Books as ballast for new media

March 7, 2010

Postcards of books furthering my journey from old media to new:

Book image for Don't Make Me Think

Be clear

“Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability,”Second edition, (New Riders, 2006). Steve Krug’s advice on how to design websites that take people where they want to go no side trips to frustration.

The Web Content Strategist’s Bible: Developing Content for Large-Scale Web Sites,” Richard Sheffield, CLUEfox Publishing, 2009). What are the projects, who are the players and how content strategists work their way up the food chain.

Book image of Letting Go of the Words

Skim, scan

“Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works,” Janice (Ginny) Redish, (Morgan Kaufmann, 2007). People come to websites for content but they skim and scan. Good web content:

    • Is like a conversation
    • Answers people’s questions
    • Lets people “grab and go”
Book image of Killer Content

Drive action

“Killer Web Content: Make the Sale, Deliver the Service, Build the Brand,” Gerry McGovern. (A&C Black, 2007).
Content needs to:

    • Drive action
    • Deliver new knowledge
    • Focus on the customer
    • Make the core task clear
Book image of Web Content Strategy

Ask and listen

“Content Strategy for the Web,” Kristina Halvorson, (New Rider, 2009), $16.49 at Amazon. Brain Traffic’s Kristina practices what she preaches. Dramatically improve content with five principles:

    • Do less, not more
    • Figure out what you have and where it’s coming from
    • Learn how to listen
    • Put someone in charge
    • Start asking, ‘Why?’

These books have taken me from “Really?” to “I said that in a meeting yesterday!” in five, not-so-short years.

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