As I explained in an earlier post, I’m aiming to create a diagram that will attempt to map the different paths we have taken to reach the field of content strategy. So if you belong to this burgeoning collective of web content professionals then this survey (and I) would greatly benefit from your input. May it mark the start of your long-term participation in this fanciful experiment.Read more
As a final flourish to my last post, in which I shone a little light on the process I followed to create ‘Partners for the content strategist’, I whimsically floated the idea of getting the wider online content community (I’m sure there’s a better term than that) involved in the conception and development of a similar diagram. On reflection, I realised this wasn’t such a bad idea at all.
Often, what moves me to pick up a pen and doodle is the need to solve a problem using pictures, or its to help stimulate my brain to reveal unrealised and surprising connections and relationships, often between people and tasks. The trouble is, I’m all too aware that the finished diagrams only offer a single viewpoint – that of my own. I think I’d be interested to see now what we can conjure up together as a community. I know the end result will be all the richer as a result of your input.Read more
Because my diagrams are almost always born out of a desire to solve a problem or align certain things in my own mind I’m more than aware that a diagram such as ‘Partners for the content strategist’ is unlikely to sit comfortably with everyone. So, to help you understand why I came to certain conclusions and shed a little light on my process, I thought I’d show you my workings out.Read more
When every facet, subset, and silo is boiled down the task of understanding how an organisation can be effective with their content is, in essence, what content strategy is all about: everything we do is driven and measured by it.
Working out why and how an organisation’s content needs to change cannot be achieved without three key considerations: the status and potential of the content itself, the platform that supports its delivery, and the people involved in its creation. The potentially dizzying amount of skills and responsibilities this requires means the content strategist must seek out all the available knowledge within an organisation, capture it, and use it effectively. Clear communication, a respect for each other’s skills and time, and a shared common goal can help forge the working partnerships that make such changes possible.Read more
Not only do bureaucrats have to contend with being widely regarded as life’s great water-carriers and spoilers, they frequently find themselves being used as a collective political punchbag — one which everyone, regardless of their political leaning, is invited to take a free swing at. The problem, I believe, is this modern toxic image that bureaucracy conjures up in our minds: one of dull, overly-fastidious drones stifling genuine and blindingly obvious progress, safe within the confines of their ivory towers of power. But wait: wasn’t it bureaucracy and systems of government at their most pure and infantile that helped elevate human civilisation from the laborious rigours of jabbing one another with sharp sticks and trading nothing more than furrow-browed stares? No, not really, but looking back through history we can confidently point to bureaucracy as one of the chief reasons how one empire could outlast another by centuries.Read more
The same way you cannot just overthrow an old system of government and traditions without first looking at how many of those traditions defined their people and kept them in check, you shouldn’t be in such a huge rush to disregard and haul out that rotten, slow, and one-dimensional CMS without finding out the reasons why, from the people that use it day in day out, how it came to be so.Read more
As we prepare to bid farewell to the decade’s cautious first attempt at defining itself I thought I’d repeat what I did 12 months previous and present an assortment of my favourite articles and blog entries of the past year; each just as fresh as the day they were published. Enjoy.Read more
How, in this modern world of furious digital content production and management, can we encourage and harness this inherent drive to create and analyse? You can’t go far wrong by bringing a sense of order and perpetual motion to proceedings. Following a continuous process of analysis, preparation, creation, and governance offers us an ideal way of producing consistently lean, user-focused, and bottom-line-affecting content for the web.Read more
Last week the online interaction design magazine Johnny Holland searched the far ends of the earth (and down the back of the sofa) to enlist the services of four leading content strategists (and me) to help them dedicate a week’s worth of articles to this emerging-but-really-quite-old-all-the-same discipline. Here’s a recap.Read more
We all have a tendency to discard and dismiss things just because they’re seen as old and failing.
I’ve always greatly admired those with the skills, patience, and devotion required to restore objects to their once-glorious state. Take that rickety old chair left by your Great Aunt with tears in its cushions, blemishes on its veneer, and a woodworm-ridden leg that suggests to anyone who approaches with the intentions of sitting down that they risk ending up in crumpled heap. If only someone would be prepared to source the correct materials, discard anything that was beyond repair, and apply their knowledge of the materials, tools, and age to produce replacement pieces that match anything produced in its heyday.
In short: that there chair can be saved.Read more