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Content Audits and Inventories: A Handbook Paperback – September 12, 2014
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Content audits and inventories are critical parts of a content strategy project and often not adequately planned for or resourced. Also, people often see an inventory or audit as a one-time project that occurs prior to a major digital experience overhaul (design of a new website). But organizations can and should look at audits as something to build into their content planning and development processes. Without knowing the assets you have to work with (or continually assessing how well that content performs), and without grounding your project in an understanding of your users and your business goals, you start at a disadvantage.
This handbook lays out, step by step, how to get started with planning and scoping an inventory and audit, including how to establish goals and set the business context, then presents the various tactics you can apply to audit content across all your publication channels. The book also discusses how to extract the insights that inform your ultimate strategy and how to present the results to stakeholders. There is even a section of sample deliverables and a list of additional resources. All in all, a lot of information packed into this small, easy-to-digest handbook. I only recommend books that I feel are value-add. This book is definitely value-add.
Paula Land's "Content Inventories and Audits" is different. Her book focuses on how an inventory and an audit complement each other. It also emphasizes inventories and audits as ongoing activities that drive your content strategy and enable you to monitor how well your content is serving your audience.
Best of all, the appendix includes templates for all of the artifacts you need to move from discovery to maintenance and governance. I highly recommend this great book.
This is THE book on how to collect and analyze digital content for any kind of mobile, tablet, or web project where the best (and sometimes only) way to achieve success is to capture, understand, and parse every single page or component of content.
From concept to process to completeness, Land addresses it and explains how to squeeze statistics as well as useful insights from your content in a clear, clean, straightforward manner that anyone can pick up and start using.
If you're new to content strategy, content management you must read this book right now. If you've been a content strategist for a while, you can read it this weekend.