We can learn a lot from the web’s predecessors: print publications. It seems that a lot more thought goes into something that is printed and permanent than many websites. Of course, that’s part of the beauty of the web – it can change infinitely. But the basic concept shouldn’t change. Amazon hasn’t changed a whole lot since went online 13 years ago. Sure it’s added and changed features and content and services, but the design and architecture has basically stayed the same. A lot of thought went into the development of the site and business model and so it works.
As I refer back to some resources I first read when I got into the "web business" 10 years ago, I find that many of the problems that existed then still exist. Sure, they might be found in different ways, but somehow the same mistakes keeping getting repeated.
Who is your website for? The answer to this question can predict your website’s ability to achieve its goals. If your answer is "for our organization" then you can count on not earning many new customers, members or clients via your website. On the other hand, if you answered "for our customers" then you have already taken a step in the right direction.
I recently read a couple articles and corresponding discussions on content strategy in A List Apart. It was refreshing to finally have something to call what I do: Content Strategy.
When I meet someone and we discuss the usual "what do you do" inevitably I have to explain that while I work on websites I do not design them nor to I create them, I work on the content and all the strategy behind the scenes to make the website work well. Too many times I also have to remind people that I am not a "computer person" – I use my computer to do work just like just about everybody else who works in an office. That doesn’t make me an expert on what happens inside the computer or on the network it accesses to connect to the Internet. In short, I am a web editor.