on November 17, 2009
A very prescriptive and structured approached to writing content for the web. Those seeking to learn new practices may be disappointed as the majority of the book is focused on tools like audits and content inventory that would likely not be of much interest to a copy-writer. Halvorson makes a case for the emerging practice of content strategy specialists as a discipline separate from design and development, of which she is undoubtedly a pioneer.
The key advice seems to be that less text is better, and Halvorson rightly identifies the problem of content bloat. One could easily argue that this, and many of the other suggestions in the book, may be common sense for anyone who builds or develops web sites. The book though is very accessible and perhaps perfect for those who don't build web sites for a living - but are responsible for its content. That however may limit its appeal to middle management and enterprise organizations. Targeting this audience may have been by design since larger organizations are the most likely to see the value in hiring a web content specialist firm like the one Halvorson leads. This book an excellent source to point to when justifying billable hours.
This book is a left brained approach to content that creative types may find tiring to sift through. It is an absolute treasure for anyone who enjoys reading organizational manuals or business strategy papers. To its credit the author outlines at the start that readers should expect this experience.
If you have a content problem this book may help you understand it, but isn't likely to be a very good guide to actually solving it.