A few years ago, the number of books that taught editorial strategy and content planning for the web could be counted on one hand—and many of those focused only on writing and style, or on content-as-marketing-tactic. This winter, the full weight of our mini-industry’s labors has hit the bookshelf, and the shelf is on the verge of collapsing in happiness. Read more ⇒
The last six months have been dizzying, in mostly good ways: invigorating conferences, really fun projects, badass new friends and collaborators. A lot of travel, too. I’m home for awhile, though, and it’s time to take stock and make a couple of announcements. Read more ⇒
I wrote The Elements of Content Strategy because as the internet worms its way further and further into our lives, digital content becomes centrally important to the ways in which we live and work. And it follows that content strategy—the practice of planning for, designing, and managing content—is also getting closer to the center of both web projects and entire organizations. Read more ⇒
A few weeks ago, while in the throes of manuscript editing, I wrote a quick post about what I was doing that week. I did so to help demystify content strategy to people who want to know, as the NYC CS Meetup group would have it, what content strategists do all day.
In the post, I mentioned something I’d made for a client project: a diagram that traces the mental path we want to encourage a particular group of site visitors to take. Not specific interactions, pages or tools, but a process of gradual engagement with ideas, eventually leading to the decision to act. I’d never made this particular thing before, and I’d never seen anything quite like it elsewhere. Read more ⇒
In real life, content strategy falls somewhere between traditional editorial leadership, communication strategy, and information management, all of which have their own distinct connotations. It’s easy for discussions of terminology to float off into abstraction, so instead of talking about “content strategy” or what “a content strategist” does, I’m going to say what this content strategist does. Read more ⇒
Yes, content strategy is a real thing that real clients and employers really need. But beyond that, we’re in the infancy of a ubiquitous internet—one fully integrated into our lives and environments. The publishing world has been bitten by a radioactive wombat, and we don’t know if journalism’s going to die or mutate into something speedy and awesome. Our brains are changing in ways we don’t understand. Content work matters—yes, now more than ever—and as this thing spins faster, we’re going to need every advantage we can find. Read more ⇒
In the previous posts in this series, we’ve looked at “curation” in two ways: as a term for the filtering and mosaic-style storytelling bloggers and other web writers do by collecting links, and as a way of thinking about long-term content stewardship. Read more ⇒
As I publish a short series of posts on content curation this week, it’s occurred to me that there are a few core assumptions I’d like to clarify in something like an addendum to the credo on my about page.
- Content strategy is as obviously important in web development projects as UI design or project management. Someone must deal with content, and anyone who believes otherwise is unlikely to produce good websites.
- The modern practice of content strategy arises from a number of venerable professions and takes its core principles from editorial, analytical, curatorial, marketing, and managerial work. This doesn’t mean that it “is” any of those things.
- In particular, content strategy is not a subset of marketing. Marketing is one application of content strategy.
- Many marketing people are brilliant, ethical, and very good at their jobs. Some are not, and their influence can be very destructive. The former group should not be held responsible for the actions of the latter, but we should not be expected to pretend that the latter does not exist. (All these statements apply to many other professions, but marketing’s the one I’m focusing on in recent and upcoming posts.)
If you follow the discussion about content strategy and new-school publishing, you’ve probably seen at least a piece of the “content curation” tussle that’s been heating up on the web. Here’s the 30-second version… Read more ⇒
Once again, the old story about people not reading on the web is getting attention. As Dean Allen wrote ten years ago, it goes like this: Users don’t read Users only scan Users haven’t got No attention span I hate to get vulgar when it’s not even Friday yet, but this is bullshit. Even in […]