What I learnt from Confab London - day1

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I learnt so much from day 1 of Confab London. Thought it would be good to share 10 of these things with you. Hope you enjoy and a big hello and thanks to everyone involved in the conference.

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What I learnt from Confab London - day1

  1. Confab London 10 things I learnt from day 1Rachel Caldwell - Content Officer
  2. 1 I’m definitely a content geek• I was so excited to be there and learn from some of the best. People I had only read about or followed on Twitter were there and were every bit as inspiring as I had hoped. It was fantastic.• When I was given my name badge it felt like Christmas! (Will be pinning it up at my desk to keep me motivated)• I let out a “whoop” when I noticed we had all been left a copy of Content Strategy for the Web on our seats when entering the hall. (It was the first content strategy book I ever read – a must read. Plus my original copy is covered in notes so I’m delighted to have a new clean copy, cheers Confab.)
  3. 2 Everybody hurts … sometimes (a la REM), but we have a great opportunity (thanks to the Kristina Halvorson) Yes, we were told that making a content strategy might be like trying to perform open heart surgery on a marathon runner while they are still running. But even though things are alwayschanging and there is so much going on, it’s worth spending time on and starting to implement a good content strategy now. Actually, it’s essential!
  4. 3 The importance of voice and tone in content (thanks to Kate Kiefer Lee)In some ways it’s more valuable to create a voice and tone guide than a custom style guide. There are editorial style guides in place that can be adapted, but voice and tone is unique to each organisation and each section of content. EMPATHY Remember that the way we write affects how people feel.Side note: Kate was a fantastic speaker. Could have listened to her all day.
  5. 4Always use real content from the start rather than lorem ipsum (thanks to Leisa Reichelt) It makes much more sense, in more ways than one!!Using real words and content relating to the project from thestart ensures we are focused on what we are delivering to the user and the purpose of it from the outset.
  6. 5 Intranets need some love too (thanks to Audun Rundberg)• Only include content that has value. Is it relevant, is it well written? If not then it should not be included. (“Delete, delete, delete”!)• Keep the goal of an Intranet in mind. To make work easier, to share knowledge, to unite the organisation. It’s not just a dumping ground for everything and anything.• While a good intranet might seem low on the list of priorities, remember it will help employees and save time. Time saved means more time to spend on the priority tasks!Side note: Auden was hilarious .
  7. 6 Erik Westra knows his music!I loved the tunes playing in between sessions. Made the walk to the Gather Content stage quite enjoyable .
  8. 7 Accessibility should be at the core of what we do (thanks to Wiep Hamstra)• If it’s worth doing then it’s worth doing for everyone. ALL people deserve the best.• Good SEO is dependent on the design and content being accessible. Google cannot see after all. (this was a light bulb moment for me)• Using plain language is a must.
  9. 8 It’s not as hard as it may seem to show the financial benefits of a good content strategy (thanks to Melissa Rach) I was glad to see that I wasn’t the only person allergic tomathematics in attendance. There was only one maths graduate there. But after this session I think Melissa had given us all that bit more confidence that’s needed.
  10. 9 I want to be Karen McGrane when I grow up!(taken from Kristina Halvorson – but I think a lot of us felt this way) Karen’s talk was … EPIC. So many “yes!” moments. I really wanted to run up to her and say thank you for confirming everything I believe in (I didn’t build up the courage - but clapped really loudly instead). Mobile users should not be penalised by being given less content. The majority of people we are trying to reach are looking at our content on a mobile.If you can shorten a message and make it clearer for mobile, then show the same on the web!! If it’s better – it’s better.
  11. 10 Lightning talks are brilliantI had never witnessed a lightning talk in person before but knew all about the format. It was as intense as I expected but really enjoyable. All who presented were fantastic. High five to you all. In fact high five to everyone involved in Confab London. Day 1 was something I will never forget. My thoughts on day 2 to follow …

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