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Web Design – Is Content Still King?

At this point, you may have figured out, creating and hosting a website is not just about the setup. There requires something of interest for the readers (your viewers) to return back to you. Regardless if your site provides information on the latest news, your personal hobbies, links to other cool stuff, the audience is looking for good content.

 

What is Content?

Content can be defined as “the substance or material dealt with in a speech, literary work, etc., as distinct from its form or style:”

I like Wikipedia’s definition:

In publishing, art, and communication, content is the information and experience(s) directed towards an end-user or audience.[1] Content is “something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing or any of various arts”.[2] Content can be delivered via many different media including the Internet, television, audio CDs, books, magazines, and live events, such as conferences and stage performances.

Everyone conveys or expresses differently. You may be writing on the same subject in your webpage, but how you write it, defines your content, over another. One of the main goals in hosting a website, is to provide content to the reader (audience). This can be expressed through videos, podcasts, articles, or a cumulation of all. The point is, you will need to keep providing content on a consistent basis, to keep your audience engaged on your site. Basically, you want them to keep coming back to you for more information on the given topic your providing.

My Content Versus Others

We already commented on what content is, and hinted your uniqueness in providing the content. You will be providing information that exist elsewhere. However, you will stand out, by communicating that information in your own words and style.

Let’s compare two gaming websites, that provide a review on the same game. [http://www.ign.com/games/reviews and http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/ ]

In both sites, the review covers the game, “Batman: The Telltale Series — Episode 2: Children of Arkham Review”.

Upon clicking the review link, you can see each site has very different formats to provide their content.

batmanreviewgamespot

GameSpot jumps right into the review. It provides a video of the gameplay, with the common links. Notice the review is also at the forefront, where the audience can jump right into reading the review.

batmanreviewign

 

In contrast, IGN provides their rating, with links to each section of the review.  Two separate methods in providing the content.

batmanreviewign2

I had to do two clicks to see the write up in IGN versus Gamespot one click.

 

Which one is more appropriate? That depends on the audience. Each of the audience members will prefer one over the other.

The point is, when you create your content, you will need to find:

  • The best format to give your audience what they are looking for.
    • This is your website design, theme, and how you setup internal and external links to other sources.
  • Provide your own unique way to write, and distribute your content.
    • This will take time, and getting feedback from your audience.

Copy Cat and Copy Right

You will also need to decide if your website’s content will be

  • A) your site is used as a hub for information
    • Meaning to provide links and references to other material
    • Your audience would come to your site as a one stop view from across the internet
  • B) your site is providing information from you, in your own voice
    • Your creating your own articles and posts

I have seen both methods used. The decision will be how your wising to engage in your audience, and the purpose of your website. If you choose a then you can create scripts to automatically pull in other websites articles. If you use b, then you will be spending time in creating your own content.

What you will need to keep in mind, regardless of which method, is to give credit to the information being provided. This would mean to create a “source” link to the original article your pulling your work from, or “mention” where you pulled the information from.

If you copy and paste the exact information, then treat it like a quote.

At the end of the day, in my opinion, the information is the same, only regurgitated in a different format.

Conclusion

If you think about it, this same classes.mattcole.us site is being filled up by unique content. You can probably find this same information elsewhere online. However, I am pulling specific information and compiling it, by using my own method and voice.

You will be doing the same thing on your website. You will be researching the information you wish to present to your audience, and give it to them in your own unique way.

 

Above is a good review of Content. While this is an add, it does provide you examples I have mentioned above.


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