It’s a CS instant replay. (Image via lhr)
The Breakdown: We asked our content strategy team to provide their thoughts on happenings, trends and developments in content strategy looking back over 2010 and here’s what they had to say. Stay tuned for Part 2: Fast Forward 2011.
Michael Barnwell, Director Content Strategy
The rush to market with every style of tablet meant that big bets were placed on the appeal of devices that let you read stacks of readable things in unconventional places in unconventional ways (on your couch or most anywhere else, portrait or landscape, swipe or scroll). The bet here is that people have not lost their love of reading one bit, although magazines and book publishers have grown a little anxious these past years. By readable, I mean legible and worthwhile. That’s been the first goal—make reading seem like it was new again. The next goal, of course, will be to find a way to keep it readable while making it payable.
Rachel Lovinger, Associate Content Strategy Director
For me personally, a big development in 2010 was writing the Nimble report. It got me thinking about content and the future of publishing in a much deeper way – how content strategy can support new content business models, new delivery platforms, and new ways of engaging with an increasingly scattered audience. I look forward to taking this further, developing strategies that make use of emerging technologies to help content publishers tackle these challenges in innovative ways.
Patrick Nichols, Senior Content Strategist
I’ve been amazed by the sense of community emerging among content strategy professionals over the past year. From increasingly active Google Groups and LinkedIn forums to a blossoming of topical conferences—including Brain Traffic announcing its first Confab gathering—there’s a growing sense of solidarity and an emerging shared vision for our nascent discipline.
Haven Thompson, User Experience Associate
Steadily increasing interest in data visualization was a trend I noticed in 2010. It’s cool to see everyone from artists to journalists shake up traditional narrative styles and convey information through visual means. I think there’s a rich opportunity to use graphical representation methods to deliver online technical support content in a more helpful and fun fashion.
Erin Abler, Information Architect
Working with some very large content collections in the past year, I’ve been struck by the fact that content can seem totally foreign to its owners when it’s been created by many people without being regulated or managed. When a collection gets big, varied, and arbitrarily divided, all those individual content items start being viewed collectively as a single terrifying entity. The point when “The Content” has become code for “Fire-Breathing Dragon that Cannot Be Slain” is a critical moment for addressing the assumption that the problem has surpassed true solvability. More and more content owners are waking to the importance of content strategy, but it’s still a very big task sometimes just to make the solution seem possible. In the past I assumed that this related mostly to up-front salesmanship about the need for content strategy. Now I think that convincing content owners of the practicability of content improvement is a tactic in itself. Laying out the tools for slaying the dragon is only a second step; first we need to rally the townsfolk so they can get up the courage to take it on.
Matt Geraghty, Content Strategist
Whether it’s solving content collection issues, dreaming up data visualizations, aligning ourselves with emerging technologies and trends in publishing, fostering collaborative content partnerships or being part of the burgeoning community, it’s clear that content strategy has become a much bigger part of the conversation. As was predicted in our post from last year “The Content Strategy Forecast: 2010 & Beyond” companies now are beginning to reap the rewards of content strategy and understand that they really can’t move forward and create compelling web experiences without us. Here’s to 2011!