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 🙂


Notice anything different about this site? Christmas came early this year, when Christian moved my site domain to, installed an updated version of WordPress, and migrated my content into it. I then spent the weekend trying things out and putting in the tags and categories you see on the right. What do you think? Can you find what you want? Do you find it more inviting? In short, is the site more useable?

Continue reading Useable

Pretty in blue

I was pretty blue a couple of weeks ago when my trusty laptop gave out on me – leaving me without equipment at a very bad time, just as I am getting ready to teach my first seminar for Management Circle. So I’ve decided to invest in a MacBook. I’m so happy that I feel like the headless wonder. I hope can figure everything out quickly. My dad had the first Macintosh, and he would be so pleased. Continue reading Pretty in blue

Green Time

Red TIME magazine came in green last week. It’s a “Special Environmental Issue”, and the effect of the cover in complemetary green is visually striking. Kudos to TIME Art Director Arthur Hochstein. This is only the second edition ever to depart from the iconic red border (a black rimmed edition followed September 11th), so TIME is making quite a statement here. Unfortunately, the title is “How to Win the War On Global Warming”, and Bryan Walsh’s title story builds on this martial imagery. Is this the only approach we can take to a real challenge? On the other hand, I appreciate the creative impulse to break the mold of ecology being “soft”. That’s edgy, and it’s telling it like it is. Continue reading Green Time