Busy Times for Content Strategy

Rachel Lovinger   May 27, 2010

The buzz is only as good as the community making it. Image courtesy of Kaibara.

The Breakdown: A lot’s been going on in the Content Strategy community. Rachel takes a moment from her packed schedule to talk about recent events, including April’s Content Strategy Forum in Paris.

Hoo-boy, we’ve been busy. And from the looks of things, we’re not the only ones. Interest in Content Strategy has been growing at an amazing rate, and there are lots of new voices joining the public conversation. Here are just a few of the recent examples:

And all the usual suspects have been pretty active too, but there isn’t room here to capture all of that. Just check #contentstrategy on Twitter to see the latest events and posts from across the web.

In a busy conference season, last month’s Content Strategy Forum stands out as an exciting milestone. Thirteen months earlier, in March 2009, about twenty people gathered for the Content Strategy Consortium in Memphis, and it was thrilling to see the range of people who were there to discuss this new discipline for an entire day. Just over a year later, 170 people gathered, from 18 countries across three continents, for a two-day event in Paris. The first day consisted of 4 sold-out workshops (including the one on “Understanding Content” which I co-led with Karen McGrane). The second day had three tracks of talks, which often led to some dfficult decisions.

If you weren’t able to be there in person, many of the presentations are on SlideShare, and videos of some of the talks are also available online. And discussions have already begun about the details of the next one. Which begs the question, where do we go from here? I have a few thoughts:

  1. The content strategy community has officially become international. We should do what we can to keep that momentum going, encouraging and participating in events that are local, global, and virtual. I hope to see you all at Content Strategy Forum 2011!
  2. There are still a lot of people just discovering content strategy and the value it brings, but it’s time to deepen our conversations about it. At CS Forum, there was a clear hunger for case studies, and more information about techniques and practices for solving specific content problems.
  3. Continue spreading the word to a wider audience. Luminaries of the web design industry, such as Jared Spool and Jeffrey Zeldman, are talking about Content Strategy and that’s bound to help attract the attention of people who have been struggling with digital content issues and don’t yet know that there is an entire discipline emerging to help them deal with it. We should all be getting out there, speaking at a variety of conferences, and seeing who else we can convert.

What else do you think the discipline should be doing?


2 Responses

  1. Lise Janody says:

    It’s very exciting to witness the formalization of a new profession. What was once a very small niche is now going mainstream, and that’s good news for all.

    A few things on my wish list:

    More exposure with those who detain the budgets: CMOs, Corporate Communications, IT, Web Operations.

    Perhaps some segmentation in the content strategy field itself. Doing a content strategy for a 32-page site for a small business is not the same as doing content strategy for an educational software piece, or for a B2B multi-language 700 page portal with thousands of supporting documents and software items. And they’re not the same as a content strategy for a major media property whose very lifeblood is content.

    I’d like to see (and contribute to) some discussion over how agencies and enterprises work together to define and implement content strategies.

    Finally, perhaps more clarification on what’s in and out of the scope of content strategy: what it is, but also, what it is not, and how we work with the various stakeholders (in enterprise: strategic and operational marketers, PR folks, integrated campaign managers, internal comms, communication managers, product managers, what have you….).

    Perhaps a final, final comment: the creation of an international association of content strategists? Maybe a bit early, but could be useful, if only to contribute to the organization of conferences !

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