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CS Applied 2012-03-01

The below notes are the raw transcript of what I took down at Content Strategy Forum 2012, on 1 March 2012. These notes are not a verbatim transcript of what was said; they will often include my own inferences, extending the initial idea.

Opening Keynote

Scott Abel – @scottabelThe Content Wrangler

  • Content strategists manage the cost of value.
  • Everything has to track back to things you can measure – it’s the mathematics of cost.
  • Saving money is good. Making money is even better.
  • Book: Managing Enterprise Content: A unified content strategy by Ann Rockley
  • If you built it (and put it on the web) they won’t necessarily come.
  • If your publishing technology separates content from presentation, you can deliver to new platforms easily.
  • If your customers contribute to your content, they will give you the keywords they use to look for that content.
  • Authoring – content contribution – needs the user to NOT need to understand the underlying complexity/technology.
  • Link your content to the contributor, to usage, and to the revenue flow from it.
  • Machine translation is #GIGO – garbage in, garbage out. It’s the content that’s the problem, not the technology.
  • Think differently. You may be surprised by what you come up with.
  • Only about 10% of any audience that self-selects actively contributes; this makes interaction difficult to measure.

Content as a strategic tool

Case study – Content Strategy 101 stream
Maureen McDonagh –

  • Inspiration for fashion comes not from celebrities, but friends and family.
  • “Popularity” may matter for new users, but it needs to be user-customisable, evolve into personal preferences.
  • Done well, a buy-in loop is powerful. Benefits enhance the value of repeat transactions.
  • Users are happier to share their personal data if they are aware they are getting something real in response.
  • Reward points can make people less price-sensitive.
  • Reward points are valued more – by the customers – than the money they are really worth.

Content in a social world

Case study – Social media and mobile stream
Bian Salins – @b1an – BT

  • Social is one of those thing that counts, but is very difficult to count.
  • Communication is not broadcast; it’s dialogue. Two-way.
  • Social – it’s not a separate channel. Integrate or die.
  • Social – remember the old adage: two ears, one mouth. Listen more then you talk.
  • Strategy should not be defined in-house. Strategy should be driven by the target audience.
  • Social is not one realm; every network is different. Each has a different theme to its messaging.
  • The story: what do you want to tell? Where do you want to tell it? Most importantly, WHY do you want to tell it?
  • Who owns social? Who cares. Who are the people responsible for maintaining the social connections?
  • Content, conversations, rewards have far more weight than direct marketing messages.
  • Social content is resource-hungry. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
  • You can’t know who your social audience is by assumption.
  • You want social media success? Two key ingredients: transparency and honest.

The cornerstone of a content strategy

Workshop – Technical content stream
Rahel Bailie – @rahelabIntentional Design

  • People have jobs to populate web sites, but few have the duty to manage the content.
  • Businesses work in silos, but people – even those in the environment – do not think by department.
  • It’s not technology. It’s not about content. It’s about business transformation.
  • A content inventory has value relative to the amount of data it includes about each element.
  • Weight your content on its real value in the context of your particular site.
  • You’ve never had any complaints? Do you make it easy for them to complain?
  • What do your images do? Decorate or explain?
  • Analyse content with an editor’s eye, if you want to know what it is really like; how it all holds together.
  • What is your Users’ Mental Model? Communicate that way.
  • Empower people to self-service. Don’t make them suffer because your manual processes aren’t up to scratch.
  • Your content does not fit in a silo based on your department. Your content belongs where it is relevant to the user’s mental model.
  • Governance? We don’t do governance. But we do web operations procedures. (Same thing, better-accepted name.)
  • A web migration project is not lift-and-shift. You need to know processes: to keep; unused; new ones needed.
  • Goals – objectives – activity – supporting content.
  • When triaging old content, which activity/objective/goal does it support?
  • “We want to educate” is a bad objective. We want to educate, but the end only wants to do, not be educated.
  • Does your timeline have a meta-timeline?
  • Design your content to be broken up so it can be delivered into your pages/channels.
  • An agenda is not a content type – it is a genre. The issues are the items on the agenda. Issues become decisions after time.

Content strategy in a multi-device world

Panel discussion: Diana Railton (DR) – @dianarailton, Elizabeth McGuane (EM) – @emcguane, Cleve Gibbon (CG) – @cleveg, Lindy Roux (LR) – @lindroux

  • (DR) Many users do not distinguish between desktop and mobile as far as what they can do on your site.
  • (LR) Responsive design is how we should always have been designing digital: adaptive to the delivery channel.
  • (CG) Responsive design is not technology. It is platform agnostic content, platform agnostic UX.
  • (LR) Responsive design depends on content-centric design.
  • (DR) Maybe we should be looking at multimedia publishing more for mobile than chunks of text.

See also

2 responses to “CS Applied 2012-03-01

  1. Pingback: Content Strategy Applied 2012 in review « Think Info

  2. Pingback: Content Strategy Applied 2012 – a roundup of reviews, notes and presentations | Firehead

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