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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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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Ending 18 years of self-exile from the stage

I’d long considered public speaking to be a domain other people inhabited. That was, however, until the beginning of this year when I drew up a longlist of things that would take me out of my comfort zone, only to find that speaking in public occupied no less than three items.

I waited until the very last hour before making my submission for CS Forum 2011 before gasping in an equal measure of delight and horror weeks later upon seeing my name and mugshot amongst some of our industry’s most celebrated pracitioners. My mind rapidly turned to the question of how I was going to close an 18-year speaking gap between a school production and an international conference.

So imagine my relief when the chance arose to deliver a 5-minute lightning talk at the inaugural London Content Strategy Meetup event “Wrapping up Confab, unwrapping CS Forum”. I now had an excellent opportunity to put myself through the ordeal of speaking and see how I react under the pressure.

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A content strategy survey fit for a king

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.

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A little taste of Paris

For those of us unable to reach Paris last month for the Content Strategy Forum and rub shoulders with a room full of people who think about web content more than is considered healthy, STC France have kindly published videos of all the presentations in the plenary hall, including the keynotes by Kristina Halvorson and Rahel Bailie. So make yourself comfortable, grab a notebook and pen, and pour yourself a glass or two of wine (preferably French). It’s just like being there.

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