat writer fantasy league draft. Michael Yon is a military reporter known for tough embeds, dangerous subjects and an unexpectedly light touch with people swimming in stress. He lets stories lengthen and unfold, and shoots solid photography to boot. With no embedded team of editors to layer extra opinion, Yon will leave spare photo captions and give your eyes room to decide.
What are your top three?
Imagine deploying 330,000 young people to communicate your message.
You could produce and circulate 330,000 print products – daily – and then sit back and wait and wonder about the effect. Or you could potentially facilitate and nurture 330,000 conversations. Ongoing conversations. Conversations that had a second life unlike a tossed print product. Conversation that could by monitored, adjusted, sourced and improved on the fly.
When David Meerman Scott highlighted Capt. Faggard and his Air Force Emerging Technology team recently, I was staggered by the volume of this communications idea.
Faggard’s Air Force Blog Assessment chart used by Air Force personnel is a template for a constantly improved daily briefing on all things Air Force.
In news organizations, there are rarely enough opportunities allowed to actively assess responses to each piece of content generated in print and web. There is plenty said about some particular stories, but this conversation happens well outside the organization’s walls on other local blogs and industry sites.
Blog assessment would be a fantastic tool for a news organization to use even with scant resources. What a great way to keep that churn of information inbound as well allowing reporters and editors insight to follow-up.
As valuable as blog assessment might be, the circulation figure still reigns supreme for many print companies.