IT and content

It’s very interesting working as an intermediary between the low-tech EFL teaching and writing world and the high-tech IT world. Very different things are important to the people working on either side of that great divide, and they have little understanding or patience with the concerns of the other side. I think the people in IT have a harder time, because if something doesn’t work, well, it doesn’t work, and everyone can see that. No place to hide. It’s showtime 24/7. At first glance, writers have a lot more leeway: The difference between a well-written and a badly written text or test/poll is diffuse and the effect can’t be registered immediately.

But that’s just level 1. Because the effect of good or bad work only emerges over time, and that’s true for the technical and the content side of things. IT can work well enough, but can still be really lousy, because it limits thinking or doesn’t allow the intuitive approach to structure most producers of content need. And going from “functional” to “facilitating” is a real challenge. Likewise, producing content to really use the possibilities IT provides, thinking about the “web life” of content and how people will be using it in the greater context of things requires writers to really refine their output … and start talking to IT!

I can’t wait to see the site I’ve been involved in go live and to watch how it’s used and think about how we can improve it :-)

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

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