10 enero 2015

Every time one creates a MS Word document, a kitten is killed

Do not get me wrong, I love kittens.

Sixty or seventy years ago, people were using typewriters to put together documents, contracts, books, essays... The writing up process was totally and obviously offline, therefore the document had to be self-contained.

Then, the computer came up, first as a complex calculator and later as an office tool, replacing the typewriters. Word processors enhanced the authoring experience. Process to write was made easier but the approach remained the same, self-contained documents.

At present, we live in an online and connected world. Creating your own online blog will take you five minutes. In the enterprise environment, intranet tools also provide easy and inexpensive ways to publish online content.

Getting to the point, we should and must change the way we create content.

Most of the times, having a self-contained piece of content is no longer needed. You can offer the reader to follow a link and complete the information somewhere else. We can use the principle

write on what you know best and link to the rest”.

Let us make our content available online, showing only what makes it relevant and add links to the additional or background information.

Let us keep our content simple, clear and easy to read and understand.

Most of the MS Word documents (and similar guys) are exactly the opposite.