How did we all get here?

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Using the data from a survey in which web content professionals from six continents were questioned about their life, work and education, I revealed the six most common and relevant paths that led them to the discipline of content strategy.

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How did we all get here?

  1. 1. How did we all get here? Richard Ingram, ingserv @richardjingram #csdiagram Content Strategy Forum 2011 5 September 2011
  2. 2. We, as individuals, often look to the past to define and redefine ourselves.
  3. 3. To remind ourselves of where we've come from helps us learn more about who we are today.
  4. 4. The skills and practices picked up from our educational and professional past has helped shape and influence the way we approach the discipline.
  5. 5. But what I've often wondered is...
  6. 6. Which were the most common educational and professional routes taken by today's practising content strategists?
  7. 7. Which fields of study, professions, or previous occupations do we look back on as the most relevant to the work we do today?
  8. 8. Could such information help inform and encourage others interested in making the leap into content strategy?
  9. 9. Could a diagram help provide some answers?
  10. 10. I've done this type of thing before...
  11. 12. But this time I needed the community's help.
  12. 13. I needed data and stories.
  13. 16. Gender share 41% Male 59% Female
  14. 17. Gender share 41% Male 59% Female Confab 2011 attendees* 35% Male 65% Female *Approximate figures Source: http://bit.ly/oiLtFW
  15. 18. Gender share 41% Male 59% Female CS Forum 2011 speakers 41% Male 59% Female Source: http://2011.csforum.eu/speakers
  16. 19. Age group share Below 20 1% 21-25 2% 26-30 16% 31-35 28% 36-40 23% 41-45 13% 46-50 8% 51-55 5% 56-60 3% Above 60 2%
  17. 20. Geographic region share North America 73% Europe 21% Asia and Middle East 1% Australasia 2% Africa 2% Central South America and Caribbean 1%
  18. 21. Geographic region share North America 73% Europe 21% Asia and Middle East 1% Australasia 2% Africa 2% Central South America and Caribbean 1% Source: http://meetup.com
  19. 22. I felt the data reflected a good cross section of the community.
  20. 23. Onward to the diagram that will inform and determine the diagram.
  21. 24. What did we study formally?
  22. 25. Perceived relevance of formal education
  23. 26. What were we up to in 2001?
  24. 27. How did we answer the 'and what do you do?' question at social gatherings?
  25. 28. Can the landscape be mapped?
  26. 37. An Exhibition Coordinator will typically... Draft and review event plans, timetables and itineraries, Collate event information and resources, Liaise with artists, curators and exhibitors, Cost and secure event resources, Manage event-related budgets Source: http:/bfi.org.uk/about/jobs/jb/240510B.pdf
  27. 38. Q. How have your professional responsibilities and competencies changed from ten years ago?
  28. 39. "I actually sort of do the same thing – except digitally, as opposed to in museum galleries. Crafting messages, collecting “artifacts” [sic], organizing everything, coordinating all the players – now, I just do it on the Web." - Respondent #137
  29. 41. A Medical Lab Assistant will typically... Check equipment and material stocks, Order new supplies, Label, sort and store blood samples, Make up chemical solutions, Enter patient data Source: http:/bit.ly/pHeN0n
  30. 42. Q. How have your professional responsibilities and competencies changed from ten years ago?
  31. 43. "I used to be a sheep, and now I’m a shepherd." Respondent #29
  32. 44. What were we up to in 2006?
  33. 50. Q. How have your professional responsibilities and competencies changed from five years ago?
  34. 51. "I get included in projects at an earlier stage, and my input is treated with far more respect." - Respondent #14
  35. 52. "I am much less 'in the trenches' and much more involved with higher level staff and executives, providing guidance and recommendations." - Respondent #101
  36. 53. "I stay out of meetings whereever [sic] possible. I like to chuck in a content audit like a grenade and see what happens." - Respondent#242
  37. 54. Bringing it all together.
  38. 65. Let's return to the questions posed at the beginning again...
  39. 66. Which were the most common educational and professional routes taken by today's practising content strategists?
  40. 68. Which fields, of study, professions, or previous occupations do we look back on as the most relevant to the work we do today?
  41. 70. Could such information help inform and encourage others interested in making the leap into content strategy?
  42. 71. Who knows. It'd be nice though, wouldn't it?
  43. 72. Thank you.
  44. 73. See the finished diagram http:/visualization.org/full-screen/32221 View the survey results http://flickr.com/groups/csopenproject/ Study the survey data http://bit.ly/pAI123

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