Content Strategy in the Bush The Big 5 of Content Misty Weaver Content Strategy Seattle
Who?Misty “Melissa” WeaverTwitter @meaningmeasureLinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/mistymelissaweaverMy work is all about Communication Strategyfor Nonprofit Organizations & Startups:Community Management, Social Media Marketing, Content Creation,Curation and Publishing, Website Management, Event Planning
CS in South Africa Manager added text Community I’ve summaries to the following slide for folks who weren’t able to join us at the CS Seattle meetup.
Reframing MetaphorsContent Strategy in BushShakespeare in the Bush by Laura Bohannanhttps://law.ubalt.edu/downloads/law_downloads/IRC_Shakespeare_in_the_Bush.pdfContext has the power to change meaning. After CS Forum CapeTown, I traveled through South Africa for 4 weeks. Constantlyintroducing myself and explaining what I do, InformationArchitecture, and what that means in a way that is relevant tothe person in front me.Teaching, working, travelling, hosting events: I spend a lot oftime reframing IA and Content Strategy, constantly trying on newmetaphors. I’ve been thinking a lot about urban planning andliving organisms as more appropriate metaphors for CS.
Your website is like a houseA commonly used metaphor to explain IA andContent Strategy, I prefer to think that digitalpresence is more like building a city then a house.Unlike a house that has static walls and very fewpoints of entry, when we create information spaceonline it has multitudes of entrances & exits,intended or not. Online experiences come withcomplicated patterns of traffic, public and privatespace, owned and shared resources; A housedoesn’t seem big enough to encompass them.
A website can seemmore like a glasshouse… Petri Krohn
EcosystemEven more than a city, an ecosystemdemonstrates so much that we wantto capture in explaining ContentStrategy:• Complex life cycles and interactions• Internal and external factors to the organization• A huge variety of kinds of content, users, traffic and patternsThe following slides show how Ireframed Content Strategy in termsof the Big 5 game at Kruger NationalPark.
Big 5Originally, Big 5 referred to the animals Game Hunterscame to Africa to kill. Our first reframe is in this title,which now refers to the 5 animals people like to seewhen they visit Kruger Park.
1.When I think of personas, I think of humans. But theelephants at Kruger made me realize, I could expand mythinking to an even more “other” idea of users.Too often, we build websites or digital experiences basedon the org chart not on how users actually experience anorganization. Most users, like elephants, choose theirown paths as they try to accomplish tasks.We have to plan digital experiences for how peopleactually navigate not just the way the organization wantsthem to move. It’s not just that you have to know youraudience, you have to know your elephants.
2.Users have different patterns of behavior, we canonly predict their behavior if we actually study it.Are your online customers more like leopards -solitary, nocturnal, ‘stalking’ your pages andreviews before making decisions?Maybe, like leopards, they aren’t into sharing. Justbecause people can share, doesn’t mean they will.Your content has to be relevant, excellent, reachthem at the right time AND be easy to share.
3.Search engines are users, too. But they’re like lions,not leopards. They don’t necessarily bring back themost relevant, credible, useful result in their pagelistings. And people themselves may only look atpage one or the first three entries. That’s not goodfor getting the right content to the right person atthe right moment.Search engines need content strategists to helpthem become more efficient.
The American Buffalo isn’t a Buffalo It’s a Bison. Context changes meaning, right? As Content Strategists, our work revolves around differentiation. We differentiate our clients from competitors, accurate content from inaccurate, strong organization from weak…
4.We can help differentiate our clients bydelivering content that fills gaps in their usersknowledge and by helping provide informationthat is credible, consistent and clear.I might call content ‘Buffalo’ to indicate that’sout of date, mislabeled or misplaced. (That’sbetween us CS folks!)
It’s okay to cryI could see dedicating my life to saving the Rhino.The near extinction of this animal is a completelyman made problem. My personal rhino is badcontent, too much of it and resulting informationoverload.So many ‘experts’ encourage people to write lots ofcopy, blog posts, and new product pages. I’d like tothink we could, as content strategists, step in andinstead help a small but mighty practice renewitself. Help nurture the good but rare content…
5.We are the advocates for great quality contentthat improves people’s lives online. Only bysupporting good content practices can we fostera community where good content becomes thenorm. It may sometimes feel like a Sisypheantask, but it’s worth the effort. Keep on reframingand explaining Content Strategy in the ways thatmost help you, but please, keep on pluggingContent Strategy. The Internet needs you.