What can content   strategists learn fromhistorical fighting manuals?aka How to make your content last for hundreds of year...
In 2012, we went to an      exhibition  Photo: Susan Hayward
There were the manuals of    Alferi, Rapisardi & othersThese books areused today torecreateRenaissance swordfightingby the ...
It also happens in aikido Some aikikoka still use“Budu Renshu”
The purpose of the          manualsA memory aid, not as aself-study guideTo maintain consistentstandardsYou still had to p...
Who wrote them?Students who were skilledin explainingWith the contentapproved by an expert
The audienceFocused on the target (!)audienceFor intermediate andadvanced studentsNot for beginners
They were highly         structuredBecause there arethousands of techniques
How did they optimise     the content?They were written afteryears of studyToday, we can usemediums other thanpaper       ...
How were they          maintained?They weren’t really(but did they get out ofdate?)                           Video: Shimm...
Learning from how the   information was        written  We are Technical Authors after all!
The images can be misinterpreted without text to support them
The importance of     showing movementThey usedarrows &numbered steps
2D images used to      explain a 3D worldLess can be moreChanging perspectivecan be very confusing
Accurate, authoritative,trustworthy informationWe can forgive theirother weaknesses
Did they have a content       strategy?
Did they have a content        strategy?“Content strategy plansfor the creation, deliveryand governance of useful,usable c...
Did they have a content              strategy?                                     They knew what                         ...
Did they have a content       strategy?                Technology limited them                The content was governed    ...
Why has the content         lasted?It’s well writtenThe authority of the contentThe usefulness of the contentThe informati...
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What can content strategists learn from historical fighting manuals?

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A draft lightning talk on content strategy.

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What can content strategists learn from historical fighting manuals?

  1. 1. What can content strategists learn fromhistorical fighting manuals?aka How to make your content last for hundreds of years Ellis Pratt @ellispratt Clear and simple information your users will love © Cherryleaf Ltd 2013
  2. 2. In 2012, we went to an exhibition Photo: Susan Hayward
  3. 3. There were the manuals of Alferi, Rapisardi & othersThese books areused today torecreateRenaissance swordfightingby the School of the Sword & theSussex Sword Academy Image: myarmoury.com
  4. 4. It also happens in aikido Some aikikoka still use“Budu Renshu”
  5. 5. The purpose of the manualsA memory aid, not as aself-study guideTo maintain consistentstandardsYou still had to practise
  6. 6. Who wrote them?Students who were skilledin explainingWith the contentapproved by an expert
  7. 7. The audienceFocused on the target (!)audienceFor intermediate andadvanced studentsNot for beginners
  8. 8. They were highly structuredBecause there arethousands of techniques
  9. 9. How did they optimise the content?They were written afteryears of studyToday, we can usemediums other thanpaper Video:Yoshinkan Aikido
  10. 10. How were they maintained?They weren’t really(but did they get out ofdate?) Video: ShimmerXXXX
  11. 11. Learning from how the information was written We are Technical Authors after all!
  12. 12. The images can be misinterpreted without text to support them
  13. 13. The importance of showing movementThey usedarrows &numbered steps
  14. 14. 2D images used to explain a 3D worldLess can be moreChanging perspectivecan be very confusing
  15. 15. Accurate, authoritative,trustworthy informationWe can forgive theirother weaknesses
  16. 16. Did they have a content strategy?
  17. 17. Did they have a content strategy?“Content strategy plansfor the creation, deliveryand governance of useful,usable content”Kristina Halverson © Brain Traffic 2010
  18. 18. Did they have a content strategy? They knew what the content would do for the readers They knew what theiraudience needed, and why The content was structured, prioritised and organised © Brain Traffic 2010
  19. 19. Did they have a content strategy? Technology limited them The content was governed by experts © Brain Traffic 2010
  20. 20. Why has the content lasted?It’s well writtenThe authority of the contentThe usefulness of the contentThe information design
  21. 21. End

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