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Published on September 28th, 2011 | by Rahel Bailie

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Content that RAITES

Once upon a time,  pre-internet, that the measure of good content was the four Cs: clear, correct , concise, and complete. In the information age, content has developed a geeky side, and the more we expect of content, the more geeky it has become. We want custom views and personalization, mobile views and mobile app views. We want e-book and tablet views. We want interactivity, and we want it not just multi-channel, but cross-channel as well.

Perhaps it sounds like the editorial side is not as important, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s the combination of the editorial and technical sides that makes content work. In my current work, we coined the acronym RAITES as a way of remembering the qualities that content should have to be considered web-worthy:

  • Relevant.  To the point. No blah blah about best in market, world-class, robust. Tell the readers what they want to know, right away.
  • Accurate. Be right, of course. Also Be sure that this particular piece of information is what the user expects to see in this particular place.
  • Informative. Tell readers as much as they need to know to fulfill their need. Not too much, but not too little, either.
  • Timely. Publish the content at the appropriate time; that means giving readers enough time to act on it. Then put the content on a review timetable to be checked periodically.
  • Engaging. Make readers care. Give readers a call to action. Avoid boring.
  • Standards-based. The content has to be structured and shaped in a way that it is able to integrate, converge, syndicate, meet accessibility standards, and be mobile-optimized.

 

Tall order? Not really. What separates professional writers from the “doing this off the side of my desk” staff who happen to write as part of their “real” work is the ability to create content that RAITES.


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About the Author

Rahel Anne Bailie is a synthesizer of content strategy, requirements analysis, information architecture, and content management to increase the ROI of content. She has consulted for clients in a range of industries, and on several continents, whose aim is to better leverage their content as business assets. Founder of Intentional Design, she is now the Chief Knowledge Officer of London-based Scroll. She is a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, she has worked in the content business for over two decades. She is co-author of Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits, and co-editor of The Language of Content Strategy, and is working on her third content strategy book,



2 Responses to Content that RAITES

  1. Pingback: Sunday Roundup « Anabelle's Blog

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