I've been thinking a lot about attention span lately. Since the advent of Twitter, we've been told that our audience is no longer capable of maintaining interest in what we have to say if it's more than 140 characters long. Then Vine appeared on the scene with 6-second videos, and panic nearly ensued. Meanwhile, though, millions of Americans sat down on their couches to binge watch entire seasons of Orange Is the New Black. Clearly, the public at large is perfectly capable of paying attention when it wants to. So what are we to conclude from this information? The problem isn't your audience's attention span--it's your content.
Posted Dec 17, 2014
I LIKE ORDER. I LIKE PREDICTABILITY AND CONSISTENCY. I like anything neatly, efficiently, and intuitively classified, labeled, stored, and accessed. I like data, metrics, and maps. I like clear connections. I like patterns. I also like to be pleasantly surprised. I like it when helpful information crosses my path right when I need it most. I like when buying is easy. I like to believe in things. I like to trust things. And I especially like falling so hard for a brand that researching loads of other choices in that category becomes completely unnecessary.
Posted Dec 15, 2014
Onix Networking Corp. announced a new product offering called Equidox. It was developed to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and other government Acts around the world. These Acts dictate that government and industry make websites accessible to visually impaired users.
Posted Dec 04, 2014
These words--"It's quite simple. We are using Bayesian probability theory to solve oncology disease states using genetic immunotherapy."--began a recent presentation for a biotech startup. I was instantly confused. Flunking Algebra I and Algebra II had not prepared me for the potent blend of math and science that followed. I'm not a mathematician or scientist, but I do consider myself well-read and intelligent enough to grasp new concepts in a short amount of time. But the combination of new information and unfamiliar descriptions were flying over my head at a steady clip.
Posted Dec 02, 2014
XTM International, a provider of translation management systems (TMS) XTM, has announced that the DITAworks content management system (CMS) will be integrated into XTM version 8.8. This integration is aimed at achieving the goal of saving time when managing the translation process. The joint solution integrates the translation process and provides control for documentation managers to track the translation status from within DITAworks in real time.
Posted Dec 01, 2014
Quark Software Inc. announced the availability of Quark AuthorTM, new web-based software that allows business users and subject matter experts to create structured content within a word processor-like environment that keeps XML behind the scenes. With Quark Author, writers can create and organize content in components using standard content types such as sections, paragraphs, lists, tables, charts and figures. When created as structured components - or Smart Content - content can be dynamically assembled for output across mobile, digital, and print channels.
Posted Nov 25, 2014
Smartling announced that its translation software platform now includes custom workflows, functionality that enables large enterprises and fast-growing companies to easily manage complex translation processes in-house. The Smartling platform helps companies fully capitalize on today's global opportunities by streamlining translation and localization processes for multilingual web, mobile, and business document content.
Posted Nov 25, 2014
I get a lot of emails from public relations professionals hoping to get my attention. More often than not, I cannot use the pitches I receive. And, increasingly, I am baffled by the emails I get. It's clear that many of these people either have no idea who I am and what EContent covers, or they're just "spraying and praying." Either way, there is pretty much no excuse for this. The truth is, though, that this is the way many content professionals are still doing their jobs. Despite all the analytics capabilities available to us, we're still just going with our gut, relying on the pitches that come into our inboxes, and generally winging it.
Posted Nov 25, 2014
Let's assume you have an English-language, web-based business, including downloadable documents. To expand, you have to reach out to non-English-speaking customers. You must translate and transform your content for non-English speakers. When you get into the details, you realize this is complicated: Numbers may need different formatting, print and web layouts will likely need to be adjusted, cultural differences can be a mine field, specialized technical terms require deep expertise, and myriad other issues. You quickly realize that localization is a lot of work, and you may have to repeat it for each target language or culture.
Posted Nov 18, 2014
Incomedia, a company specializing in the development of website creation software, has announced the launch of WebAnimator. With WebAnimator you can create animations to add to your websites and online stores, without using Flash. You don't need to learn to use HTML code and you don't need to be an experienced animator.
Posted Nov 13, 2014
Cloudwords announced integration with Sitecore, a provider of customer experience management solutions, to deliver an automated solution for marketers to optimize the globalization of content to deliver highly relevant, personalized, and localized digital experiences to engage multilingual audiences, grow global market share, and drive international revenue. Cloudwords for Sitecore delivers workflow automation benefits designed to speed and simplify the localization of digital assets so world-ready content can be created and delivered in less time.
Posted Nov 11, 2014
If you just can't get enough of making PowerPoint presentations, you will be excited to know that the full version of Microsoft Office has come to iPhones. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps have been available on iPad since earlier this year, but just came to iPhone last week.
Posted Nov 11, 2014
Thousands of years have done very little to change the design of the ax. A list of commoditized tools would have the ax right at the top. But, somehow, a small company in New York has managed a rebirth of this simple hand tool. And the difference has had everything to do with the storytelling and lifestyle. You can buy a $40 ax at your local home improvement store or you can pay $350 for the Lincoln from Best Made Co. Both axes will chop firewood, but that's where the similarities end. The Lincoln is backed by stories about quality, made in the U.S.A., and a campfire surrounded by friends sipping whiskey and swapping tales. With a simple approach of honest storytelling, an ax has been transformed. A commodity has become something unique.
Posted Nov 04, 2014
OneReview, a new feature of the Cloudwords Marketing Globalization Platform, launched for marketers, their translation agencies, and in-house reviewers looking to accelerate translation processes, improve translation quality, and speed up international marketing initiatives. OneReview puts managers, reviewers, and translation providers on the same page, improving workflow, collaboration, and efficiency at one of the most challenging stages of the translation process. Now, with a centralized cloud-based review platform, all collaborators involved in the translation review process can standardize and optimize reviews across all content channels and agencies.
Posted Oct 28, 2014
Readers can now visit Kindle Scout, Amazon's new reader-powered publishing program, to preview excerpts from unreleased books, help decide which will get published and receive free books. Rumors about this program have been circulating for weeks.
Posted Oct 27, 2014
Content marketers are tasked with delivering clear, concise, and relevant content to the right prospect at the right time--content designed to convert prospects into customers. And, for the most part, marketers have absolutely no idea how to do this.
Posted Oct 21, 2014
One of the challenges inherent in presenting large quantities of content is the great disparity in how users like to consume it-not to the mention the expanding list of content types. While you may not be able to please all of your users all of the time, there are some rules and trends that can help you create navigable, engaging, and beautiful apps that help spread your content to the mobile masses.
Posted Oct 20, 2014
Squarespace, an all-in-one web publishing and e-commerce platform, has announced Squarespace 7. The new platform features a redesigned interface, simplified site editing controls, a cover page builder, integration with Getty Images with access to tens of millions of premium creative and editorial images, integration with Google Apps for Work, 15 new category-specific templates, and more.
Posted Oct 09, 2014
For much of history, the primary obstacle preventing people from connecting with one another was distance. But in the mobile, social, always-on world in which we live today, distance is no longer the major challenge. Instead, our biggest challenge is the lack of a common language. It's the inability to understand one another that prevents us from making meaningful connections. Isn't there an app for that? Yes, there is. Machine translation (MT) hails from the discipline of computational linguistics and aims to help humans who speak different languages communicate with one another. And while MT is not actually an "app," many app makers are attempting to harness the power of automated translation by building MT into their products and services. But there are challenges.
Posted Oct 08, 2014
Any organization with an interest in disseminating its content to a global audience needs to familiarize itself with the basics of machine translation. At a time when the globalization of commerce is yesterday's news, the number of companies with the capacity for international ecommerce has grown considerably. Machine translation is not necessarily reserved for the titans of industry, as many translation service providers are beginning to offer more scalable services to assist even small companies with translation projects.
Posted Oct 06, 2014
GetSiteControl provides a set of six most popular types of website widgets-- Survey, Subscribe, Promo, Contact, Follow and Share--that are now fully responsive and are managed from a single control panel. Owners of responsive websites who choose to install GetSiteControl widgets can now stop worrying about how these third-party elements will look on mobile devices of their website visitors.
Posted Oct 02, 2014
My favorite part of any do-it-yourself show is the demolition. "Get all your aggression out," the bubbly host proclaims just before the token newlywed fumbles with the sledgehammer. I'm not alone because every one of these shows dedicates a segment to displaying a plume of dust. After all, you can't appreciate the shiny new kitchen if you don't show the studs and decaying wallpaper first. Why don't we extend the same logic to the new content we create on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis?
Posted Sep 16, 2014
Amazon announced KDP Kids, designed to help children's book authors prepare, publish, and promote both illustrated and chapter books in Kindle Stores worldwide. Children's book authors can use the new Kindle Kids' Book Creator tool to create illustrated children's books that take advantage of Kindle features like text pop-ups. Once the book is ready, authors can upload it to KDP, and use KDP's category, age and grade range filters to help millions of Amazon customers choose the right books for their kids.
Posted Sep 04, 2014
Although there is some debate about just how many freelancers there are in the U.S., everyone agrees that the number is rising. Writers, graphic designers, photographers, videographers, and other professionals are choosing to work for themselves even as the demand for creative content increases. Meanwhile, brands, non-profits, and small businesses need content for online platforms and other communication channels. The "freelance economy" is creating a new problem: How do organizations that need content find the professionals to create it?
Posted Aug 20, 2014
ProQuest Flow, a cloud-based research management solution, has released an add-on to operate with Google Docs. The add-on expands the collaborative writing capabilities of Google Docs by integrating the document management tools of Flow during the authoring phase of research. Researchers can find, share, and annotate documents in the cloud, then author as a team in a common virtual workspace, supported by automated citations and bibliographies. The free add-on is available in the Google Add-on Store.
Posted Aug 19, 2014