How do you recognize a content guy?

Every organization that creates and publishes content needs a content guy. I'm not talking about publications like newspapers or magazines but rather the rest of us that publish as an integral part of our businesses.

That's also true for projects that are strategic and complex. Gathering, processing and communicating information are content intensive tasks.

While there are no sure fire ways to tell if you're dealing with a someone with a content orientation, here are some tips to spotting them in the wild whether he or she is a consultant or a colleague.

First, he probably speaks in sentences and, if you've seen any of his writing, you can tell he can write. Not only can he write, but he writes quickly and in a variety of formats.

Second, he uses an HTML editor for pretty much every kind of text required. Oh he'll deliver a Word document but it will be the HTML version and pasted into the file from an HTML one.

Third, he fusses about web standards in writing (HTML and CSS), browsers, code, accessibility, usability and so on. Does it validate, he asks.

Fourth, he spends a fair bit of time on organizing and structuring content whether it's in a large SharePoint deployment with many sites or a new WordPress blog for a professional. He starts with a topical categorization scheme that rapidly evolves with the content and later adds tagging for key terms because, as a general rule, that works best.

Fifth, SEO is an integral part of the process. It's one of the keys to bring people to your content. Traffic is the result of good content developed with finability in mind. It's in the page title, filename, headings and other so-called micro-content. Rather than graft it on afterwards, a content guy builds it in as you go for a more effective and less costly result.

Yes, I'm a content guy