Content Strategy for the Web Strengths
It helps you create meaningful content for your website. The book is very easy to read, she writes like she is talking to the reader. The way her book is broken up into sections its a lot nicer to read and easier to understand. To start I will provide strengths of each chapter in Content Strategy for the Web.
- Reality: Less not more is a really great strategy, and its easy to fix if you can look at your website from a users perspective. This strategy reminds me of Apple products and how easy they are to use.
- Discovery: “Identifying your stakeholders by how they impact the project and not by their areas of expertise will help you understand how to involve them going forward” this is a good point; how they impact your project is more important. When she talks programs that can audit your website for you she says, “Technology doesn’t replace the context provided by human review”. This is such a good point when using tools. From just doing a basic content audit myself I learned a lot about the website and the thought processes users must go through when using this website. The channel map from “Awesome Co” was really helpful to see when reading about channels.
- About users: “No matter how they find you, your users almost always have very specific goals and expectations” This is so true.
- Content: Factors to consider including in content: Audience, Messaging, Topics, Purpose, Voice & Home and Sources. Developing personas to figure out who your users are is a good idea. The Topic map looks very useful, and efficient. The tip to not create a ton of content is a good idea, it sounds like it is easy to get in over your head. When deciding what content to keep consider these tips: requirements, reach, relevance, richness and revenue.
- Success: Having a plan and a budget is a good idea, especially when you are trying to get other people to invest in your idea. “Regardless of the size of the project you’re proposing, when you ask for money . . .Ask in person, Know your current budget and understand the organization’s fiscal year.
Content Strategy for the Web Weaknesses
Before looking at content I would suggest have a user use the website and figuring out what is confusing to a user, what is works, and what content works great. This way before you start getting rid of content you know what your looking to change, it would give you something to focus on directly. Its not clear what the author means by alignment? Visually or?
In Chapter 6 midway through the chapter she talks about “Factors that Matter” the first one she lists is “Target Audiences”. While I agree that targeting your audience matters I think that this step should happen sooner than after you do content analysis. If you don’t know who your audience is, how can you be sure you are picking your content correctly? I may just not familiar with the terms used in this book but I am really not sure what she means by “messaging” this could use some clarification. I am picturing instant messaging on Facebook but that does not seem like that’s what she is talking about.
“Original content” section on page 113 should probably be shown sooner in the book or in the chapter. Defining ownership, and roles seems like a good thing to point out but it seems as though a lot of people might already be past that point when they are reading this book. The following section of the different areas that people should be in charge of is a good idea and it is thoroughly in depth so that would make things easier. She says “leave a copy of this book on your bosses desk, which is a little presumptuous”. She is pretty repetitive in the last chapter.
The Networked Nonprofit Strengths
This book is directed specifically towards non-profits specifically. The example of the “Surfrider Network” was a good way to show a network that non-profits can eventually aspire to.
- It’s important to note that they define social media as “the array of digital tools such as instant messaging, text messaging, blogs, videos, and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace” (4)
- Social media tools make nonprofits complete and fall into three categories of use
- “Conversation starters like blogs, YouTube, and Twitter”
- “Collaboration tools including wikis and Google Groups”
- “Network builders like social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter” (5).
- It is really easy to read because the book gives you a story to read while you are learning tools to help non-profits
Below I will give a bullet proof list of the content I felt helpful in the book
- Myths about social media
- Myth 1: “Our constituents aren’t online” Non profits should train for a future where everyone is using social media.
- Myth 2: “Face to face isn’t important anymore” meeting with people and talking to them is more effective than contacting them online or over social media
- Myth3: “Social media is not core to our work” social media can help strengthen relationships and connections
- Myth 4: “Using social media is hard” not so sure I agree with this one
- Myth 5: “Using social media is time consuming” eventually you can distribute the weight of social media and then it is not time consuming, but like he says “this one is actually true” is quite accurate
- Social networks have two main components
- “nodes” people or organizations
- “Hubs” larger nodes- people or organizations that have a lot connections
- “ties” connections between them
- “networks also have cores. The core is the inner cluster of people who do most of the work on any project or effort.” (28)
- Clusters: Groups of people who are connected to each other
- “nodes” people or organizations
- An interesting term to note: Ambient intimacy- “ ‘about being able to keep in touch with people at a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to because time and space conspire against it’”
- “Social capital”- what makes relationships meaningful and resilient, trust and reciprocity are usually seen in these relationships
- This is important to note, when nonprofits work with crowds they should answer 3 questions
- “What should the crowd do?”
- “Who needs to be included in this crowd?”
- “What will we do with the crowd’s input?”
- Crowdsourcing Cautions
- “Crowds are unpredictable”
- “Crowds can become angry mobs”- maybe not for a nonprofit organization though?
- “Crowd contributions are 90 percent useless” maybe so, but crowds do attract attention
- “Crowds and organizations may be done”
The Networked Nonprofit Weaknesses
In chapter one they gave myths about social media and one of them was “Using social media is hard”. Understanding how to use social media is not that hard I would agree with that, but learning how to use social media is hard work and it takes a lot of time and effort to gain a strong network and strengthen relationships on social media. The way that they explain networks could have been categorized better, or different with bullet points.