Content On a Galactic Scale

Content is the atom of communication –  (a Tweet on content marketing list, July 2015)

Wikipedia is a universe by itself  –  (comment in a Wikipedia meetup,2009)

Is content writing, editing and publishing the lifeblood of your business activity? Then writing focused and targeted text is critical for your success. Content for business is what   In some cases that is a series of Tweets. Short messages to promote longer in-depth articles.

Size Matters and Big is Different:

In content creation and publication size matters. Actually size of a site even a single page, matters almost as much as other elements of content. Writers of short messages are going to disappoint when they have to write a long page. This is similar to the use of advertisement writers for magazine articles (example from the world of printed media).ites which are growing to thousands of pages and many contributors are going to need writers and editors to manage the work. In traditional publishing, newspapers and magazines trained writers (and editors) to produce articles quickly. This meant writing with a specific format, style and even a “template” (what, where, when, how). Even in large publications, very few writers stuck to their work for a long time. Take a look at the bio of most publications (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times). Book and magazine publisher rely on outside writers. The traditional publishing world is a good example for large sites. One crucial fact: writing and editing is hard work. The work flows continuously and sometimes floods people and organizations. If you are not careful, you will drown (with or without your publication).

My experience on large sites, one technical support site and one trading site, is typical. The technical support site essentially published user and support (maintenance) manuals previously printed from PDF. This required editing sections as they moved from PDF format to HTML. Each manual of 1,000 pages ended as a site section. Then the pages were used in help topics, to explain bugs and suggest solutions. Migrating existing content to a new site is a good way to start large sites. Trading and financial news sites can create new articles quickly. There are many sources of information, the world revolves around money. User generated discussions and opinions can also generate large amount of content. In case of newly generated stream of data: organizing, indexing/searching and editing are useful first steps. In all large sites managing and promoting content is both a writing-editing task as well as programming-operation task. Without both capabilities the site will suffer and the result will suffer. The opportunity in creating a large content site may seem beyond most companies. Yet without your own writing and promotion any corporate work suffers. Most companies with a few hundred employees and many products generate all kind of content. Some stays internally or is published in a closed environment (intranets). Yet content in an organized well-managed system is vital.

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