Everyone has a plan. Until reality sets in. So how do we make our dreams match up with the cold realization of a content management system integration? It’s called “reification,” and it’s the act of making something real. This transcript is loosely based on notes from my Confab Central 2017 talk, “Making things real: Content strategy for realistic content management.”
The discussion around content strategy is framed by large examples, but it’s also the work of regional organizations, small universities, and mom and pop stores. How do we adapt the big concepts of content strategy to work within the constraints of a small organization? This transcript of my talk from Now What? Conference 2015 in Sioux Falls (April 30, 2015) explains more.
We spend a lot of time in the beginning learning these letters — often without any larger picture. We know that these shapes help us spell, but we don’t dive into what it means to spell. We just do it. We know what we can do, but we don’t know what we should do.
My son has taken the head off of every one of his LEGO minifigs. He has rearranged everyone’s hair, given them new pants, and tossed the weapons into a giant pile on his LEGO table. He has no regard for canon. In the story of Star Wars, it’s now Darth who shot first, doing so […]
Society saves seven dollars for each dollar spent on early education, or so the United Way has told us for years. Stats like this are important. But they also bum me out. They focus on doing things becuase they are efficient, not because they are the right thing to do.
We’re at a point in our industry when some clients can’t be convinced, or require a level of convincing that goes beyond what the project requires. Some small businesses require an extra level of attention, but others are continually suspicious and are more work than they’re worth.
We spend a lot of time worrying about where content will come from and what form it will take. Where we often stumble is aligning those decisions with our existing resources. Because while structured content and editorial calendars are fantastic, they take time – time a small business or non-profit may not have. So let’s talk a bit about how we can prioritize tasks and goals, all while taking our clients’ existing pool of time into consideration.
The chasm of understanding between consultant and client – or between content person and marketing team, or whatever your situation might be – is a dangerous hurdle. Our job as content experts is to understand that, despite the promises and assurances we make in terms of a client’s content, our own explanations and processes are tangled, weirdly worded and sometimes impossible to decipher.
Content strategy practitioners – and, really, the entire UX umbrella – serve a unique role in the life of a web property, in that we act as an advocate for people we may never know. But there’s another element of this process that can often be overlooked, and it’s the audience we know and understand and work with on a daily basis: the client.
Smart stuff from Margot Bloomstein on connecting with fellow content strategists, from Sara Wachter-Boettcher on empowerment, from Melissa Rach on organizational change, and from Deane Barker about the needs of the indoctrinated audience.
There are thousands of books about what it takes to learn the skills needed for our careers – the art and craft and promotion – but precious few about what it takes to understand the job that lies beneath. We know what to do, and why to do it, but we don’t learn how to push forward on a practical level. Mike Montiero’s Design is a Job is one of those precious few.