Content Convergence Workshop Length

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If you think content production is complex now, wait until it starts converging with content from other departments or groups. Or when users, dissatisfied with the quality of the documentation provided, start their own DIY documentation project, and it ranks higher in the Google rankings than your own support site.

If you're being asked to use your content in more than one way, you might be at the stage where the more part includes methods or technologies you're not really familiar with. Maybe content re-use means syndication or collaborative creation with other departments or divisions, or incorporating content from other sites or user generated content. It could mean figuring how to build community or provide better support or get better feedback.

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  • If you think content production is complex now, wait until it starts converging with content from other departments or groups. Or when users, dissatisfied with the quality of the documentation provided, start their own DIY documentation project, and it ranks higher in the Google rankings than your own support site.

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  • 1. Content Convergence Content Convergence Rahel Anne Bailie © 2008 Intentional Design Inc.
  • 2. Content convergence is a move away from content silos a move away from content silos.
  • 3. Paired with content integration, which is combining content combining content from multiple sources.
  • 4. Together with syndication, they have powerful communication potential.
  • 5. Simple example of content convergence: A blog
    • Blog posts
    • Images (in blog posts)
    • Twitter posts
    • Upcoming conference gigs
    • User-generated content
    • Visitor log
    • Subscription information
    www.salimismail.com
  • 6. A techcomm example: “The Triumverate” Training instantiation TechComm instantiation Support instantiation
  • 7. A marketing example: High-value content www.allmusic.com
  • 8. Content convergence means portability. Content can be mixed-and-matched to fit new contexts.
  • 9. To be portable, content needs to:
    • Be structured
    • Have semantic properties
    • Be findable (searchable)
    • Conform to standards
    • Match structures to purpose
    • HTML
      • XHTML
      • Microformats
    • XML
      • DITA
      • DocBook
      • S1000D
      • Data
    • Wikis
      • Structured wikis
      • DITA wikis
  • 10. Portable content makes context more important. Portable content makes context more important. Content must support multiple contexts.
  • 11. Convergence at Visa
  • 12. Convergence at VanCity
  • 13. Complex contexts demand concise content. Shape content around a single concept.
  • 14. Context changes content. The ability to re-use content across contexts increases content value.
  • 15. Content is not isolated. Content is not isolated. Content does need to be self-contained.
  • 16. WHY? The market demands it
    • Organizations need to deliver more content, faster, cheaper.
    • The content needs to work for many similar products.
    • There is a need to deliver to multiple markets , sometimes in multiple languages.
    • There is too much content to deal with, to create linear content.
  • 17. It’s doing more, better, faster.
  • 18. Users want it
    • Organic content convergence
    • World of Warcraft
    • Some users dissatisfied with documentation provided.
    • Built their own database.
    • Better quality, more features.
    • Apple
    • Search for “iPhone help” and observe the results
    • Search for an error message by number (e.g. “error message 12846”) and observe the results
    • Users will create their own documentation.
    • Their sites will come up higher in search engines.
    • Your reputation may suffer.
    • Brand management issues arise.
  • 19. Apple iPhone
  • 20. World of Warcraft wow.allakhazam.com/
  • 21. HP Knowledge Center h30413.www3.hp.com/SupportServices/country/us/en/support/T1100.html.htm
  • 22. It’s not a single-department issue
  • 23. When architected well, it happens seamlessly. Information portal Tech Comm content User-generated content Engineering content CRM content Support center content Marketing content RSS feeds Subscriptions Training content
  • 24. Move to experience design
  • 25. Convergence creates possibilities. The end goal is user satisfaction.
  • 26. Portable content creates value
    • Content is integrated from:
    • Airline booking
    • Hotel booking
    • Car rental booking
    • Google maps
    • Weather network
    • User-generated content
    • … and more.
    • Convergence is automated, generating an automatic, customized itinerary.
    • This convergence of content provides a value-add service to the user.
    www.tripit.com
  • 27. It improves comprehension Content can include integration of data, visuals, audio, text. Mash-ups are also a form of content convergence.
  • 28. Portable content creates efficiencies Content needs to be engaging. And content format must be predictable.
  • 29. The move away from single-use, linear content is happening fast . Every day, the bar is raised a little higher.
  • 30. The pressure is on to devise strategies for portable content. You snooze, you lose.
  • 31. BREAK
  • 32. Strategies are business-dependent
    • There is no formula.
    • The solutions are as unique as the business and the reasons for needing the strategy.
    • It means changes in technologies.
    • It means change in processes.
    • It means change in skill sets.
  • 33. Business drivers Product differentiation Cost impact Customer profitability Number of customers Number of suppliers Switchability Spare industry capacity Entry barriers Relative service Product performance Relative market share Overhead Variable cost Customer price sensitivity Capital intensity Level of service Relative perceived value Relative costs Market attractiveness Competitive position Current profitability
  • 34. It means rethinking the nature of content. Treat content as a valuable corporate asset.
  • 35. Content needs a strategy
  • 36. Designing content ties into experience design
    • Subsets of experience design are:
    • Multi-channel experience
    • Digital experience design
    • User experience
    • User-centered design
    • Service design
    • Usability
    • No matter what you call it, the end goal is to improve the experience for the end user.
  • 37. Work Your Content Beyoncé, I Am ... Sasha Fierce, Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
  • 38. Change the attitude toward content
    • How does your organization view your content?
      • Pain point in a cost center?
      • Corporate asset in a profit center?
    • Learn from industries that run on content.
    MP3 file Blair Douglas, Brave Hearts, Nelson Mandela's Welcome to the City of Glasgow
  • 39. Value-add = ROI Music is no longer “just a track” Think about formats and variants
  • 40. What goes into a musical experience?
    • Colin James, Limelight, Far Away Like a Radio
    • Zachary Richard, Marjolaine
    • OK Go, Here It Goes Again
    • Fantasia, Walt Disney Productions
    MP3 file Track + metadata + Cover art Track + metadata + Cover art + VIdeo Track + metadata + Cover art + Video + Film + Game + Value-add content
  • 41. EXERCISE: Compare these music services
      • iTunes
      • Pandora
      • All Music Group
    • What content do they have?
    • How do they use content?
    • How does it affect the UX?
    • What structures can you assume?
  • 42. Ways we use content
      • How do we listen to music?
      • On the Web?
        • Streaming video
      • At home?
        • Stereo
        • Docking station
      • On the move?
        • Car radio
        • Music player
        • Mobile phone
      • How does this affect how we present content?
  • 43. Some key differences iTunes.com Pandora.com AllMusic.com Downloadable tracks, cover art, preview clip, sortable metadata Listen for free online Recommends similar tracks through Genius sidebar Recommends similar tracks through Music Genome project Recommends tracks through community (reviews, related items, editorial) Focus on guiding users to check-out Focus on expanding musical tastes Focus on learning about chosen music
  • 44. Converging content: How it affects UX www.allmusic.com Blog posts Genre lists Genre descriptions Navigation data Cover art Music files Music labels Ads
  • 45. Automation of delivery: content management
    • How do they automate:
      • A UX that involves multiple incoming content types?
      • Tens of thousands of incoming content components per day?
      • Make sure content is findable?
    • Critical pieces:
      • Presentation layer controls the user experience
      • Underlying content management handles automation
      • Taxonomy handles the searchability
  • 46. Metadata
    • Melissa Harrison, interviewing Stephen Baker, author of The Numerati , for SXSWorld, February 2008
    • Picture your iTunes library. The song file itself is the data, and all of its defining characteristics – album art, play count, genre – are the metadata.
    • Given this information, iTunes is able to analyze, categorize and manage your music.
    • Shuffle? Not so random, actually. It speaks to the truth behind metadata: by comprehending its parts, we can better control the whole.
  • 47. Metadata affects UX
      • Kirsty MacColl, Tropical Rainstorm, These Shoes
    Metadata for a single track in iTunes
  • 48. To dream up this UX, contents must have:
    • Re-use potential
    • Semantic properties
    • Structure (XML, microformats)
    Cliff Hunt, Yangaroo’s COO “ Yangaroo’s Digital Media Distribution System compiles singles from artists and bundles them into an email that includes bio details, tour dates, and other support information. The tracks can be downloaded directly to iTunes and synched with an iPod so the songs are portable and sharable – like their CD counterparts – and their WAV format means the songs are immediately ready for terrestrial, Internet, HD and satellite radio broadcast. Once the song goes out, the system also lets you know which songs are reviewed, including the listened time and date.”
  • 49. Content is everyone’s problem
    • Christopher Cashdollar, Creative Director, Happy Cog Studios
    • “ Nothing can deter confidence quicker than a broken experience.”
    • With social media, broken experiences can damage brands faster.
  • 50. Production – Marketing – User Experience – Customer Support
    • Lane Becker (the founder of Get Satisfaction , an online service that helps to improve service and communication between companies and customers) says that to get the most from current economic nose-dive, look at folks who took advantage of the downturn of 2000 to really explore the medium they’d been working on for years. They created all sorts of new projects and ideas that ended up driving the innovation that the 2.0 boom depended on.
    Brady Hester, interviewing Lane Becker, SXSWorld, Nov 2008
  • 51. In tough economic times ...
    • Necessity is the mother of invention ...
    • Hard economic times drive innovation – from energy to manufacturing to technology
    • When times get tough:
      • You can’t afford to be complacent
      • It’s not enough to be “competent”
      • It’s not enough to do a “good” job
      • It’s not enough to “follow orders”
  • 52. Challenge = opportunity
    • Not just advice for the music industry
    • Not just for entertainment content
    • Tough times demand:
      • Inspiration
      • Vision
      • Innovation
      • Initiative
  • 53. This is, in essence, a product portal
    • This is, in essence, a product portal
    www.allmusic.com
  • 54. Same idea, different industry This is, as well, a product portal
  • 55. Think holistically; act boldly.
  • 56. If you can’t be entertaining, be enjoyable
    • By making the customer experience user-focused, they’ve created a better experience.
    • Better experience is a market differentiator.
    • It says “we care about our customers”.
  • 57. How will your audiences use your content?
    • Example:
      • First, there was Twitter.
      • Then came TweetDeck.
      • Then came TinyTweet.
      • (and so on, and so on)
    • The UX gap was filled by others.
    • Is that OK for your brand?
  • 58. Think outside the site
    • What are the touch points
    • What can be automated for users
    • What are the preferences of your audiences
    • How creative can you be?
    • What is the best you can provide, in practicality?
  • 59. Can you fill a gap?
    • Exploit the potential of your content
      • Structure
      • Findable
      • Engaging
    • Deliver a rich UX
    • First impression of a site: 50 milliseconds
  • 60. Are you a T-shaped thinker? You’re adept at convergent, synergistic thinking. www.davidarmano.com/thought.html
  • 61. Does your content have semantic properties?
    • Is it structured?
    • Can it be re-used?
    • Can it be filtered?
    • Can it be searched (more importantly, found)?
    • Can it be personalized?
    • Can it be integrated, syndicated?
    • Can your content converge?
  • 62. Lots of places to find inspiration
    • Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend, Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
    • How does your content measure up?
    • Do you have a strategy to move to the next level?
    • Check your competition.
    • Use the music industry as a benchmark (or inspiration).
  • 63.
    • HTML
    • http://www.w3schools.com/html/DEFAULT.asp
    • http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
    • XHTML
    • http://www.w3schools.com/Xhtml/
    • http://www.xhtml.org/
    • Microformats
    • http://microformats.org/about/
    • http://www.xfront.com/microformats/
    HTML, XHTML, Microformats
  • 64.
    • XML
    • http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml/
    • http://www.w3schools.com/ xml /default.asp
    • DITA
    • http://dita.xml.org/
    • http://dita.xml.org/5-minute-dita-tutorial
    • DocBook
    • http://www.docbook.org/
    • http://wiki.docbook.org/topic/DocBookTutorials
    • S1000D
    • http://www.s1000d.org/
    • And many other schemas:
    • http://www.w3schools.com/schema/schema_intro.asp
    XML, DITA, DocBook, S1000D
  • 65.
    • Wiki languages
    • http://www.it.uu.se/internt/web/wikihelp/wikilang
    • http://semanticweb.org/wiki/Structured_wiki
    • http://talk.bmc.com/blogs/blog-gentle/anne-gentle/dita-wiki
    • Specialty XML
    • http://www.stilo.com/
    • http://www.stylusstudio.com/xml_to_xml_mapper.html
    Wikis, Other XML
  • 66. Contact Info, Acknowledgements, Resources
    • Presentation © 2009 Intentional Design Inc.
    • www.intentionaldesign.ca
    • Presenter:
    • Rahel Anne Bailie, Content Strategist
    • +1.604.837.0034
    • Photographs used under Creative Commons:
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/fdecomite/