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Turkey, Technology and The Future of Thanksgiving

It's a few days before Thanksgiving and meal planning is well underway. Recipes are being selected. Ingredients are being checked and double-checked. Pots, pans, and utensils are being itemized. We are getting ready. Timing for what can be prepared in advance, what...

Five Reasons Why Customer Experience Must Be Exceptional

Years ago, when I started in the business world, we weren't focused on customer "experience". We were focused on creating accurate, well-written content. We were focused on creating marketing content that triggered an action from the potential customer - perhaps a...

Plain English, Wikipedia, and Medicine

Sometimes, you have to look beyond your immediate surroundings and apply your knowledge to help humanity. At least, that's how I feel. I've been in the content industry for almost 30 years. I've spent most of my life working with fabulous, exciting high-tech...

Why We (Really) Need Plain English

This morning, I was taking a nice walk in the neighborhood. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a sign: Oh no!! A Mitigated Negative Declaration! Wow, that sounds terrible! I wonder what the heck that is? It certainly caught my attention with that big bold title. I...

Your Technical Content is Sales Content

As technical writers, we usually think that we are creating content for post-sales applications. For example, installation guides or reference guides. These are things that people use after they've bought the product. Or are they? For years, we have been watching the...

CSA Releases Top 100 Language Service Providers

Today, Common Sense Advisory, Inc. (CSA) released its survey results for "The Top 100 Language Service Providers: 2016." We'd like to congratulate all of the companies who made the list, particularly our partners. In addition to releasing the names of the top 100, CSA...

Care and Feeding of Conditional Text in Translation

As content developers, rarely do we consider the effects of the way we structure content on the translation process. I had a really interesting conversation about conditional text this week with two people who are translation experts. Just saying the words,...

Translation Memory – Content, Context and Cost

By far, translation memory (TM) was one of the most revolutionary inventions in the world of computer aided translation. Think about the beauty of it. As a translator works on content, the source and target segments (called a translation unit) are stored in a...

Three (Surprising) Reasons for Poor Quality Translations

Usually, when someone tells you that your translations are poor, the first tendency is to blame the translators. Blaming the people doing the work might make sense. However, in my experience, the cause of poor translation is often not the person trying their best to...

Terminology is (Still) Just Like Laundry

This post was originally published three years ago, today. It remains one of the most popular posts on the Content Rules blog. So here it is again for you. Just as important today as it was in 2013. I get a great feeling of satisfaction when all of my laundry is done....

Five Reasons You Need a Multilingual Content Quality Audit

You need a multilingual content quality audit. Yes. You. You do. If you translate (and, really, who doesn't translate nowadays?), it is almost certainly time to evaluate the quality of your translations. How can you tell? Here are five reasons that you might need to...

Three Best Practices for Creating Global-Ready Video

  Lots of companies are creating videos these days. It is so easy to do and a moving picture is definitely worth at least 100,000 words. Lots of companies are also translating their content these days. Into lots of languages. Video translation poses a unique set...

Musings on 22 Years of Content

This week, I was minding my own business when, all of a sudden, I started getting "congratulations" messages from LinkedIn. At first, I couldn't figure out what was going on. Then I checked. Gee, Content Rules is turning 22 in just a few days! How on earth did that...

The Many Sweet Flavors of Content Taxonomy

Have you noticed that, as humans, we have an innate need to organize stuff? I don't know about you, but I have far less anxiety when things have a classification - A place for everything and everything in its place. As I've discussed elsewhere, this type of...

How to Communicate with a Hearing Impaired Person

  I published this post about a month ago on Medium and LinkedIn Pulse. At the time, I didn't think it was "appropriate" for the Content Rules blog. However, the response that I received about this article was truly overwhelming. So many people have told me what...

Where Personas Fall Short for Global Content Development

Uh-oh, you created content personas? It’s nearly standard practice to create personas these days in marketing. It makes sense to do this – but many companies simply don’t go far enough. How applicable are your personas really? Have you really considered your full...