Stop fighting the container

This great Google+ post by Evo Terra, a digital publishing strategy pro, really nails it. With so many publishing channels, it’s easier than ever to get your content in front of (more) people. But your content has to be better if it is going to be successful in different formats.

Directors spend millions on sound production… and you watch the movie on your phone.

You agonize over the right animation in your presentation… and your client prints the deck.

A designer identifies the perfect font to match the tone of the book… and the ebook reader offers it up in Times New Roman. With a sepia tone background. At 32-point.

Stop fighting the container. Focus on the content.

My college audio recording professor often advised us that the best way to check the mix of a song was to leave the studio, with its expensive high-end gear, and pop a cassette into a car tape deck (yeah, we still used cassettes back then). All the finest recording techniques wouldn’t matter much if the song sounded bad in a Toyota hatchback. The same is true for your content, whether it’s technical documentation, marketing messaging, or any other sort of story. Focus on the content first; worry about the container(s) later.