Leading and Thriving in a Content-Rich World

EBSTC September Program Recap

Leading and Thriving in a Content-Rich World

In our September program, Eeshita Grover (Technical Communications Senior Manager, Cisco Systems), shared her perspective on how technical writers of today can prove to be the most valuable asset for a business. Here are a few highlights from the meeting:

In a content rich world, technical writers are a rich resource of skills that have not been tapped into. Can they evolve into any of the more popular job roles like content strategists, curators, Search engine optimization (SEO) experts, and more?

Technical writers are product SMEs and content organizers with a role in SEO, linguistics, digital content, CM systems, content curation, editing and illustration. Change will not come if we wait for another person or another time.

  • Content strategists can make objective calls on all content usage, not just technical communications. We can say “Wait, why are we doing this again?” We can be good as user advocates and govern consistent messaging in all places that content is used.
  • Content marketers write and manage “customer journeys” in the revenue stream. For example, how does Apple track vendor content regarding its products? Metadata makes it possible.
  • Content curation is an activity, not a job, but it is part of content governance, cultural aspects and relationship building for specific users. Collaborative authoring (Wiki), which is newly emerging at Cisco, will be used once products are mature post release.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) is used to get Google and other crawlers to serve content to consumers.
  • User Experience design is big with companies that are dependent on end users. For example, Uber or Facebook. As technical writers, we already develop wireframes and personas and use design tools.
  • Information architecture is another area where we need to be flexible. Information architects must be tactful and willing to adjust the rules for the content creators.
  • Video learning is growing. Cisco customers appreciate the video content on how to set up a server or use a new user interface.

For more information, see Eeshita’s presentation, Leading and Thriving in a Content-Rich World.