Content Management Meetup, January 25, Tuesday, 7 p.m., Winter Social
The meetup was kind of interesting. I went there to learn more about the profession of content strategy. It is an emerging profession.
First we met and introduced ourselves. I am hoping I remember most of the people there. There was Peter Gallo who was information architect. Brian E. Kirby was one of the organizers. He works for AIG as a managing editor for web content. He explained his job is more to decide what people are going to do with content than editing. Another of the organizers was Anna Svahn who works for an advertising agency. There was also Elena Melendy who was an independent contractor, Lynn Bernstein who works as an independent consultant, and Liz Weintrob who works for Saatchi and Saatchi as a managing editor and John who works as a technology person.
The atmosphere was quite comfortable. The first thing that they mentioned was a conference called Confab 2011 http://www.confab2011.com/ Anna Svahn was planning on going. It is in Minneapolis on May 9-11.
I asked about content strategy and what it was. They told me that it can mean a lot of different things. The field was relative new. It was about two years old. There is some relation between content strategy and content curation. It is more strategy than data management.
I asked about books which you could read. The first thing they suggested was that I look at Joe Pulizzi who is establishing the Content Management Association. He has a book called Get Content, Get Customers.
Several other books were talked about including; The Content Strategy Bible by Paul Sheffield. This book gives a good introduction to the field. Anne Rockley also wrote Managing Enterprise Content, A Unified Content Strategy. On the more technical side, they mentioned the book, Content Management Bible by Bob Boiko. It is a technical book on how to build a content management system including building, implementing, running, and managing a CMS.
For something a bit simpler, they suggested reading Paul Krug's book about usability, Don't Make Me Think. I mentioned two books, Curation Nation aby Steven Rosenbaum and Letting Go of Words by Ginny Redish. It was interesting hearing about these books.
Most of the people were focused on corporate and advertising data. Liz Weintrob came from a publishing background and worked with Saatchi and Saatchi.
The field is very new. It is about two years old. When I mentioned that I was a librarian they suggested I might be interested in information architecture. I said, no, I am more interested in what goes into a website than the structure, I do collection development.
They described that they were dealing with enterprise content, not smaller systems like Drupal which they use in our library.
I was especially interested in some of the ideas about metadata. They only told me that they are often hired to go in and cleanup existing services which have inadequate descriptors for their records. The search engines and indexes are often not user focused. They are also involved in data mapping and data planning which means they plan out maps of all the data they are going to put in.
I think it was Lynn Bernstein who talked about how she often had to create descriptors for the records from museums and film which had not been properly labeled. It was often a focus on individual records being described. Their objective was to make it easy for the user not the creator. She mentioned three questions.
What do we have?
What are we doing?
What are we going to do with it?
There was an analogy that data was put into a cup. Then the content strategist asks who is going to drink from the cup?
It was a very interesting evening. I learned quite a bit. As always, feel free to correct me, comment, and think on what was said. Please don't mind my functional, if somewhat personal grammar.