Predicate | When Content Management Needs a Content Strategy
a Content Strategy
Jeﬀrey MacIntyre Gilbane 2009
Predicate, LLC Boston, MA
I’m an independent content strategist in
NYC. My practice focuses on:
‣ Digital product strategy;
‣ Media and entertainment clientele; and
‣ Contributing to the CS
body of knowledge.
‣ Relevance. What does a rising ﬁeld of
practice in web design mean to the
content management community? (A lot.)
‣ Applicability. How can you get to work
on a content strategy for your own
organization or clients?
Credit: “Redesign Must Die” , louisrosenfeld.com
‣ “Every large website
is a complex
‣ “A platform that’s supple and ﬂexible, lends
itself to tuning, and supports multiple
levels of engagement.”
How the Content Strategist
Still Sees (a Lot of) the Web.
Why? Part I
A generation into
the web, we still
don’t do content
It’s our open secret.
And it shows. Credit: Blogger.com circa 1999
Why? Part II
Old problems. No ownership or expertise.
CMS. Archive. Postlaunch erosion. Lack of
New problems. Deeper and wider
inventories. Richer oﬀerings. Revenue
models. SEO. Social. Multichannel. Partners.
UGC. Technologies galore.
Introducing Content Strategy
‣ What? Product
development for content.
‣ How? CSes, like product
developers, sit between
“product” and “plumbing”.
The INTERSECTION of
+ Content Strategy
“[Y]ou need a product manager.”
‣ “I am interested in the forest and the trees
of large Web sites, not solely strategic and
not solely in the weeds.”
David Hobbs, hobbsontech.com
‣ Various models--from Boiko to Byrne,
Rockley to AIIM--strive for exhaustiveness.
‣ CMS Review’s 7 Stage Lifecycle calls them
CS is Multidisciplinary
Credit: Richard Ingram
At minimum, it’s adjacent
to interaction design,
analysis and content
CS 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 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.
‣ Why? Because
publishing is hard. Credit: Jessica Hagy
Consider the masthead.
‣ Curation is king. The ﬁlter on the ﬁrehose
as an editorial function.
“The Day 2 Problem”
Postlaunch is a
Nothing shines a light on the good
faith agreement between client and
consultant than thoughtful aftercare.
Editorial strategy is about caring for
content after launch day. Credit: Flickr Commons
1. Audit 2. Plan 3. Build 4. Grow
product content editorial
strategy speciﬁcation calendar
migration plan copy deck style guide
What’s in it for CM?
Content strategy is meaningful when...
‣ The potential of your deliverables is marred
by poor execution, inconsistency & inaction
‣ New tools require process & org. change
‣ Measurement matters
‣ You need the big picture
‣ Governance & standards are incomplete
‣ It’s time to tune, not redesign
DIY Content Strategy
Ask the tough questions.
When you care about a
client’s content, you are doing
Credit: Flickr Commons
“[A] CMS without a content strategy
leads to shovelware or worse.”
Jonathan Kahn, lucidplot.com
Where It Will Take You
Instilling a new postlaunch pride:
‣ bolder measures of success
‣ enduring results for your clientele;
lasting inﬂuence for your vision
‣ vanguard case studies
Content Strategy FYI
‣ CS, the Knol
‣ CS, the Google Group
‣ #contentstrategy on Twitter
‣ I’m @jeﬀmacintyre and @PredicateLLC
‣ Content Strategy for the Web,
Kristina Halvorson (New Riders, 2009)