How do you get your print documents into shape before migrating them into a Web Content Management System
and presenting them to an easily distracted Internet audience chronically short of attention?
Its certainly easier said than done well, and thankfully Web content specialist Merry Bruns has a tip or two for you. Ensuring you're putting effective print material online involves a lot more than copying and pasting text into a field, and no, "write once, publish everywhere" isn't a viable alternative. Print and web are two different reading environments, and while a CMS can handle the technology side of the story, it won't do the editing, rewriting and formatting the written material needs before going online.
To avoid filling your site with "shovelware," you need to understand how to give your content a strong focus, set goals, rethink and reorganize individual pages, and group information of all kinds into relevant sections. Content has to be identified using terms understandable to a wide audience, and navigation terms must be crystal clear.
Text must be laid out for scanning in the way you want it to be read, and your writing itself has to become more streamlined and reader-directed than it does in print. How about interactivity, graphics and visuals? Editorial decision-making includes planning and modifying material and letting these media tools work to convey information effectively.
It's tempting to want to use the same material in different ways, because we're busy and besides, not everyone knows how to edit print documents for the web. That's where my Web Writing & Editing
classes come in. These classes give you hands-on training in modifying print documents for the web, and demos and discussion make it dynamic and fun.
Most importantly, you' ll be learning from a professional who does what she teaches, and has worked with the Web since before it was born. You'll come away with immediate, "right now" skills you can apply to your work the very next day.
The classes focus on:
* editing and restructuring print documents for the web
* creating navigation systems readers can understand
* reaching your audiences with content that pinpoints their needs
If the success of your Web content is front and center consider attending the next Web Writing Workshop being held in Washington D.C. on the 23rd and 24th of this month. More information and immediate registration is available here
About the Author Merry Bruns
is a nationally recognized content strategist and Web Writing trainer. Producing and editing web sites since 1994, she's taught web writing since 1997. Her clients for content strategy and training have included Accenture, National Academy of Sciences, BBC London, Harvard Medical School and many others.