Author: Robert Norris

Robert Norris is an accomplished content wrangler who helps organizations improve their knowledge sharing operations by boosting the ROI from their online help websites. A grey-haired technologist, author and content troubleshooter with 20+ years experience in digital library technologies, knowledge management and instructional design, Robert has served corporate, government and academic clients worldwide. After documenting the lessons learned from his impressive career, he is eager to share them with our community.

Your Content Strategy: Is it Feasible?

Editor’s Note: The Content Wrangler is presenting a weekly series of twelve articles that provide useful insights and practical guidance for those who produce customer support websites. Columnist Robert Norris shares how to overcome operational challenges related to harvesting, publishing and maintaining online knowledge bases. His seventh installment focuses on evaluating the feasibility of a new content strategy by engaging those who will do the work to participate in an exercise to surface and tackle real world challenges. Creating an Enterprise Content Strategy: Is it Feasible? Leadership has asked us to evaluate the feasibility of an enterprise content strategy that consolidates our department-centric content development,...

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Devising a Content Strategy to Serve Every Audience

Editor’s Note: The Content Wrangler is presenting a weekly series of twelve articles that provide useful insights and practical guidance for those who produce customer support websites. Columnist Robert Norris shares how to overcome operational challenges related to harvesting, publishing and maintaining online knowledge bases. His sixth installment examines the characteristics of an enterprise content strategy that recognizes that–in addition to marketing to potential customers–we must address the needs of actual customers, staff and partners. strat·e·gy ˈstratəjē/ noun A strategy is a set of guiding principles that, when communicated and adopted in the organization, guides how people should make decisions and allocate resources. A solid strategy provides a...

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Hey! Where’s Our Content?

Editor’s Note: The Content Wrangler is presenting a weekly series of twelve articles that provide useful insights and practical guidance for those who produce customer support websites. Columnist Robert Norris shares how to overcome operational challenges related to harvesting, publishing and maintaining online knowledge bases. His fifth installment alerts us to the pitfalls of a myopic content strategy that focuses almost exclusively on marketing to potential customers to the detriment of actual customers, staff and partners. Let’s imagine that our company is rolling out a new version of a key product or service. The Board and C-level leaders have been privy to the program manager’s...

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(Im)-Proper Care and Feeding of Subject Matter Experts

Editor’s Note: The Content Wrangler is presenting a weekly series of twelve articles that provide useful insights and practical guidance for those who produce customer support websites. Columnist Robert Norris shares how to overcome operational challenges related to harvesting, publishing and maintaining online knowledge bases. His fourth installment examines the fundamental problems causing our topical experts to balk at documenting their knowledge for our self-help websites. We rely upon the knowledge of our subject matter experts (SMEs) to help our customers, staff and partners solve vexing problems and we’ve invested heavily in our online presence to put that knowledge at their fingertips....

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The Curse of Elegance

Editor’s Note: The Content Wrangler is presenting a weekly series of twelve articles that provide useful insights and practical guidance for those who produce online help websites. Columnist Robert Norris shares how to overcome operational challenges related to harvesting, publishing and maintaining online help knowledge bases. His third installment details how we can overcome the paradoxical challenges that surface when we do our best work to craft resources that—due to their elegant design—appear simplistic to our audience and colleagues. When a designer successfully balances function and form to achieve rare beauty we laud the creation as being elegant. In the realms of art,...

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