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Oh, so simple. Oh, so complicated. Oh, so absolutely worthwhile....
on June 17, 2008
Gerry McGovern's "Killer Web Content" *seems* to be a primer about writing "killer content." And it is. He talks about simple ideas (e.g., "killer, not filler," or, on the Net, "in self-service mode, people go on gut instinct") in simple sentences, with lots of words in red so you get the idea. Then you put those ideas all together and think about them. And *then* you start looking at websites created from the grad school universe by professionals, all too often FOR PROFESSIONALS, that leave you - us - Everyman - frustrated or even amused (and that is not the intent). Ah, the epiphany: you realize that too many people are getting paid too much money when they have no idea how to talk to us: the folks who are surfing at 2AM in hotel rooms, trying to learn something for tomorrow's presentation to the Executive Committee. Obviously McGovern has practiced medicine: you listen to the patient, and the patient will tell you what the problem is. You listen to the customer, and the customer will tell you what she needs to hear. You listen to your children, etc.
Of course, the devil is in the details. Would that there were a standard operating procedure to ferret out the words that each of us wants to hear. Then we could fire Sales and Marketing - all they do is get us folks in Technology and Operations into trouble, right? Nope, says McGovern, you have to talk to people, relate to them, listen to them, hear what they say, abstract the content, try it out on your site. Each word is a hypothesis: true or false. Does it work? Does it bring people? You measure, you re-frame, you redesign, you re-relate. Surely it must be easier than this! All Jeff Bezos did is slap some stuff onto a website, and look at him! Right? McGovern just smiles, probably lifts a Guinness - he hints at his pleasure in Ireland - and, secure in the knowledge that you'll reread his book, just goes on about his business, writing and consulting.
Oh, it seems so simple. Oh, it's not really that complicated. Oh, it is so, so worthwhile. Read the book carefully.
David Block MD, PhD
Editor & Publisher, "The RoadeWarrior: every consultant's ezine"