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The Making of 'The Language of Content Strategy' - by Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler

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Time is in short supply. Deadlines are tight. Resources are even tighter. If you're like most content professionals, you have dozens of great ideas but not enough time, money or experience to bring ...

Time is in short supply. Deadlines are tight. Resources are even tighter. If you're like most content professionals, you have dozens of great ideas but not enough time, money or experience to bring them to life. But it doesn't have to be this way.

In this content marketing meets intelligent content engineering case study, we will explain how the newly published book, The Language of Content Strategy (XML Press) was created with the help of the crowd, structured XML content, a wiki and a formal content strategy. Attend this session to learn how the two seasoned content strategists enlisted the help of 50 knowledgeable experts to create a printed book, an e-book, a companion website and educational flash cards in record time, all from a single source of content. You'll discover why it's imperative that content professionals —regardless of their area of specialty — understand and leverage the power of advanced information development practices. You'll leave knowing why a repeatable content production system, optimized for productivity and designed to efficiently produce multiple content products simultaneously, is no longer an option, but rather a necessity.

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  • Really useful, practical insights Scott—thanks for sharing your knowledge. Book added to my reading list! The editorial vs. technical slides really bring home the complex mix of skills, resources, and expertise that content strategy encompasses. I recently uploaded a slide deck to that effect, on how organisations can evolve their thinking and approach in order to hit their 'content sweet spot': http://slidesha.re/1Bskrr2 Joseph
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  • Thank you so much for posting this. I am becoming increasingly frustrated that Content Strategy is evolving to be just a job title that copywriters give to themselves in order to promote themselves. I am very well aware of the gap that exists between creative and tech and when I interview I make it clear that I see CS as being directly situated in between these two roles in order to prevent either side from driving the train and neglecting the requirements of the other side. I've seen it before; it's not pretty. I always say 'if what you need is a copywriter, don't hire me.' Glad to see someone else sees it the same way. Cheers!
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The Making of 'The Language of Content Strategy' - by Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler The Making of 'The Language of Content Strategy' - by Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler Presentation Transcript

  • Content Marketing Meets Intelligent Content Scott Abel & Rahel Anne Bailie with contributions from 50 content experts The Making of The Language of Content Strategy #TLOCS @scottabel @rahelab
  • great Wouldn’t it be if you could delightyour customers by providing content they want and need?
  • amazing Wouldn’t it be if you could do it without breaking the bank? View slide
  • OBSTACLES View slide
  • There never seems to be enough time to do everything we’d like to OBSTACLES
  • Money is alwaysin short supply OBSTACLES
  • Talent, knowledge, and experience are scarce commodities OBSTACLES
  • OBSTACLES We don’t have the right tools for the job
  • To keep pace, we need to adopt manufacturing methods and apply them to content production
  • Content manufacturing is made possible by content engineering
  • Content engineering is the application of the engineering discipline to the design, acquisition, management, delivery, and use of content.
  • Content engineering is about operational efficiency, speed, and the elimination of unnecessary manual tasks
  • Hand-crafting content is expensive, time-consuming, and NOT scalable
  • Content can (and often should) be manufactured…just like products in a factory
  • Wouldn’t it be great if you could overcome the obstacles and produce content as efficiently and effectively as manufacturers create consumer products?
  • You can!
  • My promise to you I’ll show you how to harness technology and the power of the crowd to create a book, an eBook, a website, and a set of learning aids from a single source of content without breaking the bank.
  • Let’s take a lookat a real project
  • Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler #TLOCS @scottabel Case study The Making of The Language of Content Strategy
  • Write It Once, Use It Often Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler #TLOCS @scottabel A Repeatable Process For Creating Content Efficiently and Effectively
  • Content Strategy Workshops
  • EDITORIAL TECHNOLOGYvs UNEXPECTED CHALLENGE
  • EDITORIAL TECHNOLOGYvs
  • EDITORIAL is concerned with word choice, tone, voice, style, brand it’s about the content!
  • Editorialists are artists who believe their value is in their knowledge of content
  • TECHNOLOGY is concerned with sustainable, repeatable processes, and tools, techniques, and standards it’s about production!
  • Technologists are engineers they believe their value is in their knowledge of systems Technologists orchestrate and choreograph content
  • Editorial-focused strategists (without experience crafting engineering-based content solutions) started crafting their own terms and definitions
  • Technology-focused strategists (with experience crafting engineering-based content solutions) started tuning the editorialists out
  • BIG PROBLEM the lack of a 
 common vocabulary
  • Wouldn’t it be great if we could help both sides understand each other?
  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could work smarter and avoid working late?
  • Wouldn’t it be supercool if we could get the editorial and the technology sides to work together?
  • We created aWe put our heads together To illustrate the need for content strategists to understand both sides: editorial and technology
  • Content strategy is the ANALYSIS and PLANNING to develop a repeatable system that governs the management of content throughout its entire lifecycle Content strategy is incomplete without GOALS Content strategy is NOT ABOUT IMPLEMENTATION a definition
  • Content Strategy projects are not always about the web print • audio • video • Braille are also in the mix
  • Starting from scratch means we had no legacy content to inventory, audit, or analyze Instead, we focused on creating content to support our project goals
  • Analysis • reviewed educational landscape (academia/professional) • recognized need for multi-channel, multi-pricepoint content • acknowledged need for conversation about terminology • identified marketing value to contributors • recognized contributor limitations (time, tools experience) • determined skillsets, roles, and budget required We used the analysis phase to research the challenge and determine next steps
  • Project goals 1. create a common vocabulary, accessible to all 2. own the conversation about the vocabulary 3. foster understanding between editorialists and technolgists 4. demonstrate competency within the discipline 5. produce a real-world case study (3 variations) 6. showcase professionals who ‘get it’ 7. create evangelists to spread the word
  • Deliverables • printed book • eBooks (EPUB format) • website • printed learning aids Different views from same set of content
  • All produced from a single source automatically* No hand-crafting No copying-and-pasting * there were some manual tasks that were required as we pushed content from one tool into another
  • Define content types • term/definition pairs • importance statement • essay (250 words) • contributor name/bio/contact info • additional resources
  • Authoring environment • web-based (collaboration) • easy to use (editorialists) • structured XML authoring (DocBook) • basic content management features • facilitates reuse Tool selected: Atlassian Confluence
  • Selecting the terms We selected editorial and technology terms that every content strategist should know and understand
  • 52Yes, there are more than 52 terms every content strategist should know and understand terms definitions experts weeks cards
  • Selecting the team The best and brightest in tangentially-related fields were invited
  • We used a Google Docs form and spreadsheet to collect and maintain information about contributors and contributions
  • Defining roles and responsibilities • markup specialist • editors • indexer • peer reviewers • graphic artist Editorial and technology roles are equally important
  • Creating content models Models were created for the printed book, the eBooks, the website/blog, and the learning aids/flash cards
  • Content flow book ebooks web cards Source (wiki)
  • Importance Statement Topic Name Definition Essay The source
  • The source Biography Additional Resources Contributor Name Contact Info
  • Importance 
 Statement Contributor Name Topic Name Definition Biography Essay The printed book Every chapter is two pages long and consistently structured Contact Info
  • Essay The eBooks Contributor Name Topic Name Definition Importance Statement Biography Contact info
  • The website/blog thelanguageofcontentstrategy.com
  • Topic Name Contributor Name Definition Importance 
 Statement Essay The website/blog One chapter is automatically published every Thursday. ! Audio files support accessibility and allow visitors who prefer audio to listen to the book. ! Photos were added after the fact, although they were imported into the authoring tool in one batch. ! ‘Additional resources’ that do not appear in the printed book and eBook appear on the website. Additional Resources
  • Importance Statement Definition Topic Name The flash cards
  • Lessons learned Because we started with a content strategy designed to future- proof our content, we were able to easily adjust to challenges, threats, opportunities.
  • Audio Audio requires a script designed to be read aloud. Audio files also need a host that provides sharing capability
  • 52 quotes from 52 content strategists Scott Abel & Rahel Anne Bailie with contributions from 50 content experts The Language of Content Strategy
  • Rahel Anne Bailie, Founder and Chief Content Strategist, Intentional Design “Content strategy is the practice of helping organizations improve their content performance, primarily through the analysis of existing content problems and development of plans for improvement.” 02 Core Concepts > Content Strategy We can create additional deliverables from a single source
  • Social media Tweets can be tagged and pushed into social media scheduling tools where they can be published automatically
  • The Tools design + XML Adobe In Design Reusing content between different software applications involves some learning, setup, and testing.
  • We spent $3,295USD* to bring this project to life * this amount reflects what we paid out ; it does not include overhead, labor, hidden costs
  • Here’s the breakdown Graphic design = $1500USD Indexing = $500USD Editing = $500USD Markup assistance = $500USD Audio file hosting = $135USD (per year) URL = $10USD (first year) Site hosting = $150USD (per year) $3,295USD** this amount reflects what we paid out ; it does not include overhead, labor, hidden costs
  • HIDDEN COSTS Books $1500USD Postage/supplies $700USD Adobe InDesign $240USD (per year) Confluence Wiki $2,000USD (per year) Administrative costs $1000USD $5,440USD Reduce cost by bartering and using existing resources
  • I showed you how to harness technology and the power of the crowd to create a book, an eBook, a website, and a set of learning aids from a single source of content without breaking the bank. My promise to you
  • Need help? Contact me. scottabel@mac.com @scottabel thecontentwrangler.com 415.857.2235
  • Write It Once, Use It Often Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler #TLOCS @scottabel A Repeatable Process For Creating Content Efficiently and Effectively