You have no control over your content

Paul Boag

Do you really know how users are seeing your content? Are they consuming it via your website as one would expect? There is a good chance they are not.

For the longest time I have been a fan of the Econsultancy blog. However, until relatively recently, I rarely visited their website.

This is because the reading experience on their site sucks. The font is small, there is little white space and the interface is full of clutter. Instead (like many of the sites I read) I viewed Econsultancy either through Reeder, Pocket or Evernote Clearly.

Econsultancy viewed in Evernote Clearly
Like many sites, this is how I normally view Econsultancy

When I started writing for them, I had to visit the site in order to answer comments etc. It was then I discovered how much I had been missing. I didn’t realise half of the things that Econsultancy offered, because all I ever saw were the posts themselves.

This got me thinking. Surely I was not alone.

In fact I was not. A growing number of people are using services that represent content to make it more readable, remove ads or bring it together in one location.

The more I thought about it, the more I realised this has major ramifications on how we create content and design websites. How many of your readers are not seeing your calls to action, clicking on ads or knowing much at all about your offering, because they never actually see your website as you intended?

I began to mull over how this problem could be addressed. As I saw it there were two lines of attack. First, improve the readability of our sites. Second, adapt our content so that it works better no matter the context.

It seemed only appropriate that I explored these ideas further on the site that inspired the thinking. Check out my post at

Read about the changing nature of content