Once more landing the CS Forum keynote (though only because Karen couldn’t make it), Kristina Halvorson continued the theme from Ida and Ilona’s opening remarks.
While we may focus on the word “content” in the title content strategy, the content itself is almost never at the root of the problem. Consistently, it is the processes behind the content that cause headaches for people. There are many factors that throw a spanner into the smooth creation of quality content. Two of the hardest to solve are: the content-creation balance between subject matter experts and editorial competence; and the confusion of audience needs with our own perception of importance and structure.
Most of the fixes people first try when facing content problems are tactical rather than strategic. The example used here is that was so powerful was of the hungry bear. The bear is hungry, so needs to eat. To eat, his strategy is to go to where the food is (the river). Once in position, his tactic is pretty straightforward: open his mouth and wait for the fish to jump in. Tactics without strategy is a bear sitting in a field, maw agape, complaining the fish aren’t coming to him. Read more of this post
Is your content having an identity crisis? Does it know what it is?
When elements of content become individual entities, separate from the environment in which they are presented (which is the whole point of a CMS, but that’s another story), the need for awareness of these dependencies becomes critical to the “management” part of the CMS.
Most vendors will tell you that their systems are aware of content dependencies: if you create a new page, with an image in it, publishing the page will also publish the image. Hey, the page is aware of what its dependencies are; what more could you want? Read more of this post
Businesses have a problem: there is a disconnect between the people with knowledge, and those in customer-facing roles. Whether the communication is pre- or post-sale, those charged with providing customer interaction are, by and large, operating half-blind. The salesman lives in the sales silo; the customer service rep lives in the service silo; the technician with the answers lives in a dark cellar.
So what? We know our message.
“Marketing departments know the customers, they have product spec-sheets to educate them; they can craft appropriate messages.” “Service centres have customer profiles, case histories, and Q&A filtering methods that allow monkeys to find the right answer; what more does the customer want?” Somehow, this model is still hanging on. Read more of this post
Rick Yagodich asked the question: How do we manage this Context thing, anyway?
He identifies that context has two main purposes:
- to provide a baseline for understanding, the assumptions of meaning
- to make the choices to communicate the appropriate message to the other party, in the best possible way
By focusing on the latter, he identifies a gap in current CMS technology and suggests how we might begin to deal with this problem. It’s an excellent starting point, but I would like to throw the net much wider; I would like to suggest that context is so important that it requires us to rethink the entire enterprise.
We are only at the beginning of the digital age; postulating about the digital future is much like asking a monk (in the Middle Ages) what the impact of the printing press will be on ecclesiastical affairs. Enterprises are faced with a similar question: what does all this mean? What will all this mean?
Ultimately, what Enterprises are dealing with is an explosion in the variety of people, experiences, products, services, geographies, societies, and markets they must cater for simultaneously. Compounding this is the accelerating emergence of new markets and communications channels. Context management is critical, and will only become more-so in determining the success or failure of enterprises online. Read more of this post