1. I like the scope of this article and I think it is well written. If I may, I would like to comment the ‘only migrate good content’ strategy, as follows:

    While this is an simple and obvious strategy, I find it is often one of the most demanding strategies when it comes to stakeholder management. The term ‘good’ content is very often a subjective term among different stakeholders and a clear definition of what ‘good content’ actually is, in my opinion, is of utmost importance and eventually becomes one of the migration project’s critical success criteria. My company specializes in performing Content Audits for commercial websites and we find it is often a good idea to use the analogy of a lens or filter to communicate how content should be migrated. The concept of a ‘migration lens’ is easy to grasp among all stakeholders with the key principle being that the lens facilitates the focusing and cleansing of content – where all existing content (good and bad) goes in one end and only good content comes out the other end. Also, a similar analogy can be applied to other elements of a website’s information architecture such as structure and navigation.

    We have received great buy-in from client stakeholders using the above analogy and I am curious if you experience similar struggles with the definition of ‘good’ content?

    Best regards.

    Declan Goodman

  2. James Robertson

    Hi Declan, I like your analogy!

    I agree that it’s vital to build a shared understanding of what is “good content” (and what isn’t!), and to make sure that this is realistic within time and resource constraints.

    Migration projects will also invariably run out of time, so it’s also important to focus efforts on the most important content, rather than trying to “boil the ocean”.

    Thanks for the input,

  3. Hana

    This was a very well written article. I’ve done several major redesigns and I agree with all your points.

    I do think that there is a large grey area when it comes to how thorough the spring cleaning can be; especially when you have a strict deadline and limited resources.

    Additionally, content owners likely 1) are not under your management 2) have main duties more high priority to them than weeding Web pages and have limited time.

    My thoughts are that you should identify a set of content as critical, and make sure those are reviewed before the relaunch. Everything else can be reviewed and updated on the content owner’s timeline. Start lean and add content as needed.

    Another useful tool to have is Web statistics that tell you which of your pages are popular. What your customer is looking for and what the content owners think are important are often quite different.

    Thanks for putting up this nicely done analyis.

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Published July 21, 2008

James Robertson
James Robertson is the Managing Director of Step Two, the global thought leaders on intranets, headquartered in Sydney, Australia. James is the author of the best-selling books Essential intranets, Designing intranets and What every intranet team should know. He has keynoted conferences around the globe. (Follow him on Twitter)

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