Most helpful critical review
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A brave attempt, but fundamentally unsuccessful
on 16 December 2003
I was intrigued to find a book focussing on the importance of getting web content right, and I was ready to be impressed. Unfortunately, this book falls short through a combination of being non-specific, repetitive, and unfocussed.
The early chapters are quite promising, if a bit over-blown, and the general theme of the book - that content is a valuable commodity and needs careful planning and a multidisciplinary team - is introduced quite clearly.
But the authors don't expand on this, preferring to repeat themselves with job descriptions of the links in the publishing chain, and branching out into territory covered much more effectively by other books such as usability and navigation design.
What's really lacking are more juicy examples, tips on how web writing is different from other forms in practical terms, or examples of how to present numbers, images or diagrams. They also assume a large organisation with the resources for a multidisplinary team - where's the shoestring option for small businesses or public sector organisations on a budget? As the book descends in its later chapters into a plethora of general checklists, it's harder and harder to keep interested and focussed, since it seems so far removed from practical applications.
Beyond the initial chapters which argue strongly that poor content is a real business problem, the book doesn't present much that's new - which seems ironic given the title.