Toward a Unified Field Theory of Content Strategy

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Thoughts on defining the emerging discipline of and building a professional community for interactive content strategy. Call to action. Presented to the first Content Strategy Consortium at IA Summit 2009, Memphis, TN, 3/19/09

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Toward a Unified Field Theory of Content Strategy

  1. 1. Toward a Unified Field Theory of Content Strategy Content Strategy Consortium ~ IA Summit 2009 Memphis, Tennessee March 19, 2009 Elena Melendy elenamelendy.com 917 517.1976 @emelendy
  2. 2. “ONE MAY SAY THE ETERNAL MYSTERY OF THE WORLD IS ITS COMPREHENSIBILITY.” WORD ART: WWW.WORDLE.NET
  3. 3. AN EXCEPTIONALLY SIMPLE THEORY OF EVERYTHING E8 THEORY PROPOSED BY PHYSICIST ANTONY GARRETT LISI, NOVEMBER 2007
  4. 4. DEFINE:EVERYTHING EVERYTHING IS CONTENT •
  5. 5. Theory A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained An idea accounting for or justifying something A set of principles on which an activity is based Compact OED
  6. 6. CONTENT REACHES CONSUMERS INTERNET ACTIVITY INDEX (IAI) ~ AS OF JANUARY 2009.
  7. 7. “PRINT IS NOT DEAD. PRINT IS WHERE WORDS GO TO DIE.” JARVIS: IRONICALLY, PRINT IS DEAD WAS RECENTLY PUBLISHED IN PAPERBACK.
  8. 8. Field Discipline: a branch of knowledge A particular kind of commercial enterprise Princeton University WordNet
  9. 9. Unify To become one To join or combine To bring together for a common purpose or action or ideology or in a shared situation To act in concert or unite in a common purpose or belief Princeton University WordNet
  10. 10. Unified What Brings Us Together?
  11. 11. Desire for Community Collaboration Professional growth Collegiality Mentoring Knowledge-sharing Job leads Sociability Client referrals
  12. 12. Desire to Contribute Educate clients Improve quality Educate peers Improve processes Influence managers Generate opportunity
  13. 13. Personal Fulfillment Intellectual stimulation Career satisfaction Career advancement Sense of achievement Networking
  14. 14. Shared Values Useful Graceful Clear Logical Accurate Meaningful Appropriate Relevant Comprehensive Timely Persuasive Consistent
  15. 15. Field What Separates Us?
  16. 16. Where We Come From Library science Advertising Information science Rhetoric Information design Journalism Information architecture Communications Technical writing Liberal Arts Marketing Linguistics
  17. 17. Where We Work Marketing agency Web-only Advertising agency Cross-platform digital Web design studio Print and online Single practitioner Software products Large enterprise Small business Non-profit organization
  18. 18. How We Specialize Editorial standards and calendaring Content management technologies and life cycle Messaging and writing Content organization and metadata SEO Delivery and distribution
  19. 19. Who We Are Gender identity Personality Racial identity Religious belief Age Sexual orientation Differently abled status Politics
  20. 20. Reminders
  21. 21. WE ARE NOT LOCAL CONTENT STRATEGY IS A WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT
  22. 22. What will define the media company of the future? The ability to let content travel across a myriad of platforms, devices and lifestyles. The will to embrace new forms of measurement, data, technology and digital infrastructure to manage complexity. And the vision to compete on the future. Razorfish Digital Outlook Report 09, March 9, 2009 WE ARE NOT WEB-ONLY THE INTERACTIVE LANDSCAPE IS RAPIDLY EVOLVING
  23. 23. EXTERNAL PRESSURES DISAMBIGUATION: THIS IS MARKETING
  24. 24. EXTERNAL PRESSURES DISAMBIGUATION: THIS ALSO MARKETING. THOUGH SHE CALLS IT PR.
  25. 25. “Where’s your business case?” Territoriality Organizational resistance Bureaucracy Arrogance Conservatism Personal agenda
  26. 26. Theory What Do We Do About It?
  27. 27. As content strategists, we are uniquely positioned to address these challenges— by using the tools of our discipline itself.
  28. 28. What Do We Need? An actionable communications strategy aligned with our values
  29. 29. How Do We Get One? Define mission Define values Define target audiences Outline specific goals Align messaging and create content Secure communication channels Distribute and promote
  30. 30. What Tools Do We Use? Consistent labels and taxonomies High-traffic sites with sound metadata and SEO Content aggregation Cross-platform publishing Formal lobbying / national trade association Informal social networks, virtual and in-person ???
  31. 31. Our Mission Create a content strategy for Content Strategy
  32. 32. References Digital Outlook Report 09. Razorfish, March 9, 2009, pp. 174–175. http:// www.razorfish.com/#/ideas/reports-and-papers/special-reports/ Halvorson, Kristina. “The Discipline of Content Strategy.” A List Apart, December 16, 2008. http://www.alistapart.com/articles/ thedisciplineofcontentstrategy Internet Activity Index, January 2009. Online Publishers Association. http:// www.online-publishers.org/page.php/prmID/421 Lovinger, Rachel. “Content Strategy: The Philosophy of Data.” Boxes and Arrows, March 26, 2007. http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/content- strategy-the MacIntyre, Jeffrey. “Content-tious Strategy.” A List Apart, December 16, 2008. http://www.alistapart.com/articles/contenttiousstrategy
  33. 33. Toward a Unified Field Theory of Content Strategy Elena Melendy Minty Fresh Media LLC 115 South Oxford Street, No. 524 Brooklyn, New York 11217 elenamelendy.com 917 517.1976 @emelendy

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