On Tuesday, November 6th, UNT's Department of Technical Communication welcomed Val Swisher, CEO and founder of Content Rules and author of Global Content Strategy: A Primer, to speak about strategies for creating effective global content.
Getting to Know Val Swisher
Swisher describes herself an expert in "helping companies lower their content development and translation costs, improving the quality of their content in all languages, and getting their content to market more quickly."
According to her biography on the Content Rules website: Val Swisher leads our team of content experts and has predicted a number of important content trends. She runs the content strategy, global-content strategy, and content-optimization service lines for the company. Val has more than two decades of experience and is a well-known expert on global readiness, intelligent content, and Acrolinx software.
Founding Content Rules
Content Rules provides some of the world's largest and most innovative companies with a way to set global-content strategy, optimize content, and develop effective content. Since its founding in 1994, Content Rules has acquired over 250 clients and completed more than 5,000 projects.
The company is also an exclusive licensee of The Rockley Strategic Method, an international content-strategy consultancy known for developing omnichannel-content strategies and digital-publishing solutions. Swisher provided several examples from the company's work with GoPro. Other examples of Content Rules' services appear to the left in Our Services.
Creating Global-Ready Content
She spoke about "global-ready content" ― easy-to-read content that is optimized for translation. Swisher explained that writing content that is global-ready is cheaper, more effective, and easier to translate than other content.
She explained to the attendees that implementing global-ready content can improve content structure anywhere using any tool. Swisher also suggested that technical writers should adhere to the following six guidelines to create global-ready content:
Write shorter sentences.
Use as few words as possible.
Say the same thing the same way every time.
Avoid idioms, jargon, and cliches.
Manage terminology for consistency and readability.
Use correct grammar.
Observing the Status Quo and Future of the Translation Industry
She spoke about the issues that affecting many companies without a global-content strategy. Many companies fail to realize how much translation needs are growing and lack a strategy to implement them.
Preparing For Success in the Industry
Swisher also noted major changes on the horizon for the translation industry and added that technical writers can prepare them themselves for the translation industry in four ways:
Learn about content structure and how to write in a structured environment.
Learn to code.
Be as technical as possible.
Interested in learning more? Check out the website for Content Rules for more information on global-ready content and Val Swisher.