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July Is Content Strategy Meetup Month!

by Kristina Halvorson

Confab 2012 is over, and man, was it fun. Our speakers were amazing! Our audience was engaging and enthusiastic! Betty Crocker made us cake!

One of the things people seem to love most about Confab is the opportunity to hang out with folks they have so much in common with. More than a few times, people thanked us for providing them with the community they so desperately needed. Content strategy can feel like a lonely battle, and knowing there are others who share similar experiences is both a relief and an inspiration.

London Content Strategy Meetup

London Content Strategy Meetup

Image courtesy of Together London

So, let’s keep the community spirit momentum going. I have a job for you. Yes. You. It’s time to go find your people. It’s time to get your meetup on.

Let’s officially make July “Content Strategy Meetup Month”

Why July? Why not. Did you know …

  • There are 41 Content Strategy (CS) Meetups around the world?
  • There are 2,526 people waiting for CS Meetups in their cities?
  • That CS Meetups aren’t just for “official” content strategists? They’re for anyone who works with content.
  • That content-lovers are generally smart, fun-loving people who are passionate about their craft?
  • That CS Meetups are all kinds of fun?

What are you waiting for?

If you run a CS Meetup …

  1. Hold one in July. Let me know when it is—I’ll tweet about it and list it on a follow-up blog post. And remember: Meetups don’t always require formal programming. Hanging out at a bar, restaurant, park, or seedy bus station also counts.
  2. Try to keep this one free, or at least cheap. If you have to charge something, see if you can let first-timers in for free!
  3. Find a central location. The easier it is for people to attend, the better.
  4. Send out a few reminders. That is, hassle people to show up.
  5. Take a photo at the meetup—we’ll create a Flickr group (watch for details at the end of June via Twitter) to post them on. That way, we can see the CS community in action. Seeing is believing.

If you already belong to a CS Meetup …

  1. Make sure there’s one planned in July. If there isn’t, bug the organizer.
  2. Go. Invite at least one person to join you.
  3. When you attend, be a good host and seek out the newbies. Use your innate charm and razor-like wit to make them feel welcome.

If you haven’t been to a CS Meetup …

Find out if there’s one near you! Here’s how:

Find one? Then go. Take a deep breath, leave your inner introvert at home, and do it. Even better, bring a friend.

London Content Strategy Meetup

Don't be shy. Content people are friendly!

Image courtesy of Together London

If there’s not a CS Meetup near you …

Then it’s time to start one.

Sound intimidating? It’s actually pretty easy. And, once you’ve met for the first time, you can probably find a co-organizer or two to help you plan future meetups.

Just go here and start typing: http://www.meetup.com/create/

Worried whether or not people will come? I’ll give you two reasons not to:

  1. Check out this list of people waiting for Content Strategy Meetups in their cities: http://content-strategy.meetup.com/all/

    Do you see your city? You DO? Excellent. When you start a CS Meetup, those people will automatically receive an email notifying them of said meetup. So, in this case, if you build it, they actually will come.

  2. Remember, I’ll tweet your new meetup info and list it in a follow-up blog post here. Free publicity, FTW.

    (NOTE: There are lots of meetups that list “content strategy” as one of their areas of focus. That’s cool, but you might want to find or start a CS-focused meetup. Just sayin’.)

OK. Let’s get going!

I foresee a fun content strategy party in your near future. Please report back in the comments below. And watch this space for more fun instructions. (Do you like how I call them “instructions” instead of “suggestions”? It’s because I am bossy. It’s part of my charm.)

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Posted in Content Strategy

Confab 2012 Is a Wrap!

by Kristina Halvorson

Confab: The Content Strategy Conference 2012 came to a close yesterday. Once again, it was inspiring and amazing and incredibly fun. Thanks a million to those who joined us.

Confab closing remarks

Kristina and Erik wrap up Confab 2012

Image © Sean Tubridy

Though the conference is over, the memories live on …

Confab is returning to Minneapolis June 3–5, 2013. We sold out nearly five months in advance this year, so you’ll want to get your tickets early! We’ll announce when registration opens later this fall.

Don’t miss out in 2013! Get on the Confab email list.

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Posted in Brain Traffic

Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd Edition Has Launched!

by Kristina Halvorson

This post refers to the Kindle edition. The print edition is unfortunately delayed until March 15. Thanks for your patience.

It’s here! The book you’ve all been waiting for! The fifth installment of the Twilight series!!

No. Not really. But, on a related note … the second edition of Content Strategy for the Web is now available! We hope you’re as excited as we are, or at the very least, somewhat intrigued.

Here is some additional information you might find relevant and/or fascinating.

It’s official: content strategy is a big deal

Things out there in the world of content strategy have changed pretty significantly since the first edition of Content Strategy for the Web was published. What used to be a niche topic discussed by only a few hardcore content nerds has become a worldwide movement in organizations of all shapes and sizes.

As the conversation continues to gain momentum, the field of content strategy is evolving at lightning speed. And so, by necessity, our second edition is a much different book from the first. But don’t worry. All new material has evolved directly from the methodology described in the first edition; all revisions are based on the shared knowledge of the wider content strategy community, and our own experiences at Brain Traffic.

What this book is … and is not

Content Strategy for the Web is an introduction to the practice of content strategy. We wrote it for people who want to understand what content strategy is, why it’s important, and how to go about getting it done.

This book is not The Complete Guide to Everything You Ever Need to Know About Content Strategy, Ever. We hope you find it a valuable reference tool for a long time to come, but don’t mistake it as the only book you’ll ever need. In fact, here are a few specific topics this book intentionally does not cover (at all, or in detail):

  • Content marketing
  • Writing for the Web
  • Content management system (CMS) strategy (software selection, design, and implementation)
  • Translation and localization
  • Personalization and behavioral targeting
  • Social media planning
  • Metadata strategy
  • SEO
  • Reuse and structured content (or “intelligent content”)
  • Single-channel strategy (e.g., mobile)

Since our intent is to provide an introduction to content strategy, we’ve tried to simply synthesize information and frame it up in ways that allow teams to tackle content challenges holistically.

(Note: Our book has a “Resources” section that lists our favorite books on the topics mentioned above. We wouldn’t leave you hanging!)

What’s new in the 2nd edition

As the proud owner of this shiny new edition, here’s what you’ll get:

  • Expanded and refined processes and tools for the research, development, and implementation phases of content strategy
  • Recent case studies examining the impact content strategy has had on a variety of small and large organizations
  • An examination of the ways content-focused disciplines and job roles work together
  • Discussion of the roadblocks you may encounter and how to navigate them
  • Ways the field of content strategy continues to evolve

Is this book just about content strategy for websites?

No. But there’s a method to our madness (this time).

At some point, everyone—everyone—has struggled with content for their website. It’s a pain we all share, something everyone can immediately relate to. So when people hear about a way to fix the content on their website—really fix it—their ears perk up. (Didn't yours?) Now there's a reason to learn about content strategy. And then, once people “get” content strategy for web projects, they’ll inevitably begin to see its applications across platforms and throughout the enterprise. Gotcha.

Content strategy applies to every medium, platform, and device. As evolving technology continues to throw us one curve ball after the next, keeping a handle on our content—no matter where it is and who it’s for—has become more critical than ever.

Perhaps you would care to purchase this book

The second edition of Content Strategy for the Web is now available! Oh, we already said that. If you’d like to acquire a copy (or many, many copies), feel free to visit Amazon.com:

Thank you for your attention, support, and enthusiasm. We sure do think you’re swell.

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Posted in Content Strategy

I Lied: Announcing Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd Edition

by Kristina Halvorson

I never wanted to write Content Strategy for the Web.

Did I want to travel the world speaking at conferences? Did I want to start a larger conversation about a topic near and dear to my heart? Did I want people everywhere to recognize the importance of content and put it at the center of their design and build processes? Well OF COURSE I DID.

But actually writing a book? Too hard. And, frankly, back in 2008, I knew for a fact I wasn’t the best person for the job. At the time, my knowledge of content strategy was fairly narrow—I was a copywriter who backed into the practice by necessity (read: for my own sanity). I could articulate the problem. I could offer some high-level solutions. But I was by no means a full-fledged expert on the topic.

It takes a village

And so, before I even had a publishing contact, I started reaching out to every single person I could find who’d written anything valuable about “content strategy” (which, according to Google, were fewer than twenty people in ten years … and believe me, I harassed them all). Content Strategy for the Web is really the first attempted synthesis of all the insights of these diverse individuals and disciplines, written in the most straightforward, conversational style I could manage. I wanted it to be a book that anyone could pick up and work with almost immediately, the kind of book I wanted in my own library of content resources.

Content Strategy for the Web appears to have struck a chord, and it did what I hoped it would: it kicked off a larger conversation that I can no longer keep up with. This was my vision, and it has become reality. So now is the part where I can ride off into the sunset. Right?

No? Darn.

Two years later … OMG

So, between January 1, 1995 and December 31, 2008 (14 years), there was a sum total of 263,000 mentions of the phrase “content strategy.”

Content strategy results 2005-2008

Since January 1, 2009 (about 1.5 years), there have been 1.66 million.

Content strategy results 2009-2011

This pleases me.

It also obviously means that the conversation is evolving with lightning speed. Thinking about all the great stuff I’m not reading, seeing, or listening to keeps me up at night. So when my editor Michael Nolan approached me (read: kicked my butt) about doing another edition, my knee-jerk response was that it was so dated that it wasn’t worth updating. I mean, I don’t even agree with the title anymore—content strategy is rarely confined to just the Web. For these reasons, I’ve been saying publicly for two years that I would never write a second edition. Also, writing a book is hard.

But. I recognize that the book still acts as a solid introduction to the topic. And as more people step up to the plate to talk and write about their ideas and insights, there’s more information I want to help parse, synthesize, and share with a larger audience. That’s my job, and I love it. And so I said “yes.”

But only on one condition.

Introducing my co-author, Melissa Rach

There was one person without whom Content Strategy for the Web would have been, to be blunt, a hot mess. In my darkest hour (which was basically a few weeks before my all-in deadline), she agreed to put her life on hold to act as my technical editor. As I mention in the book’s acknowledgments, she’s responsible for creating much of the methodology described in Chapters 4-6. She tore apart other chapters, more or less wrote certain sections, and basically helped make the book what it is today.

Melissa is the Vice President of Content Strategy at Brain Traffic. While I’ve been on the road for three years building the case for content strategy, she has been at Brain Traffic leading a team of world-class content strategists to develop and evolve our tools and methodologies.

Now, I consider myself an expert in the core components and key deliverables of content strategy. I love identifying shared content challenges and principles between myriad disciplines. I work every day to help shape a conversation that brings us ever closer together to focus on content as a central business asset. However, and especially now, Melissa is far better suited to write about how to build and sustain a content strategy. So that’s why I’ve asked her to participate as my co-author on this edition.

Getting to the point

And so, we are pleased to announce that Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd Edition will be released in February 2012. You’ll see updated methodologies, more template samples, case studies, and some other good stuff that we’ll announce later. Thanks again to Michael Nolan and the staff at New Riders for giving us the opportunity.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, we’ve got a book to write, which means I have to start procrastinating IMMEDIATELY.

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Posted in Content Strategy

Introducing Content Talks

by Kristina Halvorson

Dear readers, I am delighted to announce the launch of my new podcast, Content Talks.

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When Dan Benjamin asked if I'd be interested in doing a podcast for 5by5, I said, "Absolutely not! I hate talking about content strategy!" OK, no, that's not what I said. I accepted on the spot and immediately put together a long, exciting list of smart, interesting people I hoped to interview in the months to come.

Episode 1: Ann Rockley
For my first episode, I'm thrilled to have Ann Rockley as my guest. Ann is the author of the seminal Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy, the founder and president of The Rockley Group, and founder of the Intelligent Content Conference.

Ann has been talking about "intelligent content" for over a decade, and it's incredibly inspiring to hear how passionate she is about the topic. She's been a personal hero of mine since her book was published in 2002, and I still get a little fangirl-y when I talk to her.

Interviewing is hard
There's one thing I do want to mention, and it's this: being an effective interviewer is a lot more difficult than it may appear. I've been interviewed countless times over the past two years, and I've gotten pretty good at my spiel. But being on the other side of the virtual table … well, it's a whole different story. I want to thank my first few guests for their patience as I find my interviewer's groove.

What do you think?
Give it a listen. Give me your feedback. This podcast is for you, so work with me to make it the podcast you want it to be!

Thanks for listening …

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Posted in Around the Office, Brain Traffic, Content Strategy

Today is a Really, Really Big Day

by Kristina Halvorson

Today, Brain Traffic content strategist Erin Kissane’s book, The Elements of Content Strategy, is finally out.

And it is brilliant.

My foreword to the book is excerpted below with permission from the kind folks at A Book Apart. Congratulations to Jeffrey Zeldman, Jason Santa Maria, and Mandy Brown for having the vision to make Erin’s book the third in their celebrated A Book Apart series (“brief books for people who make websites”).

Most of all, congratulations, Erin. And thank you, thank you for writing this book.

Buy The Elements of Content Strategy
Read an excerpt of the book on A List Apart


 “As you can see, the scourge is upon us, and we must, every one of us, be prepared to fight.” —Erin Kissane, “Attack of the Zombie Copy”

Content is a hairy, complicated beast. There’s stuff to research, sift through, create, curate, correct, schedule—and that’s before we start to think about publishing. What layout makes the most sense for this content? What organization? What metaschema? What platforms? Never mind post-launch plans, or lack of resources, or stakeholder alignment, or, or…yikes. No wonder we want to hide under the bed.

The content beast does not scare Erin Kissane. In fact, for her entire adult life, she’s been quietly taming it with a firm but gentle hand. As part of her hero’s journey, Kissane has collaborated with countless designers, developers, UXers, marketers, editors, and writers on projects of all sizes. This is good news for you: no matter what role you play, she gets what you do and knows why it’s important. And, because she cares, she wants to help you understand how content strategy can help make your life a little easier—and your end products a little more awesome.

Not that long ago, I wrote an article that called upon readers to “take up the torch for content strategy.” The book you hold in your hands is that torch. So run with it. Hold it high. Be confident in your pursuit of better content. You have The Elements of Content Strategy to light your way.

Come on out from under the bed. We have work to do.

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Posted in Around the Office, Brain Traffic, Content Strategy

Curation Nation Says Clinton Knows His Stuff

by Kristina Halvorson

Curation Nation, a book by Steven Rosenbaum

I've been enjoying my copy of Steven Rosenbaum's Curation Nation this week. He's, er, curated the opinions and insights of content experts from every corner of the industry, from web folks to social media wonks, from media personalities to prominent publishers.

So there I am, reading along, when suddenly I happily stumble upon a section entitled, "Content Strategists." OMG! I thought to myself. My favorite topic! As I eagerly continued, I suddenly gasped with surprise. There on the page was a reference to "Blogger Clinton Forry" … a Brain Traffic staffer and the guy behind the beloved @wd45 moniker!

And it wasn't just a quick reference. Oh, no. Rosenbaum has clearly drunk the Clinton Kool-Aid. Republished with the author's permission, here's Clinton's perspective on curation, beautifully contextualized by the King of Curation, himself:

Content Strategists
 
While the emerging curation ecosystem may leave the highbrow and pedigreed museum curation crowd with a furrowed brow, there’s another group who are equally troubled by the rise of human-powered finding and filtering—and that’s the code-centric solutions crowd that has been searching for the holy grail of machine-powered (or crowd-sourced) finding and filtering. This is the aggregation camp. And they too are anxious to see the emerging but noisy curation community replaced by elegant code.

Blogger Clinton Forry has the most cogent distinction I’ve read so far:

  • Aggregation is automated
  • Aggregation collects content based on criteria in the form of metadata or keywords
  • Criteria can be adjusted, but remain static otherwise
  • Follows a preset frequency of publishing [as available, weekly, etc.]

 It isn’t that Forry thinks aggregation isn’t important, it’sthat he thinks it doesn’t do the whole job. It gets you only partway there. He explains “. . . aggregation excludes the important, active, and ongoing editorial approval from the process of gathering content. Aggregation has its place. It is easy to set and forget. It requires considerably less staff resources. With carefully selected criteria and sources, it may actually serve the purpose you seek.” 

Forry is one of the new and growing number of consultants and advisors who call themselves content strategists. These are folks who are hired to make sure that Web sites are built to encourage vibrant content, rather than stale “publish and forget it” content. He defines curation this way:

  • Curation is, in part, a manual task
  • Starts with sources to parse
  • Evaluates content individually based on established editorial criteria
  • Weighs content based on context, current events, branding, sentiment, etc.
  • Publishes approved content on appropriate schedule

So, if you buy the notion that we’re moving from a world of content scarcity to content abundance, and that you—like all of us—are facing content overload that verges on an endless fire hose of data coming at us from the moment we wake until the last time we check our e-mail, texts, voice mail, blog posts, and direct Twitter messages—then curation isn’t just something that may happen, it’s something that has to happen…

… and it starts with a smart content strategy. Nice goin', Mr. Forry.

Want your own glass of Clinton Kool-Aid? Follow him on Twitter at @wd45 and read his own blog, Content-ment.com.
 

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Posted in Around the Office, Brain Traffic, Content Strategy

SEO and the Dirty White Lie About Content Strategy

by Kristina Halvorson

Last month, just before the holidays, an article appeared on the enormously popular Top Rank Online Marketing Blog.

The article is called “Content Strategy and the Dirty White Lie About SEO.”

Its author, renowned SEO expert Lee Odden (CEO, TopRank Online Marketing), asserts that content strategists have “inherent biases” against SEO as a valid practice, and that “most consultants” (read: content strategists) lack “holistic perspectives.” He writes that, if you-the-client listen to content strategists—specifically, those who recommend “slicing website content in half") for the sake of having less content—you will often end up with recommendations that are “a gross disservice to clients.”

Here’s context:

The reality is, that the “less is more” argument with content strategy works great when you don’t have to worry about where the traffic to the great content will come from.  This is part of the “dirty lie about SEO”:  That great content attracts its own audience and that SEO ruins content.

I really struggled with whether or not to write a response to this post. It’s full of generalizations and misinformation. For example, to say that content strategy as a discipline unilaterally teaches that “great content attracts its own audience and that SEO ruins content” is, well, weird.

But, if you know me, you know how I go off the rails when an industry thought leader writes something that marginalizes or misrepresents content strategy.

In reality, if you, the online marketing professional, are committed to doing great work—work that’s results-oriented, measurable, sustainable, and well-integrated with the rest of your organization’s content initiatives—then the content strategist should be your best friend.

What does a good content strategist really care about?

A content strategist’s primary role in any project or organization is to create and maintain a “holistic perspective” of current and future content states.

A content strategist knows that, in the research and discovery phase of projects that involve marketing content, current marketing initiatives—including SEO, social media, and the like—must be considered prior to making recommendations.

A content strategist counts on content audits to understand content location, ownership, and purpose (e.g., “raise visibility in search results") prior to making recommendations.

In fact, there’s a section of my book (p.72-73) called “Search Engine Optimization: The Missing Link.” (Ironically, it follows a section called “Source Content: You Have to Start Somewhere,” which encourages readers to make the most of the content they already have, not slice it in half). In it, I write,

If there are SEO or other search-related efforts underway, be sure to capture them in your analysis document. They’ll play an important role in informing your content strategy recommendations.

Eh?

But, yeah. Some content strategists think SEO is dumb.

I should say here that I can’t argue with all of Lee’s comments regarding content strategists: I, myself, know many CSes who are suspicious and, yes, even dismissive of SEO as an important part of content planning and creation—let alone as an actual practice. These folks either have had bad experiences with bad SEO practitioners, or they loathe the kind of content that is so keyword-packed it’s unreadable. (Good SEO practitioners loathe that, too.)

However. That reality does not warrant Lee’s accusation that content strategists don’t recognize “the importance of attracting readers to the content and being accountable to the marketing performance of that content.” It’s simply not true.

Whether the content strategy is focusing on marketing content, internal communications, in-the-cloud content, or any other kind of content, our work is driven by business results, every time. If it’s not, then it’s not content strategy; it’s a pointless exercise in content planning and execution, no matter where you sit in an organization.

Debate is good, except when it’s bad.

The generalizations Lee makes about content strategists in his post are only serving to set fire to the bridge content strategists are working so hard to build between themselves and marketers (and UXers, and technologists, and so on). His post ends up being a rallying cry for SEO, social media, and content marketing professionals to ban together and defeat the content strategists who are spreading “dirty white lies” about their professions.

Listen. We don’t need to live in separate clubhouses with our own secret handshakes, here. I think everyone agrees that doing better business online is our shared goal, no matter who you are or how you’re contributing. And just as the “best content marketers [Lee] knows” are capable of incorporating SEO best practices within a content strategy, all smart content strategists are not just capable but committed to collaborating with those content marketers to ensure their shared efforts are well-integrated and successful.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: debating the question, “What matters more, SEO/social media/UX/IT/content strategy/etc.?” is a stupid waste of time. Instead, let’s ask, “How can we collaborate across our practices to make our businesses more successful, to make the Web a better place for our customers?”

Those answers will help inform actual work. Because it’s the results of that work that matters most of all.

Talk back to me.

What are your experiences collaborating across disciplines? If you were successful, why? If not, what would you have changed? (No generalizations, attacks, or condescension, please.)

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Posted in Content Strategy, Uncategorized

Why I Wrote Content Strategy FOR THE WEB

by Kristina Halvorson

There’s an increasingly loud debate happening around content strategy. Many people, including people I very much admire, are seriously frustrated that much of the current conversation focuses strictly on Web content.

Their position is that content strategy—in order to actually have any positive, long-term effect on an organization—must consider multiple types of content across multichannel platforms, and that the Web is only a part of that ecosystem. Some context:

Now, of course content doesn’t begin and end on a website. If an organization only pays attention to the problem of content at the Web project level, they’re failing to deal with their actual “content ecosystem.” Social media. Marketing. Technology. Internal communications. Technical communications. Media. Do you know a company where these roles are even remotely aligned on how to create, deliver, and govern their organization’s content? Because I sure don’t.

So. If I believe all this, then why did I write a book that has helped make “content strategy” synonymous with “Web content”?

The answer is pretty simple: Because it was a good place to start.

CONVERSATION OPENER VS. CONVERSATION KILLER
Every time people ask me what I do, this is how I respond: “You know how, on your company’s website, most of the information is hard to find, or inconsistent, or totally irrelevant, or just really bad?”

And, every single time, they say, “Oh, yes, it is. It’s so embarrassing. I’m so frustrated that no one is fixing it.”

Then I tell them that’s what I do: I help fix bad content. And they say, “Oh, wow, I wish my boss would call you. You must be REALLY BUSY.”

Now, imagine if I responded like this: “You know how, in your company, the content lifecycle is totally undefined and ignored, and content is constantly getting produced in silos, and no one is fully accountable for all the messy stuff that goes along with it, and the problem is just getting worse because no one gets that content requires strategic consideration and dedicated resources?”

This person would likely fake an incoming call so they can run far, far away from me.

This is pretty much the reaction our clients and colleagues have been having for years. The latter explanation, while possibly more accurate about the scope of content strategy, freaks people out. It turns content into a hot potato. It's not working.

CONTENT + STRATEGY + WEB = LIGHT BULB
My publisher initially wanted me to call my book The Content Strategy Handbook. But I didn’t think that was a good idea, as I didn’t know the first thing about how to architect an all-things-considered content strategy. What I knew was how to create a strategic plan for creating, delivering, and governing content for websites. So that’s why I called it Content Strategy for the Web: to cover my ass.

Well, that’s part of the reason. I also knew that pointing to Web content as a big problem was something people would relate to, if not at first then fairly quickly.

Just like the way I describe my work, the phrase "content strategy for the Web” allowed me to introduce the practice as a solution to an immediate and unrelenting pain point so many of us share. I could explain content strategy’s basic principles using constraints (website vs. company-wide content lifecycle) that make it seem achievable.

I also knew from experience that focusing first on Web content strategy often ends up being a very sensible, non-scary starting point for the much larger discussion that inevitably arises: “This isn’t just about our website. This is about the way content moves throughout our organization and the way we manage our content assets.”

THIS IS WHERE I REVEAL MY GRAND MASTER PLAN
Here's the deal. I never had any illusions about writing The End-all-be-all Content Strategy Bible. I’m not the person to do that. What I had was an very big desire to get the conversation rolling. In order to do that, I had to convince my reader of a few very basic points:

  • Content isn’t copywriting.
  • Content is very, very complicated.
  • Content requires strategic consideration.
  • Content requires care and feeding.
  • Content is a critical business asset.

Nowhere are these truths more evident than on a website.

So. That’s why I wrote about Web content. And that’s why I’ll keep writing and talking about Web content.

As for the argument that content strategy can’t be discussed as something that’s “just for the Web,” I firmly disagree. Content strategy can be practiced as a Web-focused discipline, and with terrific results. In fact, I’ve built an entire business around it.

And, yes! We’re REALLY BUSY.

 

Follow Kristina on Twitter

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Posted in Content Strategy, Uncategorized

Announcing Confab: The Content Strategy Conference

by Kristina Halvorson

You’re invited to join us May 9-10, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota for two full days of content strategy ideas, insights, and inspiration.

We have a name. We have a logo. We have a roster full of extraordinary speakers.

We are very, very excited. And—if we’re to believe the emails, phone calls, and tweets we’re constantly getting—so are you.

WHAT IS CONFAB?
After hundreds of conversations with professionals all over the world about content strategy—what it is, why it matters, what it can do for our companies and careers—the folks at Brain Traffic decided it was time to get all of you under one roof.

Here’s the thing: you’re a diverse crowd. You come from a variety of backgrounds. You come at content a hundred different ways. You have divergent perspectives. You have insights that other people need to hear.

Marketing. User experience. Social media. Technical communications. Content management. Editing and writing. Media planning. If you work in content, your time has come. Content strategy is hot, and it’s only getting hotter.

What’s great is that content strategy gives us the opportunity—the responsibility, even—to get to know our fellow content professionals, no matter what their role within our organizations. We need to work together if we’re going to help our companies and clients realize that content is a business asset worthy of strategic planning and consideration.

We also need to throw a few parties for ourselves. As one recent Content Strategy Meetup attendant said, “I’ve never met so many cool people in one place at once.” Multiply that times a few hundred, and you’ve got Confab.

WHO’S IT FOR?
If you design, plan, create, publish, or care for content, then this is your conference. Whether you’re a content strategy convert or curious about where to start, there are plenty of sessions you won’t want to miss. You’ll walk away from Confab full of ideas and opportunities for both your company and your career.

WHO’S SPEAKING?
Oh, we’re so glad you asked.

We’ve gathered a diverse crowd of the brightest minds we know in the world of content professionals. Some names you’ll recognize. Some you won’t. But every single speaker is on our “A-List” of people you want to hear from. Here are just a few of our 32 confirmed speakers…

  • Scott Abel, Content Wrangler
  • Margot Bloomstein, Appropriate, Inc.
  • Sarah Cancilla, Facebook
  • Blake Eskin, The New Yorker
  • Ann Handley, author, Content Rules/CCO, MarketingProfs
  • Erin Kissane, author, The Elements of Content Strategy
  • Valeria Maltoni, Conversation Agent
  • Karen McGrane, bond art + science
  • Joe Pulizzi, author, Get Content, Get Customers/CEO, Junta 42
  • Ginny Redish, author, Letting Go of the Words
  • Ann Rockley, author, Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The Confab 2011 website—and early-bird registration!—will launch the week of November 15. Details on pricing and sponsorship packages will be announced at that time.

For now, you can…

Stay tuned. More content strategy goodness is yet to come!

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