Gerry McGovern // Books

Content Critical

Authors: 
Gerry McGovern, Rob Norton
Publisher: 
Financial Times Prentice Hall
Publication Date: 
July, 2001

"The term "bible" is now highly over-used in reference to tech books – but if it weren't, that's how I would categorize Content Critical."
Rowan Wilson, Knowledge Management Review

"Content Critical is the best non-technical book on the subject of web content that I have come across to date … It may well become the standard text."
Andy Harrison, Content Management Focus magazine

Content Critical will change the way you think about the World Wide Web. It is built upon a simple but profound insight: The Web is a medium for publishing content. 

The Internet was invented as a communications medium and the Web was invented as a publishing solution for content. If part of your job involves writing original content, whether that be a technical paper for a product, or a marketing pitch for that product, you’re part of a publishing process. 

If you find that you’re spending increasing time reading in order to help you do your job better, you’re directly affected by publishing. The modern world runs on content. We’re either publishers or consumers of it. Mostly, we’re both. 

Think of your website as a publication and it all begins to make a lot of sense. Think of the person who visits your website as a reader and your objectives become clearer. Because the Web is not all that different from all those other communication tools: print, phone, fax. 

Yes, there are differences. Yes, Web publishing has different dynamics and rules than, say, print publishing. But the core objective is still the same: to communicate with other people. 

Content Critical explains both the theory and practice of the Web as a publishing medium, drawing from the best and most applicable offline publishing practices, and from the best practices of web publishing today. It provides in-depth information about reader and website analysis, cost-benefit models, and content creation, editing and publishing processes. 

It includes highly detailed, practical advice about what it takes to build a professional, content-oriented website, including classification, navigation, search and content layout. It will show you how to organize your publishing team and how to create a Web publishing strategy. 

If you work for an organization and part of your job is to write for that organization you should read this book. If part of your job is to edit the written work of others and then publish that work on an intranet or Internet website, then you should read this book. 

If your job is to help your organization create, edit and publish Web content more efficiently, then you should read this book. If you do any of the above you’re involved in publishing whether you know it or not, and Content Critical will help you do your job more effectively.