2012 in articles and blog entries

Apologies if you’ve only joined me under this canopy to shelter from the deluge of year/end of year rundowns, reviews, and lists, but I have something of a tradition to maintain. For the fourth year running I’ve chosen a selection of articles and blog entries penned over the last twelve months which have had the most impact on me personally and professionally.

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The evolving system

While I’d consider myself a keen and committed dismantler and occasional repairer, I’m no natural builder of things. What I mean is that I often lack the skills and knowledge to build something beyond prefabrication. But I believe the assembly of a prefabricated system that works as intended is a more creative operation than pulling something to pieces. While the latter schooled me in the art of classification and labelling the former taught me an even greater lesson: that it’s not the separate component parts that matter, but the evolving system as a whole.

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Content strategy’s well-trodden paths

Back in the spring, when I first sowed the seeds of this open project, I had no idea how things would play out. I really shouldn’t have been so worried.

Let me begin by extending a huge and sincere thanks to everyone who played their part in this, particularly those who responded to the survey, encouraged others to do so, and remained patient as I worked out what to do with the results, and to the attendees of CS Forum 2011 who offered such kind words following my sole destroying (you had to be there) attempt to squeeze the last six months into 20 minutes. I can’t deny it’s been fun.

Though the finished diagram is by no means perfect, I can say with a measure of confidence that not only are these the six commonest paths today’s practising content strategists have taken to reach the discipline, but that they demonstrate the extent of our varied skills and approaches. It only serves to emphasise how much we need to continue sharing a little of what we’ve picked up along the way.

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Content strategy survey results: part 5

Despite failing to dangle a carrot of any real significance, a fair number of you kindly responded to my survey of web content professionals earlier this year. I’ve since prodded the resulting spreadsheet a number of times with a stick to see what moved, before detailing my findings in a series of posts. So far, I’ve revealed who and where we all are, where we work and where our talents lie, which tasks we’re more likely to take on and how closely we believe our educational backgrounds have impacted on our careers. Now, in what marks the final post of this series, I reveal what we were up to in our careers five and ten years ago and the extent to which we believe these points in time have impacted on our work today.

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Content strategy survey results: part 4

Earlier this year, I managed to coax a few of you web content professionals into responding to a survey. Since then, in a series of staggered posts, I’ve used the results from that survey to reveal a little more about who and where we all are, where we work and where our talents lie and which tasks we’re more likely to take on. Now, we’re going to find out about our educational backgrounds, and in particular how closely we believe it impacts on the work we do today.

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And so it begins (on Monday)

Now that most of the survey results are in and the calender’s been cleared for the next week or so, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be to begin work on the final diagram of this open project from next week. So I’d like to take this moment to formally invite you all to join me as I attempt to map the different paths we’ve taken to reach content strategy’s lush green fields of hope and potential. That’s the plan, anyway.

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