Thinking about content strategy

My twitter feed served up the following tweet from Jonathon Colman (‏@jcolman) today (via a retweet by IA Institute (@iainstitute)):

Content ≠ “Write the words”
Design ≠ “Make it pretty”
Content + Design = EXPERIENCE.

Sometimes my title of information architect serves up fascinating and thought provoking information. I still consider myself a technical editor through and through, who happens to do information architecture work when editing content early in the development cycle. However, many of my colleagues have started calling themselves content strategists, so off I went to read this set of slides about building better content.

(I wish I could create slides like these. I wish I could have been in the audience wherever Colman presented these slides. But, I digress.)

There were three slides in particular that I responded to:

  • Slide 38, which shows where content creation fits in designing user experiences. It shows it in a Venn diagram, off to the side, and how it overlaps or is close to information architecture, and many of the other related fields or roles that folks are taking on. I need to study this slide again and again, taking lots of great ideas of content strategy.
  • Slide 62, which encourages everyone involved with content to always, always, always start with the WHY, before even thinking about the HOW, and well before thinking about the WHAT. As technical editors, we often come into the equation at the WHAT level, at the actual content, but we must start being involved with the inner layers of this onion, and bring that WHY into the WHAT that we are editing.
  • Slide 73, which just makes me smile. Slow down and fix (y)our stuff. Okay, he used a more colorful word than stuff. As I take a break from the madness of the fast-paced agile development that I live and breathe these days, any direction to slow down hits right at the heart of providing a quality assurance process, which is how I view technical editing (as my readers know).

Happy editing everyone!

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One Response to Thinking about content strategy

  1. Linda O says:

    WOW! What a wonderful presentation. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. I see many things that I can learn from and share with students.


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