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The Language of Content Strategy by [Abel, Scott, Bailie, Rahel Anne]
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The Language of Content Strategy Kindle Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 342 KB
  • Print Length: 138 pages
  • Publisher: XML Press; 1 edition (15 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #511,419 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What an achievement, and what a great book. I love the "What / Why / Why does a content strategist need to know this" structure and am blown away by having access to 52 experienced contributors in one place.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Dictionary of Content Strategy Terminology 27 Feb. 2014
By Severin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This book book can be useful for new content development professionals and experienced professionals. It might even have some value for people whose core job is not content strategy. For people new to content development, it can provide a valuable introduction to the many terms that circulate when discussing content strategy issues. For experienced content development pros or for people whose core job is not directly related to content development, the book can provide a language that describes many strategies and tactics your organization is already using, but perhaps without knowing it. For example, maybe someone at your company put together a rudimentary requirements matrix for a project, but no one calls it a requirements matrix. When you read the "Requirements Matrix" section of the book, you might think, "Ah! That's what we've been doing!" And the description of the requirements matrix in the book might actually enhance how you develop and utilize your own.

I agree with other reviewers that the book is very well written. I recognize many of the contributors as people at the top of their field, so I expect them to be able to articulate their subject clearly. It's also a nifty marketing device to include information about each contributor in each section. So in that regard, the book is a useful reference and can be a quick read. I also salute the editors for pulling together so many related terms, many of which have significant overlap, in a way that clarifies rather than muddies the subject.

On the negative side, even though the book is well written, I found it to be dry. The very nature of the book, one page per concept, prevents the contributors from going into any details or using practical examples of why a particular element of content strategy is useful. There are some examples in some sections, but I found myself wanting more. I would have liked it better if each section was a little bit longer so that it could include a section on practical application, because that's the interesting part for me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not perfect 6 Feb. 2015
By MDespres - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It was more than ok, and I liked it.

The title is clear about what this book is about: the language of content strategy. I appreciated the lexicon, and it made me wish this were part of a series, similar to A Very Short Introduction books. The Language of UX. The Language of IA.

I find that lexicons do more than define terms for us. In general, these collections function as overviews of a discipline. They explicitly state what matters to the discipline, and they also imply what matters to the discipline simply by the topics included and how those topics are defined. (Lexicons can also shed light on the discipline's history and can be fun for amateur etymologists.)

This book is a comprehensive overview of content strategy. As someone who has practiced some content strategy, I liked seeing where that work is situated. I liked that my work was defined by industry-standard terminology, and I found an appropriate way to talk about what I most like about content strategy - inventories, analysis, semantics, and taxonomies, and the editorial side rather than technical side (instead of "liking words and not code"). After reading this book, readers can be confident that they share a common language with practitioners, so hesitate to engage no more.

This lexicon lets you know what's important. Behind the scenes: repeatable, reusable, automated, and structured. For the consumer: personalized in every way - accessible, adaptive, translated, and localized as well as appropriate for grade level, device, location, and situation. "The right content, to the right audience, anytime, anywhere, on any device." (Abel)

Consider these words: architecture, engineering, matrix, model, optimization, and system. And these: analysis, audit, inventory, lifecycle, management, quality assurance, scorecard, and strategy. They're not necessarily the words you associate with content, but they are the language of content strategy.

Other things I liked:

-- I was able to construct workflows from the entries, such as: content brief -> requirements matrix -> content inventory -> content audit -> content analysis -> content matrix

-- Topic structure and layout design. The topics answer (formatted as headings): What is it? Why is it important? Why does a content strategist need to know this? The layout ensures that the start of the topic is a verso and the completion of the topic is a recto, so the topic is uninterrupted by page turning.

-- Colophon (too long to quote). The creation of the book mimics the best practices outlined in the lexicon.

Some things I wasn't crazy about:

-- I wonder whether the layout was a self-imposed constraint on the presentation of information. In a book about content best practices, why are you describing a visual to me instead of showing an image? In other topics, I would have benefited from a visual example. If the layout is a concern, images could be part of an appendix, although that's not ideal. If the genre of lexicon is a concern, remember that dictionaries have pictures.

-- Some topics were too vague. It's as if you need to know the topic to understand its definition, but if you know it, you don't need the definition.

-- Where topics are similar, it would have been nice to know how they differ or how they relate to each other, for example, structured content and modular content. Maybe it's obvious to people already working with structured and modular content. (It could be compared to synonyms in a dictionary.) Sometimes these relationships were defined, which is why I was able to create workflow diagrams.

-- The book includes 52 topics written by 52 content strategists, which makes me wonder if 52 is a marketing gimmick for the website or if it's a coincidence that the important content strategy terms are exactly 52 in number. (And I know you have to stop somewhere.)

-- Perhaps out of scope (encyclopedia instead of dictionary), but metrics were mentioned several times. Perhaps one sample metric could have been included to better understand how the topic subject can be measured.

-- Some topics repeated the "what is it text" in the "why you need to know" text. And "why it's important" is really "why you need to know" - because it's important.

-- Some topics were too general and would have been enriched by examples.

-- Some topics didn't answer the heading questions appropriately.

The best topics explain how the deliverable/technology/analysis is used, what it captures, the results/benefits of using it, and some of the gaps created by not using it.

-- Sarah Beckley's "Content Matrix," Laura Creekmore's "Metadata," Don Day's "Structured Content," Leigh White's "Single Sourcing," and Claudia Wunder's "Information Architecture" are overall good examples.

-- Robert Glushko's "Document Engineering" uses an effective, real-world example of taxes to illustrate the difference between narrative and transactional types.

-- Char James-Tanny's "Accessibility" and Lisa L. Trager's "Search Engine Optimization" provide comprehensive lists of best practices.

-- Sarah O'Keefe's "XML" highlights several benefits and offers an applied example.

-- Bill Swallow's "Globalization" offers advice: "it is best to work backwards."

-- Lori Thicke's "Translation" includes data to support a business case for translation.

-- Sharon Burton's "Folksonomy" and Kathy Wagner's "Content Scorecard" include how-to information. Burton also uses a good Amazon example to illustrate her topic.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and I use it only to illustrate some of the nice touches of particular topics.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great primer for establishing a standard acumen 18 May 2014
By Kevin P. Nichols - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I think why this book is important is that it shores up a set of working definitions for terms used about content and content strategy and does so in a concise, easy to digest manner. Many different areas of content strategy are examined including deliverables such as content inventory, content brief, content matrix, etc. to concepts such as localization and personalization to various other topics such as terminology management and intelligent content. For full disclosure, I contributed to this effort with personalization as my term, but regardless, I feel this book provides a framework that is quite valuable and useful for new practitioners, anyone with an interest in content and to various lines of business in organizations such as tech and marketing departments. I also like the fact that each definition provides information on why the term or concept is relevant and important. 52 experts, 52 terms is the perfect approach. I would not have expected anything less from editors Rahel Anne Bailie (co-author of: Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits...which is also co-authored by Noz Urbina) and Scott Abel aka "The Content Wrangler."
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read if you're new to content strategy 26 Feb. 2014
By Nathalie Laroche - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a very unique book that answers important questions about content strategy: What does it mean exactly? Why is it so important? And what on earth are transclusions, wireframes, and folksonomy?

The book provides short texts written by 52 experts in the field of content strategy, with each text defining a term used in this field. I was afraid that reading a "dictionary" of content strategy terms might be tedious, but I very much enjoyed it. The language is crisp and dynamic, the descriptions read very well, and enough information is provided to clearly explain each term without drowning the reader with too many details. I often found myself underlining sections of the book and taking notes in the margins for topics I wanted to explore, and I know that I'll go back to this book for reference.

Each text also includes a short bio of the contributor, which allowed me to come up with a list of other books I want to read, as well as blogs and Twitter accounts I want to follow. Clearly, the editors gave much thought to the content and organisation of this book. They know content!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential guide to an emerging discipline 17 Feb. 2014
By Marcia R. Johnston - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The term "content strategy" means many things to many people. The seasoned practitioners who have contributed to this book, led by editors Scott Abel and Rahel Anne Bailie, shed light on this emerging discipline by defining its main terms. Consider "The Language of Content Strategy" a perfect starting point if you want to learn about this increasingly important field in a world where businesses thrive—or fail—based on their understanding of the business of content.
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