Repurposing Content in an iPhone App

Animated Knots
Animated Knots © Grog LLC
“Repurposing content” has been a buzzword in technical documentation for at least 10 years, maybe more. Anne Gentile, the author of Just Write Click, one of the best technical writing blogs out there is, recently wrote a great blog post called “Repurposing and Reinventing Content“. In the post she talks about an Austin, TX-based family that operates a website called Animated Knots created an iPhone App to show how to tie knots. Anne also mentions an article in The Statesman, a local Austin newspaper, about the Grogono family. Speaking as someone who flunked out of Boy Scouts and has been challenged on more than one occasion in securing a harness for rock climbing, I read both articles with enthusiasm.

However, what was of most interest to me as a technical communicator were Anne’s observations about the family’s success, specifically that the App was persona-based and had tremendous visual appeal. While some of these lessons aren’t directly applicable to technical documentation, there are lessons to be learned and applied. I, for one, enjoyed reading.