Author: Karl Montevirgen

Karl Montevirgen is a strategist and writer with extensive experience in the financial industry and the arts. A forward thinker, he integrates his skills in content creation, business strategy, competitive intelligence, and experimental art practices to explore and develop new ways of creating and thinking about content. He holds an MA in Critical Studies/Writing and Composition from the California Institute of the Arts.

Making Effective Communication a Priority in Humanitarian Relief Efforts

A follow-up to “Content and Crisis: Translators Without Borders,” this interview introduces Aimee Ansari, Translators Without Borders’ newly appointed executive director. Merging Perspectives Translators Without Borders’ (TWB) capacity to deliver timely and professional-grade content translations across multiple language groups makes it a significant force in the deployment of humanitarian services. But the success of its operation rests on the quality and depth of its collaborative integration with other functionally diverse humanitarian agencies. In order to provide assistance during times of crisis, TWB must establish strong working partnerships with various organizations, all of which have different specializations, geographical interests, and organizational...

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10 Lessons Learned from the SEC Plain English Handbook

“Investors need to read and understand disclosure documents to benefit fully from the protections offered by our federal securities laws. Because many investors are neither lawyers, accountants, nor investment bankers, we need to start writing disclosure documents in a language investors can understand: plain English.” In 1996, the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a series of initiatives to simplify the language used in documents intended for the public. As part of a larger federal initiative toward the governmental use of plain language, the SEC’s efforts culminated in the enactment of the 2010 Plain Writing Act. This act...

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Content and Crisis: Translators Without Borders 

By Karl Montevirgen, special to The Content Wrangler When a crisis unfolds, the accuracy and speed of communications take on a heightened role. Language, in the most general sense, becomes something of an accelerant. Its rate of movement overtakes that of the organized deployment of resources and services, multiplying both the containment and distribution of risk with a velocity that is at once exponential and multi-directional. When the flow of communication breaks down, language itself becomes the site of a flashpoint. It spawns yet another crisis atop the initial one. It’s easy to imagine how a communications crisis can...

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The Quick, Easy, Affordable Way to Create a Web Content Inventory

By Karl Montevirgen, special to The Content Wrangler The concept behind the content audit and inventory is fairly simple: it’s about locating and taking account of all your existing content (inventory) and evaluating it to determine what works, what doesn’t, and what changes should be made to improve its overall coherence and presentation (audit). Conducting a web content inventory and audit can also help you determine how well your content supports business and user goals, how well it supports your brand, whether it’s written in the right tone and voice, whether it’s targeted at the right audience. Given the...

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How to Single-Source Your Profile with Gravatar

by Karl Montevirgen, special to The Content Wrangler If you’ve spent time reading content online, you may have noticed that most posts are accompanied by a photo of — or icons representing — the author. Those images are known by many as gravatars: a portmanteau of “globally recognized avatars.” Gravatars are used by both people and businesses to represent their online identity consistently across multiple web properties. is an online service originally dreamed up by software developer and inventor, Tom Preston-Werner. Acquired by Automattic (the makers of WordPress), Gravatar is a free service for those interested in establishing — and efficiently managing — their online presence. It...

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