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Toward a Unified Field Theory
of Content Strategy
 Content Strategy Consortium ~ IA Summit 2009
 Memphis, Tennessee
 March 19, 2009

                                                Elena Melendy
                                                elenamelendy.com
                                                     917 517.1976
                                                       @emelendy
“ONE MAY SAY THE ETERNAL MYSTERY OF THE WORLD IS ITS COMPREHENSIBILITY.”
WORD ART: WWW.WORDLE.NET
AN EXCEPTIONALLY SIMPLE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
E8 THEORY PROPOSED BY PHYSICIST ANTONY GARRETT LISI, NOVEMBER 2007
DEFINE:EVERYTHING
    EVERYTHING IS CONTENT
•
Theory
A supposition or a system of ideas intended to
explain something, especially one based on
general principles independent of the thing to be
explained

An idea accounting for or justifying something

A set of principles on which an activity is based

                                          Compact OED
CONTENT REACHES CONSUMERS
INTERNET ACTIVITY INDEX (IAI) ~ AS OF JANUARY 2009.
“PRINT IS NOT DEAD. PRINT IS WHERE WORDS GO TO DIE.”
JARVIS:
IRONICALLY, PRINT IS DEAD WAS RECENTLY PUBLISHED IN PAPERBACK.
Field
Discipline: a branch of knowledge

A particular kind of commercial enterprise




                               Princeton University WordNet
Unify
To become one

To join or combine

To bring together for a common purpose or action
or ideology or in a shared situation

To act in concert or unite in a common purpose or
belief
                              Princeton University WordNet
Unified
What Brings Us Together?
Desire for Community
Collaboration       Professional growth

Collegiality        Mentoring

Knowledge-sharing   Job leads

Sociability         Client referrals
Desire to Contribute
Educate clients     Improve quality

Educate peers       Improve processes

Influence managers   Generate opportunity
Personal Fulfillment
Intellectual stimulation

Career satisfaction

Career advancement

Sense of achievement

Networking
Shared Values
Useful          Graceful

Clear           Logical

Accurate        Meaningful

Appropriate     Relevant

Comprehensive   Timely

Persuasive      Consistent
Field
What Separates Us?
Where We Come From
Library science            Advertising

Information science        Rhetoric

Information design         Journalism

Information architecture   Communications

Technical writing          Liberal Arts

Marketing                  Linguistics
Where We Work
Marketing agency         Web-only

Advertising agency       Cross-platform digital

Web design studio        Print and online

Single practitioner      Software products

Large enterprise

Small business

Non-profit organization
How We Specialize
Editorial standards and calendaring

Content management technologies and life cycle

Messaging and writing

Content organization and metadata

SEO

Delivery and distribution
Who We Are
Gender identity            Personality

Racial identity            Religious belief

Age                        Sexual orientation

Differently abled status   Politics
Reminders
WE ARE NOT LOCAL
CONTENT STRATEGY IS A WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT
What will define the media company of the
             future? The ability to let content travel
             across a myriad of platforms, devices and
             lifestyles. The will to embrace new forms of
             measurement, data, technology and digital
             infrastructure to manage complexity. And
             the vision to compete on the future.

                   Razorfish Digital Outlook Report 09, March 9, 2009




WE ARE NOT WEB-ONLY
THE INTERACTIVE LANDSCAPE IS RAPIDLY EVOLVING
EXTERNAL PRESSURES
DISAMBIGUATION: THIS IS MARKETING
EXTERNAL PRESSURES
DISAMBIGUATION: THIS ALSO MARKETING. THOUGH SHE CALLS IT PR.
“Where’s your business case?”

Territoriality

Organizational resistance

Bureaucracy

Arrogance

Conservatism

Personal agenda
Theory
What Do We Do About It?
As content strategists,
we are uniquely
positioned to address
these challenges—
by using the tools of
our discipline itself.
What Do We Need?


An actionable communications
strategy aligned with our values
How Do We Get One?
Define mission

Define values

Define target audiences

Outline specific goals

Align messaging and create content

Secure communication channels

Distribute and promote
What Tools Do We Use?
Consistent labels and taxonomies

High-traffic sites with sound metadata and SEO

Content aggregation

Cross-platform publishing

Formal lobbying / national trade association

Informal social networks, virtual and in-person

???
Our Mission
Create a content strategy for Content Strategy
References
Digital Outlook Report 09. Razorfish, March 9, 2009, pp. 174–175. http://
www.razorfish.com/#/ideas/reports-and-papers/special-reports/
Halvorson, Kristina. “The Discipline of Content Strategy.” A List Apart,
December 16, 2008. http://www.alistapart.com/articles/
thedisciplineofcontentstrategy
Internet Activity Index, January 2009. Online Publishers Association. http://
www.online-publishers.org/page.php/prmID/421
Lovinger, Rachel. “Content Strategy: The Philosophy of Data.” Boxes and
Arrows, March 26, 2007. http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/content-
strategy-the
MacIntyre, Jeffrey. “Content-tious Strategy.” A List Apart, December 16,
2008. http://www.alistapart.com/articles/contenttiousstrategy
Toward a Unified Field Theory of Content Strategy


                                    Elena Melendy
                                 Minty Fresh Media LLC
                        115 South Oxford Street, No. 524
                              Brooklyn, New York 11217
                                      elenamelendy.com
                                           917 517.1976
                                             @emelendy

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Toward a Unified Field Theory of Content Strategy

  • 1. Toward a Unified Field Theory of Content Strategy Content Strategy Consortium ~ IA Summit 2009 Memphis, Tennessee March 19, 2009 Elena Melendy elenamelendy.com 917 517.1976 @emelendy
  • 2. “ONE MAY SAY THE ETERNAL MYSTERY OF THE WORLD IS ITS COMPREHENSIBILITY.” WORD ART: WWW.WORDLE.NET
  • 3. AN EXCEPTIONALLY SIMPLE THEORY OF EVERYTHING E8 THEORY PROPOSED BY PHYSICIST ANTONY GARRETT LISI, NOVEMBER 2007
  • 4. DEFINE:EVERYTHING EVERYTHING IS CONTENT •
  • 5. Theory A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained An idea accounting for or justifying something A set of principles on which an activity is based Compact OED
  • 6. CONTENT REACHES CONSUMERS INTERNET ACTIVITY INDEX (IAI) ~ AS OF JANUARY 2009.
  • 7. “PRINT IS NOT DEAD. PRINT IS WHERE WORDS GO TO DIE.” JARVIS: IRONICALLY, PRINT IS DEAD WAS RECENTLY PUBLISHED IN PAPERBACK.
  • 8. Field Discipline: a branch of knowledge A particular kind of commercial enterprise Princeton University WordNet
  • 9. Unify To become one To join or combine To bring together for a common purpose or action or ideology or in a shared situation To act in concert or unite in a common purpose or belief Princeton University WordNet
  • 11. Desire for Community Collaboration Professional growth Collegiality Mentoring Knowledge-sharing Job leads Sociability Client referrals
  • 12. Desire to Contribute Educate clients Improve quality Educate peers Improve processes Influence managers Generate opportunity
  • 13. Personal Fulfillment Intellectual stimulation Career satisfaction Career advancement Sense of achievement Networking
  • 14. Shared Values Useful Graceful Clear Logical Accurate Meaningful Appropriate Relevant Comprehensive Timely Persuasive Consistent
  • 16. Where We Come From Library science Advertising Information science Rhetoric Information design Journalism Information architecture Communications Technical writing Liberal Arts Marketing Linguistics
  • 17. Where We Work Marketing agency Web-only Advertising agency Cross-platform digital Web design studio Print and online Single practitioner Software products Large enterprise Small business Non-profit organization
  • 18. How We Specialize Editorial standards and calendaring Content management technologies and life cycle Messaging and writing Content organization and metadata SEO Delivery and distribution
  • 19. Who We Are Gender identity Personality Racial identity Religious belief Age Sexual orientation Differently abled status Politics
  • 21. WE ARE NOT LOCAL CONTENT STRATEGY IS A WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT
  • 22. What will define the media company of the future? The ability to let content travel across a myriad of platforms, devices and lifestyles. The will to embrace new forms of measurement, data, technology and digital infrastructure to manage complexity. And the vision to compete on the future. Razorfish Digital Outlook Report 09, March 9, 2009 WE ARE NOT WEB-ONLY THE INTERACTIVE LANDSCAPE IS RAPIDLY EVOLVING
  • 24. EXTERNAL PRESSURES DISAMBIGUATION: THIS ALSO MARKETING. THOUGH SHE CALLS IT PR.
  • 25. “Where’s your business case?” Territoriality Organizational resistance Bureaucracy Arrogance Conservatism Personal agenda
  • 26. Theory What Do We Do About It?
  • 27. As content strategists, we are uniquely positioned to address these challenges— by using the tools of our discipline itself.
  • 28. What Do We Need? An actionable communications strategy aligned with our values
  • 29. How Do We Get One? Define mission Define values Define target audiences Outline specific goals Align messaging and create content Secure communication channels Distribute and promote
  • 30. What Tools Do We Use? Consistent labels and taxonomies High-traffic sites with sound metadata and SEO Content aggregation Cross-platform publishing Formal lobbying / national trade association Informal social networks, virtual and in-person ???
  • 31. Our Mission Create a content strategy for Content Strategy
  • 32. References Digital Outlook Report 09. Razorfish, March 9, 2009, pp. 174–175. http:// www.razorfish.com/#/ideas/reports-and-papers/special-reports/ Halvorson, Kristina. “The Discipline of Content Strategy.” A List Apart, December 16, 2008. http://www.alistapart.com/articles/ thedisciplineofcontentstrategy Internet Activity Index, January 2009. Online Publishers Association. http:// www.online-publishers.org/page.php/prmID/421 Lovinger, Rachel. “Content Strategy: The Philosophy of Data.” Boxes and Arrows, March 26, 2007. http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/content- strategy-the MacIntyre, Jeffrey. “Content-tious Strategy.” A List Apart, December 16, 2008. http://www.alistapart.com/articles/contenttiousstrategy
  • 33. Toward a Unified Field Theory of Content Strategy Elena Melendy Minty Fresh Media LLC 115 South Oxford Street, No. 524 Brooklyn, New York 11217 elenamelendy.com 917 517.1976 @emelendy