A good long while before Sitepoint, another web dev forum gave a writing forum a go. What happened was they got pretty much what you would expect: An Auxilary SEO forum.
Because clients write. Web devs don’t. And the only exception is – you guess correctly – the SEO firm.
And, despite every protestation to the contrary, SEOs generally don’t write. Text is cloaking for keyword spam with SEO.
This really wasn’t as apparent until the lone member posting articles about writing stopped posting them. (You don’t have to guess who that was).
First point. Nobody seems to have a problem with it over there. And if there is no problem it is not going to change. If the writing section in a Web Dev forum is holding up a mirror web development would rather not look into, it will not change.
What follows is for people who want change.
First, the easy part. Distinguish a writing section as for everything not related to SEO writing, right in the forum description. Put a link or suggestion to go to the SEO section for SEO writing. Move SEO topics to the SEO forum, of course.
That still doesn’t get you anything but a section nobody will contribute to, at the very best. The problem is not that they don’t know you over at Fortin’s forum. (It has changed hands a few times since then) The problem is this section had been discussed there …and none (zero) people from there came over here to post.
Because Clients write. Web devs don’t. And copywriters can put in their own keywords. What they won’t come out and say: Writing has nothing to do with web development. And web development will have nothing to do with writing. (That’s the gist of the “who writes content? …clients won’t give me content” threads here.)
Copywriters don’t deal with web developers. Copywriters can’t deal with web developers.
There is a whole issue about why, but it boils down to precious few web devs being savvy about content driven design. Or being hostile to it once they get a taste of it.
Web devs literally do not know how to develop the sites which are a copwriter’s bread and butter. (the very structure differs) And quite a few consider that a badge of honor. What’s more, everything copywriters tell them goes against almost everything you’re talking about here as “good design.”
That is okay. Web development doesn’t do well with white papers, About Us pages, catalog merchandising, blog writing (writing not installing), content managment or a slew of human factors either. Writers know this. And they don’t come here.
Copy. Financial. Political. Journalism. White papers. Ploggers (not a mispelling). Poets. Creative. Screenwriters. Technical. Instructional/training. Survey writers. …And about several dozen others. Why? Because none consider themselves greneric, sup par, content writers …only web devs consider them all content writers.
Which is pretty darned funny when you consider what the purpose for a web site was supposed to be.
Web dev is a silo; a monoculture. It’s not supposed to be. It really shouldn’t be to turn out anything even halfway good. But there are a whole range of techniques for bridging the silo and encouraging diversity.
[SIZE=“3”]I’ll tell you what. You tell me if any of this is a problem you want to solve, and I’ll tell you a little about what you can try.
Explain why it’s a problem. Because if it’s not a problem, solutions don’t count.[/SIZE] (Should that be a new or unfamiliar concept, we’ll add that to the list of problems)