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what is
and should I be doing it?
Courtney Clark @circlish
Managing Director of UX
Kristina Bjoran @bjoran_identity
Senior...
My name is Courtney.
My taxes are done.
My name is Kristina.
My taxes are not done.
Key
Questions:
Do you have a story?
Have you set goals?
Because...
You’re a publisher.
People share good stuff.
Longform is all the rage.
What is
longform?
What does it mean?
Dissecting Longform
ONLINE CONTENT
LONGFORM
Online Content
Copy
what it says
Look & Feel
how it looks
Structure
how it’s
organized
3 Elements Of
Interaction
Look & Feel
how it looks
Scrolling
Images
Colors
Sounds
Structure
how it’s
organized
Linear
Exploratory
Copy
what it says
Nonfiction
Fiction
LONGFORM
Mostly Static 2,000+ Words Narrative
In journalism, this means “feature”
STRUCTURE
Exploratory
COPY
Nonfiction
COPY
Nonfiction
STRUCTURE
Exploratory
STRUCTURE
Linear
COPY
Nonfiction
STRUCTURE
Linear
COPY
Fiction
Finally the juicy bits!
Elements of Narrative
Plot
Source: The Shape of Stories / Maya Eilam
Source: The Shape of Stories / Maya Eilam
Some say 7...
● Overcoming the Monster
● Rags to Riches
● The Quest
● Voyage and Return
● Comedy
● Tragedy
● Rebirth
Other...
Conflict
Person vs.
SELF
Person vs.
PERSON
Person vs.
NATURE
Person vs.
TECHNOLOGY
Person vs.
ENVIRONMENT
Person vs.
SUPERNATURAL
P...
So what?
You must, we repeat,
must, have a point.
You need a BIG IDEA.
No point, no story.
!
It is your responsibility
to answer the question,
“Why should I care?”
LONGFORM
means STORY
plain and simple
Who’s your audience?
What story can you tell?
What conflict arises?
What’s the BIG IDEA?
Copy
what it says
Should I
longform?
Let’s get down to brass tacks
Tools & Considerations
Inflexible
PROS
● CHEAP!!!
● Beautiful designs out-of-the-
box
● Contextual editing of content
● Lots of element options
● Potential ...
● Constrained design options
● Difficult to white label
● No domain authority
● Uncertain future of service
● Difficult to...
Flexible
PROS
● Control over content
relationships
● Branded content
● Build exactly what you want
● Certain future of tools!
● Bet...
● Cost
● Resources
● Maintenance
● No marketing assistance
● Less design support
(Medium is purdy)
CONS
of flexible tools
Look & Feel
how it looks
Structure
how it’s
organized
Things to consider before taking the long leap.
So...should I try?
Goals, engagement, and
measurement
Install analytics.
Set goals for engagement.
TIPS
Consider your budget - no
need to start from scratch!
Be realistic.
Don’t promise the world.
Use existing themes, plug-ins.
Be flexible with your vision.
TIPS
Find writers, consider the
story, and create for the web!
Get an actual writer.
Let them do their job.
Find your narrative.
Always have a Big Idea.
Consider components.
Think of th...
Don’t forget your team
considerations...
Let the author test drive.
Make adjustments.
TIPS
Install analytics
Set goals for engagementDefine Your ROI
Let the author test drive
Make adjustmentsAuthor Experience (AX)...
Our Ask
Tell a story.
Set some goals.
Be realistic.
Go BIG or go
home. Dedicate
the resources.
!
Pageviews are Passé
Engaging Audiences
(PDF w/ case studies)
How Journalists Can
Measure Engagement
NPR’s Writing
Guidelin...
Questions & (Hopefully) Answers
Thank You!
Courtney Clark @circlish
Managing Director of UX
Kristina Bjoran @bjoran_identi...
What is Longform, and Should I Be Doing It? - NTC 2016
What is Longform, and Should I Be Doing It? - NTC 2016
What is Longform, and Should I Be Doing It? - NTC 2016
What is Longform, and Should I Be Doing It? - NTC 2016
What is Longform, and Should I Be Doing It? - NTC 2016
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What is Longform, and Should I Be Doing It? - NTC 2016

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Co-presented with Kristina Bjoran
Longform content is all the rage right now, for everyone from journalists, to Fortune 500 corporations, to the world’s biggest problem solvers.

You may be wondering, though — is this just a fad? Or should we be figuring this out?

Instead of jumping straight into developing longform content for your organization, stop. Think. Is this right for us? If so, what type of longform should we create? Do we have a story to tell? If so, do we have the resources to tell it?

In this session, we will:
Dissect what’s become a major buzzword – “longform content.”
Take a look at different types of longform content
Explore how “story” fits in
Uncover what types of storytelling best suit your needs
Help you figure out when longform is right for you and your organization
So join us for this discussion, and come prepared with your questions and real-life examples from your own organization!

Published in: Technology
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What is Longform, and Should I Be Doing It? - NTC 2016

  1. 1. what is and should I be doing it? Courtney Clark @circlish Managing Director of UX Kristina Bjoran @bjoran_identity Senior Creative Strategist LONGFORM
  2. 2. My name is Courtney. My taxes are done.
  3. 3. My name is Kristina. My taxes are not done.
  4. 4. Key Questions: Do you have a story? Have you set goals?
  5. 5. Because... You’re a publisher. People share good stuff. Longform is all the rage.
  6. 6. What is longform?
  7. 7. What does it mean? Dissecting Longform
  8. 8. ONLINE CONTENT LONGFORM
  9. 9. Online Content Copy what it says Look & Feel how it looks Structure how it’s organized 3 Elements Of
  10. 10. Interaction Look & Feel how it looks Scrolling Images Colors Sounds
  11. 11. Structure how it’s organized Linear Exploratory
  12. 12. Copy what it says Nonfiction Fiction
  13. 13. LONGFORM Mostly Static 2,000+ Words Narrative In journalism, this means “feature”
  14. 14. STRUCTURE Exploratory COPY Nonfiction
  15. 15. COPY Nonfiction STRUCTURE Exploratory
  16. 16. STRUCTURE Linear COPY Nonfiction
  17. 17. STRUCTURE Linear COPY Fiction
  18. 18. Finally the juicy bits! Elements of Narrative
  19. 19. Plot
  20. 20. Source: The Shape of Stories / Maya Eilam
  21. 21. Source: The Shape of Stories / Maya Eilam
  22. 22. Some say 7... ● Overcoming the Monster ● Rags to Riches ● The Quest ● Voyage and Return ● Comedy ● Tragedy ● Rebirth Others say 10 ● Monster in the House ● Out of the Bottle (Wishes and curses) ● Whydunit ● Golden Fleece (Quest Journey) ● Rites of Passage ● Institutionalized ● Buddy Love ● Superhero ● Dude with a Problem ● The Fool Triumphant (Underdog) And others, 20... ● Quest ● Adventure ● Pursuit ● Rescue ● Escape ● Revenge ● The Riddle ● Rivalry ● Underdog ● Temptation ● Metamorphosis ● Transformation ● Maturation ● Love ● Forbidden Love ● Sacrifice ● Discovery ● Wretched ● Excess ● Ascension & Descension Source: 20 Master Plots Source: Save the Cat Source: The Seven Basic Plots How Many Plots?
  23. 23. Conflict
  24. 24. Person vs. SELF Person vs. PERSON Person vs. NATURE Person vs. TECHNOLOGY Person vs. ENVIRONMENT Person vs. SUPERNATURAL Person vs. GOD Conflict Types
  25. 25. So what?
  26. 26. You must, we repeat, must, have a point. You need a BIG IDEA. No point, no story. !
  27. 27. It is your responsibility to answer the question, “Why should I care?”
  28. 28. LONGFORM means STORY plain and simple
  29. 29. Who’s your audience? What story can you tell? What conflict arises? What’s the BIG IDEA?
  30. 30. Copy what it says
  31. 31. Should I longform?
  32. 32. Let’s get down to brass tacks Tools & Considerations
  33. 33. Inflexible
  34. 34. PROS ● CHEAP!!! ● Beautiful designs out-of-the- box ● Contextual editing of content ● Lots of element options ● Potential for curated exposure ● Some engagement options of flexible tools
  35. 35. ● Constrained design options ● Difficult to white label ● No domain authority ● Uncertain future of service ● Difficult to relate to other content CONS of inflexible tools
  36. 36. Flexible
  37. 37. PROS ● Control over content relationships ● Branded content ● Build exactly what you want ● Certain future of tools! ● Better SEO opportunities of flexible tools
  38. 38. ● Cost ● Resources ● Maintenance ● No marketing assistance ● Less design support (Medium is purdy) CONS of flexible tools
  39. 39. Look & Feel how it looks Structure how it’s organized
  40. 40. Things to consider before taking the long leap. So...should I try?
  41. 41. Goals, engagement, and measurement
  42. 42. Install analytics. Set goals for engagement. TIPS
  43. 43. Consider your budget - no need to start from scratch!
  44. 44. Be realistic. Don’t promise the world. Use existing themes, plug-ins. Be flexible with your vision. TIPS
  45. 45. Find writers, consider the story, and create for the web!
  46. 46. Get an actual writer. Let them do their job. Find your narrative. Always have a Big Idea. Consider components. Think of the atmosphere. TIPS
  47. 47. Don’t forget your team considerations...
  48. 48. Let the author test drive. Make adjustments. TIPS
  49. 49. Install analytics Set goals for engagementDefine Your ROI Let the author test drive Make adjustmentsAuthor Experience (AX) Consider components Think of the atmosphereWrite for the Web Find your narrative Always have a BIG IDEATell a Story Get an actual writer Let them do their jobGet a Writer Use existing themes and plugins Be flexible in your visionDon’t Start from Scratch Be realistic Don’t promise the worldConsider Your Budget
  50. 50. Our Ask Tell a story. Set some goals. Be realistic.
  51. 51. Go BIG or go home. Dedicate the resources. !
  52. 52. Pageviews are Passé Engaging Audiences (PDF w/ case studies) How Journalists Can Measure Engagement NPR’s Writing Guidelines The Secrets to Writing Smart, Long-form Articles * We don’t have connections to or vested interest in any of these Aesop Story Engine (Wordpress) Medium Atavist Squarespace The Seven Basic Plots Byliner.com Longform.org TVTropes.org Tools Writing for the Web Story & Narrative Engagement & Analytics
  53. 53. Questions & (Hopefully) Answers Thank You! Courtney Clark @circlish Managing Director of UX Kristina Bjoran @bjoran_identity Senior Creative Strategist

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