And we’re back to our occasional series of books that matter for higher ed marketers. This one comes from Karine Joly of College Web Editor. Karine regularly posts 1-1-1 “express” book reviews on her website. If you don’t read her blog or follow her on Twitter (@karinejoly), you should.
Review by Karine Joly
Reading non-fiction books is part of my work – although I get all my reading done in the evening or during the weekend.
While I don’t pretend to compete with Mark Greenfield when it comes to book reading, I always try to review the books that I found the most useful.
Yet, I know that people don’t have the time to read book reviews that are as long as book chapters. That’s why I came up with the 1-1-1 express format for these book reviews a few years ago.
Sara Wachter-Boettcher’s book, Content Everywhere, was the best book I read in 2012.
So, here is my 1-1-1 Express Book Review of Content Everywhere by Sara Wachter-Boettcher.
1 thing I liked
Sara didn’t write this book for higher education. Yet, she used many great higher ed examples: Arizona State University Online division, WVU, University of Notre Dame and Columbia University. So, when you try to convince your boss to move in the right direction following Sara’s advice, you won’t hear the traditional “it doesn’t apply to us in higher education.” It does, and the book makes it very clear with all these higher ed examples.
1 thing I didn’t like too much
I love everything in this book, but the 1-1-1 book review calls for a balanced view of my reading experience. So, here is what I didn’t like as much as the rest: the first part of the book – making the case for structured content strategy – felt a bit long to me (although it’s only 30 pages). I’ve been sold on the idea for some time now, so this is probably why I couldn’t wait to get to the newest part. But, I understand this section is targeted to people who might need more convincing.
1 big take-away from the book
The part on content modeling was the big take-away for me. With this book, I learned why it is important to structure content, but also how to do it through a proper analysis and by defining content types and content elements that make sense for my audience needs, my goals and my content.
Sara provides you with a clear road map and walk you through – every step of the way – which I really liked. For the Higher Ed Experts web redesigned project implemented last Fall, it led to the creation of several content types (courses, testimonials, faculty and institutions) that are called upon throughout the website depending on the audience needs. When your content is properly structured, it can be more powerful and flexible at the same time. So, this is definitely a great foundation for the future.
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Sara Wachter-Boettcher will be one of the presenters in the Higher Ed Responsive Websites Summit, a three-day online event scheduled for April 23-25 and presented by Karine’s HigherEdExperts.com. Sara will present on April 25 on the topic “Analyzing Content, Empowering Authors: The Prerequisites for Responsive Design.” Karine also recently published an interview with her on the College Web Editor blog.