Content

The Content Corner: GIF? Meme? Embeds? Oh, My!

Apr 25, 2016 |

You probably have heard this before, or may even hear it all the time, “Content is King.” What that means is, that in today’s fast moving digital communications age, with social media as the driver—organizations (agencies) must have a content plan to stay relevant. Sure, not every agency has the resources, or frankly is as Read »

Microsites, They’re Bigger Than You Think

Apr 21, 2016 |

Lately, we have been hearing a lot about microsites—CDC’s Zika Virus microsite provides up-to-date information on the virus—but the big question is: What are they? A microsite is a single or small collections of pages that are meant to encourage user interaction while conveying information. A microsite has the power to educate consumers regarding a Read »

The Content Corner: Branches—Stick to the Vine

Apr 18, 2016 |

A branch that does not stick to its source of nutrition will wither away and die. Just ask anyone who has received a bouquet of beautiful flowers about how long they really last. In the same way, as communicators we must stay connected to our audience, or we risk the chance of fading away into Read »

The USAGov Bilingual Style Guide Is Now Online!

Apr 14, 2016 |

About a year and a half ago, the Federal Citizen Information Center—today called USAGov—embarked on a very ambitious task: integrating our content operations. We blurred lines that defined silos and adopted a bilingual content approach to offer a more consistent experience, regardless of language preference or point of access to our information. See more about Read »

Law Library of Congress Implements Solution for Link and Reference Rot

Apr 13, 2016 |

Last fall, the Law Library of Congress implemented an external archiving solution for the problem of link and reference rot in its legal research reports. “Link rot” and “reference rot” (a.k.a. “content drift”) are the terms used to describe, respectively, the problem of non-working Web addresses and Web addresses that work but link to modified Read »

Worth a Thousand Words? Announcing Ready-to-Go Interactive Graphics with BLS News Releases

Apr 12, 2016 |

Last spring I wrote about how we’ve been using more and better charts and maps to help you understand our statistics. Today I’m excited to tell you about a new set of graphical tools to make our news releases more illuminating at the moment of their posting. Read »

The Content Corner: Will You Read This Entire Post?

Apr 11, 2016 |

Deep down we’ve always known that people only read a small portion of any content shared online. In many ways that can’t be fixed but there are ways to help people read more or at least scan better. There was a book I loved as a child that featured the Sesame Street character Grover, titled Read »

Transcreation: Why Do We Need It?

Apr 8, 2016 |

Transcreation is a relatively new term that blends the words translation and creation. In a nutshell, transcreation involves taking a concept in one language and completely recreating it in another language. A successfully transcreated message (either written or visual) evokes the same emotions and carries the same implications in the target language as it does Read »

The Content Corner: Code is a Tool, Content is the Solution

Mar 28, 2016 |

It seems of late that the focus on coding and technology within the federal space has become out of balance with that of good, solid content. As I believe I have said before with regard to user experience, great technology with poor content is still worthless. Amazing code that delivers poorly written or designed content Read »

How to Integrate the Draft U.S. Web Design Standards into Existing Projects

Mar 25, 2016 | , ,

One of the most common questions we receive is: Should I integrate the Draft U.S. Web Design Standards into my existing project? The answer is: it depends. A lot of design research supports the notion that many people who use government websites or services may benefit from consistency across interactions, user experiences, and behavior across Read »

The Content Corner: Social Media Metrics and the Challenge of Effective Measurement

Mar 21, 2016 |

I’ve recently been required to focus more attention on social media from a federal agency standpoint and this has directly led to a greater consideration of content. One of my first steps was to begin sharing various forms of content and gauge the success of each type. In today’s post, I’ll share what I have Read »

Making the Draft U.S. Web Design Standards Better Through Your Feedback

Mar 16, 2016 | ,

Since our launch of the Draft U.S. Web Design Standards last September, hundreds of people have provided feedback on the project through GitHub issues and via email. We’ve received dozens of feature requests as well as over 400 contributions from the open source community. Read »

The Content Corner: Feeding the Beast with Agile Content Development

Mar 14, 2016 |

I feel as though I have ignored the beast in the room lately, and since I began my tenure on The Content Corner introducing that concept, I felt I needed to wrestle with it one last time before I depart. Previously, I discussed the concept of pair writing. Today I want to investigate how another software Read »

Quizzes: The Secret Weapon of the World’s Best Content Creators

Mar 8, 2016 |

Online quizzes have rapidly risen to the front of the social media revolution. “In 2014, 8 out of 10 of the most shared articles on the Web were quizzes,” states Owen Fuller of content company Movement Ventures. Content creators leverage quizzes to successfully drive customer engagement and increase customer website conversions (to take action such Read »

The Content Corner: How Google Judges Your Content

Mar 7, 2016 |

Every week my main goal is to usually provide new ways to help you feed the content beast. However, today I am going to remind you of why feeding the beast is important, especially when it comes to your search engine rankings and helping users find your content. I’ve discussed key search engine optimization (SEO) Read »