All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content
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All Hail the King: the Care and Feeding of Content

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Content strategy presentation for the Arkansas Higher Education Web Conference, July 23, 2010.

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  • Preface –I am not a content strategy expert nor do I play one on TV. These are ideas that I want our campus to work towards, not a prescription for how it will work on every campus. Every university web team operates differently but it is my hope that afterwards, we can have some discussion on how to integrate a content strategy into your overall web process. Think of this as a conversation I’m having with myself that you all are here observing.--Imagesrc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chess_king_and_pawns.jpg
  • “Content is king.” I remember the first time I heard this expression. Before becoming “institutionalized,” I worked in local television for many years and “content” in the TV context is “programming” or the shows that we aired on our stations. The local focus turned to content really around the time that cable networks started competing for our audience share, and it was clear that the world had changed. A 60% share of audience would rarely be seen again except for the occasional and monumental live event. Even the Super Bowl these days may get only a 40 share. --Image src: http://scrapetv.com/News/News%20Pages/Business/pages-4/Burger-King-introduces-alcohol-in-effort-to-make-food-edible-Scrape-TV-The-World-on-your-side.html
  • Off-network syndication was where the profits were and stations competed to snatch up what were, in effect, “reruns” to pair up lead-ins and lead-outs around primetime programming and news– -- Image source: http://www.amoeba.com/blog/2009/12/index.html
  • We were looking for a way to manage audience demographic flow from one show to the next as if the remote had never been invented.--Image src: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluesiivv/62616874/
  • With the rise of broadband, digital sub-channels, and high definition, technology then pushed us to deliver more and more content. As a result, local news time periods multiplied and the idea of “repurposing” came along to try to satisfy the various ways consumers wanted content. Soon, time-shifting and even place-shifting made it obvious that… --Image credit: Christina Spicuzza http://www.flickr.com/photos/spicuzza/4664426448/
  • Image source: http://against-heresies.blogspot.com/2009/11/seven-habits-of-highly-effective.html
  • …you the consumer, really could have it your way.Image src: http://against-heresies.blogspot.com/2009/11/seven-habits-of-highly-effective.html
  • Why am I telling you this? I don’t know.It’s because I know more about television than you. No. Because the content dilemma is not unique to us. It is a baffling concept. A paradox really.. We’ve tried desperately to find ways to manage, aggregate, curate, and syndicate it in an effort to substitute for the costly creation of it.Historically, delivering original content has been the afterthought in our development process.--Image src: http://www.fseta.com/
  • We say things like content is king. But like our respect for English royalty in the 21st century, we treat content like it’s irrelevant.--Image src: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic-art/184870/100521/Queen-Elizabeth-II-and-Prince-Philip-attending-the-state-opening
  • Only after the design and development do we ask for the writer to come in and “add some copy where the placeholder text is.”--Image src: http://www.freecodesource.com/wallpapers/wallpaper/Lorem-Ipsum-Dummy-Text/
  • Copy does not equal content. Great content comes from great story-telling…
  • As we saw with Old Spice Guy.These are impressive stats but more than numbers, no call to action, just funny, engaging, must-share content-- using influencers to help spread the content even further.--Src: http://www.clickz.com/3641023?utm_source=direct-gri.ms&utm_medium=gri.ms-twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+clickz+%28ClickZ+News%29&utm_content=twitterfeed
  • Another content generator: Lady Gaga is the first living person to achieve 10 million fans on Facebook, has more than 5 million followers on Twitter, is googled more than 151,000,000 times a month.Gaga is the first currently producing music artist to reach one billion YouTube views. She is strategic, she is intentional, developing original content unique to each platform--Src: http://www.ip-seo.com/latest/2010/07/lady-gagas-extensive-and-successful-social-media-strategy/
  • Content includes all the storytelling components, like audio, video, images, tutorials.Yet text has become our biggest challenge…--Stock.xchng
  • Text is like Velma, frequently dismissed and yet, unlike Scooby, she almost always solves the mystery. Why do we want to dimiss text?--Image src:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scooby-Doo
  • Because text is also a beast that’s messy and doesn’t take care of itself. --Image src:http://allahsfivepercent.blogspot.com/2008/08/psa-pork-pt-ii.html
  • Enter Kristina Halvorson “...Text is a moving target with multiple owners and stakeholders. It’s the most complex kind of content to produce, and it’s the easiest to lose control of.”
  • She says content is worthless unless it does one of two things or both:1) Supports a key business objective2) Supports a user (or customer) in completing a task
  • What if we were forced to monetize our web presence? How would that change our priorities? How would our content change if enrollment goals (i.e. revenue goals) were tied to our web goals?If we think like the for-profits, every decision becomes singularly focused on those objectives.Marketing already has a stake in this, but tell me, how would the Recruitment Office, Financial Aid or say the Department of Biology modify their sites in order to pass this litmus test:--Src: Stock.xchng
  • Relevancy.
  • Our content has to be useful to the reader.Which is…
  • Not a mission statementI know I’m preaching to the choir here.
  • Kroog says “If you’re not sure whether something is happy talk, there’s one sure-fire test: if you listen very closely while you’re reading , you can actually hear a tiny voice in the back of your head saying Blah, blah, blah.” But let’s be real. We’re all guilty of happy talk. We’re conditioned to write placeholder text.A true assessment of our audience is in order.
  • Know your audience is the first rule but how do we do it? Hint: Talk to people. Seth Godin says even if you have multiple audiences, determine which one is most necessary to fulfill your objectives and write for them. What are their goals?--Image Src: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cully/87971296/
  • What do you want your reader to do with this information? More importantly, what information are they wanting from you?
  • These two things have to intersect for content to be relevant enough for them to care and care enough to act.--Image src: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Twins
  • Develop user profiles and tailor your content to them. When you flesh out personas and literally post them on the wall, they will serve as a reminder of what’s important to them as opposed to what’s important to you.--Image credit: GDS Digital http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdsdigital/4361707989/
  • What key words are in their minds when they are searching your content? I’m not talking about search engine optimization. I’m talking about the actual words that are in their heads as they try to complete a task. Don’t let clever marketing or industry-speak cloud the user’s frame of reference. Your users are task-driven and laser-focused. Don’t make them think. --Image credit: Melissa Velez http://www.flickr.com/photos/melvelez/2742417989/
  • Granted there are about a billion other things wrong with this screenshot. But why use the word “health” when you can instead call it FOX23 Living Life? Do you need further proof that the redundant and nonsensical should be avoided. Keep things simple. If the user is looking for “health,” call it “health.”
  • Where do they access your content? If social media is in your mix, it needs to be intentional and staffed appropriately. I meet with campus folks all the time who have felt it necessary to launch a fan page but have no plan for actual engagement. A page for the sake of having one is not a plan. It’s like grand opening day for your restaurant without wait staff. No one gets served.--Image credit: Matt Hamm http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthamm/2945559128/
  • We have to let the King guide our moves. Content can no longer be the afterthought, something we add in after the design and development work is over. The content must influence these decisions. Just like in the TV business, we’ve been feverish in our attempts to control, replicate, or manage content without thoughtfully investing resources in the creation of it.--Imgsrc: Stock.xchng
  • Meanwhile, content management systems have brought democracy to web publishingand created a subset of admins with little incentive or ownership of their sites--Image credit: CristianLabarca http://www.flickr.com/photos/huasonic/3008074711/
  • J.Todd Bennett calls these folks “The Incidental Publishers”Merriam-Webster defines incidental as 1) being likely to ensue as a chance or minor consequence2) occurring merely by chance or without intention or calculation--Src: http://www.decimal152.com/blog/2010/02/the-incidental-publisher/Definitionfrom Merriam-Webster
  • We need to train our campus content creators to think like publishers with an editorial plan that emphasizes a lifecycle of content not just a launch. Content is something we do along with a million other things but it’s completely worthless if it’s not done strategically with a maintenance plan involved.--Image credit: Erin Scime http://www.dopedata.com/2009/07/23/panel-on-the-content-life-cycle-at-razorfish/
  • In fact, it will become quite damaging if left alone uncared for.--Image source: http://lurino.deviantart.com/art/blah-blah-blah-in-black-108488389?q=sort%3Atime+favby%3Akunthi&qo=6
  • This is really just a starting point. All of you have different roles and your approach to content may vary, but I hope that you will begin to bring content into the forefront of your process and not be afraid to let it dictate your decision-making.--Image src: http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthamm/2945559128/
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