The Primacy of Content Strategy
Simply put, editorial
strategy begins with
The second explains
the ﬁrst. Credit: Blogger.com circa 1999
Content Strategy is a Lifecycle
“Content Strategy plans for the
creation, publication, and
governance of useful, usable content.”
“If information architecture is the spatial design of
information, I see content strategy as the temporal side
of that same coin.” --Louis Rosenfeld
The Content Strategy Gospel
‣ The web is a publishing medium.
‣ Content is integral (to experience).
‣ Content producers = de facto publishers.
‣ To users, the web is awash in content.
Site owners feel the ﬂoodwaters, too.
So, sink or swim. Filter or be ﬂooded.
Editors + Editorial Strategy?
“We don’t hire editors,
we hire content strategists.”
CEO Jack Griﬃn
21 February 2008
“As a Content
Credit: Adam Taplin, Content Strategy Google Group
Editorial is Ongoing Content
What is it? A publishing asset.
‣ Repeatable and repeatedly
published content in a
recognizable form (article, podcast,
etc.) and packaged (e.g., edited) for
‣ Made valuable to an audience by:
being newsworthy or original;
through subject matter expertise or
authority; by voice or other brand
Example: Slate’s “Today’s Papers”
12 years ago, Slate.com pioneered a daily
form of content aggregation for news
consumers. Now, everyone does “roundups.”
It evolved from novel
convenience to meta-digest
to spin-oﬀs to modular, near-
Introducing Editorial Strategy
‣ What? Product
development for content.
‣ Why? “The Day 2 Problem.”
‣ How? Content strategist,
like product developers,
work between “product” and “plumbing.”
“The Day 2 Problem”
Postlaunch is a
(It’s called operations.)
Editorial content is ongoing
Editorial strategy is about caring
for content after launch day. Credit: Flickr Commons
Do You Have One?
Editorial strategy is ...
‣ a set editorial mix
Credit: Jessica Hagy
‣ scheduled release of ongoing content
‣ packaged as a bundle of like content
‣ supported via masthead workﬂow
‣ guided by a product strategy
Key Debates in Editorial Strategy
‣ “Free v. paid” (rev. models: licensing, etc.)
‣ Editorial mix: stock & ﬂow
‣ Production model: factory v. atelier
‣ Bundling: curation v. aggregation
‣ Original content: longform/shortform
‣ More common
than you think.
Designers on Editorial
Credit: Jason Santa Maria, SVA presentation
Credit: Luke Hayman, Pentagram.com Credit: Dan Hill, cityofsound.com
The Value of Curation
Credit: Clinton Forry, content-ment.com
Credit: Erin Scime, dopedata.com
Credit: Robin Sloan, snarkmarket.com Credit: Jonathan Maziarz
Credit: Prasanna Lal Das,
Think product lifecycle:
‣ A plan for content publishing.
‣ Iterating distinctive content products, integrating with business and
competitive analysis. (E.g., content revenue modelling.)
‣ Blueprint for each content type’s lifecycle. Programming
framework for editorial calendar.
‣ Support technology recommendations and guidelines.
‣ Organizational design (process, workﬂow, roles and
‣ Reboot the model.
‣ More show bible (TV) or functional
speciﬁcation (functional analysis).
‣ A training document, with publishing
walkthroughs for each content module.
Think big, think small:
‣ The killer app of content strategy.
‣ An exhaustive programming resource. Credit: Rural Doctoring
‣ Macro: Swimlane visibility across sites and channels,
enhancing collaboration and crosspromotion, increasing lead
‣ Micro: Asset-level tracking of all content production to reduce
LOE, and increase content quality (streamlining “roundtrips”).
‣ The foundation for benchmarking production--and further
optimization via analytics. Basis for proof points of CS ROI?
What Problems Will You Solve?
Credit: laughingsquid, ﬂickr
Rooftop is Ready.
Credit: Joel Bedford, ﬂickr
‣ Content Strategy, the Knol
‣ Content Strategy, the Google Group
‣ Notes on Content (predicate-llc.com)
‣ #contentstrategy on Twitter