Monday, 30 April 2018

How-to: Understand Microsoft XPS format



XPS format is Microsoft's proprietary alternative to PDF. It was introduced in (eek!) Windows Vista, and appears in every version of Windows since. Until recent Office versions supported exports to PDF, Windows itself continued to provide better support for XPS format than PDF.

So what is it and do you want to use it?

Saturday, 28 April 2018

How-to: Be SMART in Content Development



The November 1981 issue of Management Review contained a paper by George T. Doran called There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management's goals and objectives. While Doran's method isn't new and was intended for corporate management, it can be applied to content development on the web.

Why does it matter? If you're marketing and/or selling content via the web, the only way to deliver is to be committed, consistent, reliable and professional.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

How-to: Practical Content Development in two (easy) pieces - Part II


The second component in our content development tool set is a content template for each content item - a post, a thread, a message, an image, a video - everything you identified as a content item in your plan.

Start with where it will be published (site, platform or channel), the title and the meaningful synopsis of the content. Add the publication date you just set in your editorial schedule.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

How-to: Practical Content Development in two (easy) pieces - Part I


Having identified the need for a content development plan, the next question is how to build one that can practically be delivered to ensure quality content actually appears on your website.

The method I've found to work consists of two components: a content publishing schedule or calendar, and a content template-come-checklist. Years of building and working with content management systems and marketing folk proves this works.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

How-to: Content Development Plan (Re-post)


It's one of those cases of deja-post; did I imagine posting this about three years ago, or I did I actually post it and now can't find it. Or the draft. Or the backup. Or the site I posted to.

Since I'm trying to persuade a client of the need for a content development plan, let's assume this is new to everyone...

Friday, 20 April 2018

Opinion: Back to Reality


Another deja-post that I drafted when I quit my last full-time (two-and-a-half jobs) employment. What can change in three years? More than you think. Less than you expect.

How does one part-time, 2.5 days a week job turn into 2.5 full-time jobs? When you start with two incompatible full-time job descriptions mashed together. Then your only member of staff leaves and the new bod goes on extended sick leave.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Microsites, minisites and weblets, part VI


When micro isn't micro any more

What is a Microsite? If you don't like the long and less than helpful Wikipedia definition, then the key characteristics of a micro-site compared to corporate websites could be summarised as:

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Microsites, minisites and weblets, part V


The downside of micro-sites

Despite the stated benefits, the more micro-sites you add, the more drawbacks emerge.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Microsites, minisites and weblets, part IV


Benefits of the micro-site

Based on our list of attributes given in Part I, the micro-site allows you to be specific and narrowly focussed on content or a message;, much narrower than the usual broad spread of your regular activities. But that's not all.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Microsites, minisites and weblets, part III


A word about weblets

So Microsoft uses weblets to describe features on its Enterprise Portal software; that's not what the guys at NASA (below) were talking about.

Picking up on "usually maintained by a single individual or organization and located at a single site" then sites such as or About.me could be considered as hosting platforms for 'weblets'.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Microsites, minisites and weblets, part II


Image: microsites from for and movie Hostiles In Part I we attempted to define microsites, minisites and weblets and got bogged down in the myriad possibilities of what these things may or may not contain. Let's look at some examples instead.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Microsites, minisites and weblets, part I


Image: micro-sites for Research in Practice / For AdultsI'm about to start development of a couple of micro-sites for a a client, reminding me that the last series of micro-sites, commissioned by a government department started with a sprawling monster. The long run of commissions from government and collaborations with universities went much the same way.

The wide-ranging scope and scale of this series of 'micro-sites' raised a number of questions, not least: what exactly is a micro-site?