What can content strategists learn from the long-established areas of online: UX, design and development? A look at my tumblr content experiment for ABC Classic 2 - a new online radio station of classical music.
Presented at Content Strategy Forum 2014 in Frankfurt.
1: This is a story about bad things that happen when content strategists try to take on too much.
2: Classic 2 is the sister station to a long established classical music station, ABC Classic FM.
3: As a content maker I get pulled in a lot of different directions – wearing a lot of hats. I spend a lot of time and energy trying to make a perfect world for my content to be born into. This experiment is about I took off all those hats to wear just my content hat, and how in doing so I was influenced by designers/developers around me who work “lean” everyday.
4. Wanted to concentrate 100% on crafting the perfect content offer in lead up to launch - not the bells and whistles, not the brand pack, but the actual content - words, images, video, sound.
5: ABC Classic 2 not a new idea - plenty of competitors in the online classical music listening space - the difference needed to be in the packaging.
6: In retrospect, saying that I needed a website to make Classic 2 stand out from the crowd was a dumb idea. I had no development team to build me a site. I think from their perspective, I had no clear content goals – not that they’d seen anyway. I had great ideas in my head but nothing documented.
7: There was one redeeming feature I was grasping onto and that was an editorial hunch: that different packaging and a unique tone of voice for this product was key.
There is value in an editorial hunch, or knowing your audience. It’s knowledge in your head that isn’t documented.
8: What I wanted was digital content, not a website.
It felt like an arbitrary decision to go with Tumblr – my main motivation was to kill off side-issues the need for a designer, developer, the need for a site map and user testing.
9: The tumblr interface is naturally stripped back and let’s content shine and it’s responsive to all devices. We took control of de-scoping.
10: It’s not about hierarchy, the new content just piles in at the top, yet it continues to seep out sideways as it gets shared socially.
11-16: Tumblr inspiration.
17: Effectively at the publish stage pre-launch.
18: Months from launch, we were moving into editorial workflows to test the production process.
19: Testing the content ideas by pitching ideas, creating the posts and sharing them in team.
20-24: Content examples of differing levels of effort. No “buckets to fill” problem – when you have a site needing constant "feeding".
25: Retrospective content experiment.
26: Key goal of the tumblr is to convert consumers of the content into listeners of stream.
27-28: If we had traditional website, we wouldn’t be making memes. Learning from community.