1:32 PM

The Content Conundrum: Redefining Content Strategy

I was thrilled to have my first editorial published by CMS Wire in mid September. Many thanks to those who have commented and and tweeted. It's led to some very interesting conversations - feel free to reach out to me if you have a comment. You can read the original article here  

What Does Content Strategy Mean to You

Welcome to the Content era. It’s here, it’s now and it’s changed the game. Stemming from the rise of data during the Y2K scare, to the subsequent explosion of information that followed, we’ve drowned in data, been overwhelmed with information and now face a new realm that’s been characterized as Content Chaos. (AIIM, 2010). Regaining and establishing order requires a Content Strategy. Let me ask you first, what does ‘content strategy’ mean to you?
  1. Isn’t that what marketing does when they print brochures?
  2. It is the creation, delivery and disposition of web content.
  3. SharePoint
  4. It is the creation, publishing, distribution and governance of content in support of corporate goals.

While this served well for Web Content Management, the definition is too myopic for the new content-driven paradigm. Content is pervasive and proliferating throughout every functional group across a company or government organization and extending beyond the firewall to partners and customers. Meanwhile the unrelenting volume of user-generated content, rich media and social objects compounds daily as the tribes, crowds, communities and countless (millions!) of internet users continuously create, collaborate, publish, distribute, access, stream, download and view content online — and now on their mobile device.

Applying a Content Strategy

Web content management is a valuable discipline and requires a content strategy. So does email, contracts, invoices, documents, presentations, spreadsheets, engineering diagrams — even Twitter and Facebook accounts. However, managing content is very different than applying content. Managing content can help bring order to content chaos; you may even reduce costs, meet compliance regulations and generate efficiencies from process automation and knowledge-sharing.

Applying a Content Strategy not only brings order to content chaos, it prescriptively orchestrates through the clutter to realize new sources of value. For that reason, the best answer above that defines Content Strategy is ‘D’
How do you apply a content strategy against corporate goals? Therein lays the conundrum. Here are a few examples that illustrate the risk of not applying and the potential rewards:
 Scenario  Conundrum                           Recommendation             Validation

Do I need a mobile app for that?  Content Strategy includes ECM and WCM and now mobile content and mobile content management completes the trinity. The content strategy supports the business objectives. If revenue is a top priority then monetizing content via mobile applications might be the focus. Mobile content revenues will grow from $1.15 billion in 2009 to more than $3.53 billion in 2014 (eMarketer) NBC Olympics Mobile platforms (Mobile Web Site and iTunes App), amassed 87.1 million page views during the 17 days of the Vancouver Winter Olympics (NBC 01/03/10)

Who stole my brand? User-generated content, micro-blogging and viral distribution has shift the balance of power from the Establishment to end-user Embrace the users – and gain their support. Ignoring them won’t make it go away. Parody BP Twitter site usurped the official BP page in less than a week. BP, an enterprise conglomerate, applied a full court PR press and tweeted over 2,000 times to amass 18,632 Twitter followers. The parody accrued 190,206 with less than 500 tweets.

Hell hath no furry…. Instant and viral distribution of content or social objects: Word of Mouth rules. A poor experience, delayed response won’t encourage customers to say nice things. A content strategy is more than monetizing assets. The experience is equally important to ensure a repeat customer. And one that tells their friends, and their friends…. According to a survey of US mom Internet users, Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted- nearly 12 times more- than descriptions that come from manufacturers, (eMarketer, February 2010).

Content is a Valuable Asset

Organizations spend millions on data and information management infrastructure, systems and technology. They invest millions in storage, security, business intelligence and other applications to reduce risk, be compliant and analyze corporate performance. Sadly, in their efforts to achieve business goals: reducing costs, improving operational efficiencies and uncovering new sources of value, they fail to apply one of their most valuable assets: content.

The Content era is a new world with new rules and a new realm of players. To prosper, you need a game plan — a content strategy, and it must align with business goals. Sitting on the sidelines isn’t being cautious; it’s conceding to the market, your customers, your competition. A prescriptive and pragmatic content strategy will help navigate this new world and support value creation.

9:40 PM

Got Content? My home (content) improvement project

Saturday 1:20pm
Consolidate & move all media files to iMac.
Hmmm, how do I find and get rid of duplicates?

Do I really have a terabyte of music, videos and who knows what else?

Okay, this sucks – maybe I really do have a terabyte. I’ll just move it all and figure it out later.

I need an external drive – with at least a terabyte of space.

Arrive at Staples.

Am tempted to use the store PA system as I still can't find a store clerk and the cashiers are deeply involved in some sort of boyfriend crisis to notice that I've been standing in front of the Customer Service counter for 7 minutes... not that I was counting. Because if I was, I would have specified 7 minutes and 23 seconds...

I'm advised that the phone system is not for public use. However, I'm able to quickly get a few questions answered and procure a Western Digital external drive that will work on both PC and Mac.

Back at home office and moving files to new drive. Okay, now – where was I? Right – media files. Move them all and I’ll deal with the duplicates once I have all media in a single location.

While media files are moving, I’ll go through temp and download folders to move or delete files …or did I already do that? Am I moving the same files again – but potentially to different folders and I’ll have multiple copies? How do I check that?

Search on a few files to see if I’ve already moved them, and if so – where? One Mac has 150 files and the other has less than 30. Who calls a file 154987_345_21456.pdf? Or 3398531745_5a8c79f42_z.jpg. Honestly?! That’s just cold.

I’m going to have to open all the files with a cryptic file name and see what it is, if I want to keep it, and if so, rename it and move it.

Cryptic file names suck. Clearly there must be an easier and faster way to do this?

Media files still copying. 180 files from download folder have been moved or deleted (feeling like Rock star. Not quite Gwen Stefani but better than Taylor Swift at last year’s MTV awards show. )

Open email with visions of grandeur to deal with the 2922 unread messages. On the bright side, that’s 4,000 less than what’s piling in my yahoo account. [Who’s sending me this stuff anyway??!]

Surely I must have a bottle of wine in the house somewhere….

Nope. Bummer

Back to email. This sucks. I’ve only conquered A-D.

Who are these people? I don’t want a Rolex, I’m not interested in marrying a self proclaimed super sexy single from overseas, I’m not suffering from ED… woah - DSW has free shipping this weekend??!

Deep breath - stay on target. Focus.
Media is still copying over to external – how long is this going to take??
Back to email... I can do this!

I wonder if DSW has these Fendi patent peep toe platform heels in size 8.5? Step away from the computer.

Play with cat.

Remove fruit fly catcher sticky tape from cat’s tail. Hope the hair loss isn’t going to be permanent.

I should organize my Documents folder
I need to organize my Documents folder
I will organize my Documents folder

Okay, here goes: Documents folder.
Why are there two folders with the same name on the same machine? Oh wait, there’s a third if I include my MacBook . Super. Just super. I’ll consolidate and organize. Hmmm, not enough memory to do that. On any of my machines. Right – I have to delete the media files that I copied over to the new drive.

Deleting dilemma… what if something goes wrong on new drive and the files don’t move properly? What if the new drive crashes and I lose everything because I deleted the source files from my machines? 27,654 songs now in my iTunes library. Hmmm, seems excessive. That’s a project for another weekend.

Find 500gig external drive to consolidate and move My Documents folders to single location. WHAT? “Destination folder is not large enough”… come’on!

Find second external drive – 320 gigs. I now have the terabyte drive for my media files, 500 gig for Documents folder and a third 320 gig for overflow. With keyboard, external speakers and printer already taking most of the USB ports, I have to find a second USB extension ‘thingy’ (note to self: a tradeshow trinket that is actually useful) to connect the third drive.

Wonder if Sharam or GlamScum have released new podcasts I can download…

My stomach advises that I’m hungry. Apparently the cat has forgiven me and also wants dinner.

Cat is fed. Corinne has ordered Thai food.

Copying is all-complete.
Now what?

I'm exhausted. Over 7 hours invested into managing my home computer(s) content. I need a content strategy. How does one person have nearly 2 terabytes of data and not really know what it all is?

7 hours just to organize my files and I still have to review it to see what I can get rid of, what I can archive and what I’m going to keep. How do companies approach this? If I’m using close to $600 of external storage and spent 7 hours just to move the information- not even organize it yet – how do companies manage this for hundreds…1000s…of employees? Do they have a content strategy? Can I borrow it?

No wonder there’s content chaos. I can’t even get my home content under control. I'm sure there's more efficient and technically superior way to have accomplished this - and YES! I'd love to hear how. Especially if it doesn't require me to invest in additional hardware. This home project is far from done and it's about as exciting as peeling fruit fly tape from my cat's tail.

Luckily - Thai food has just arrived! To be continued….