A new approach to training web editors

In Content Strategy for Mobile, Karen McGrane says we should “use going mobile as a lens to make all our content better regardless of platform.”

This is what we’re doing at Newcastle through our Go Mobile programme. The project has two main aims:

  1. to make our external website mobile friendly
  2. to improve our web content

As part of the editorial team it’s the second aim I’m principally engaged in. Although they’re clearly intrinsically linked. Our greatest step forward with this is a brand new training programme for web editors.

In the past we’ve focused on writing for the web. With this revamped package we’re looking at all aspects of managing a website, including:

  • creating a site purpose
  • prioritising content to support the site purpose
  • the content lifecycle
  • evaluating site performance
The content lifecycle: analyse, plan, create, publish, maintain

The content lifecycle

For the first two of these we utilised a couple of exercises we heard about at Confab Europe:

For the latter we covered how to:

  • analyse existing content using audits and readability checkers, like Clarity Grader
  • plan content using calendars
  • write better web content
  • use quality assurance tools, like SiteImprove, to keep content consistent and accurate
  • use Google Analytics to evaluate site performance

It€™s taken our team a significant amount of time to develop this practical workshop. Delivering it for the first time at the beginning of May was nerve-wracking and exhilarating.

We’re asking a lot of our editors. Essentially we’re asking them to think in a whole new way about how they mange their sites. We’ve got a good mix of theory and exercises to support it. This worked well for the participants – it was clear to see that the exercises helped them to translate the theory into practice and relate it to their own site.

Delivering training is one aspect of my life as a librarian that I really miss. So I€™m excited to be back in the training game with an offering like this. And I can€™t wait to run the next session.