November 7, 2005
Liz published this at 6:37 pm
Everybody talks about content, but nobody actually defines it.
What is content and how can content keep readers?
Content is more than ideas, more than words and pictures on the screen, more than links to articles and data. Content is everything we communicate to our readers. Content is . . .
- Information Quality content is both fact and analysis. It offers meat and potatoes that anyone can find together with something original–analysis, predictions, interpretation–that comes only from the writer. Everything is relevant. There’s no time waster anywhere. The writer’s decisions are the “value-added”–the secret recipe. If we have the best recipe, readers will keep coming back to us.
- Presentation Quality content is top-notch presentation. Simple is elegant. The best information is lost, if nobody reads it. Too many long sentences; too many bullets; too many links interrupting the text–these get between the reader and the ideas. If it looks hard to read, it is. Like a great wine in a crystal glass, great presentation makes great content inviting.
- YOU We saw from our interviews last week, how readers respond to the intangibles Indie brings to his blog. Our presence, our voice, our respect for our readers, they are the nuance, the one-of-a-kind sauce on the expensive meal. Too peppery, too sweet, too salty, too bland, and readers will think this dish isn’t worth having again. On the other hand, get the right balance and they’ll be back every night.
When a blogger provides top-notch content with something extra, readers can see it. They appreciate the writer, and they enjoy the experience. Readers notice that “value-added” difference. They’ll be back to see whether we can do it again.
And that’s when consistency is the operative word.
–ME “Liz” Strauss