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The Definitive Guide to Content Strategy for the Complete Noob

The Definitive Guide to Content Strategy for the Complete Noob


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(Anyone know where I can download it?)

Yeah, so the term #contentstrategy is spreading, and people are getting really excited. Some folks really seem to get it, and some are actually doing it. Some have been doing it for a long time, but only now have that moment’s insight, “Oh, so that’s what it’s called.”

And then, there are the noobs, like me.

If you’re a content strategy noob, you’ve had the sense for a long time that something important was missing from the mix when designing and launching websites. And you recognize its tracks in the wireframe: Lorem ipsum sit amet dolor…

I know, I know. You hate resorting to greek! But how else can you represent something that doesn’t exist, but in which you must needs have unshakeable faith?

Then, we hear about “content strategy!” Now, our noobish ears are pricked—our noobile interest piqued. Could “content strategy” be the missing link, the secret gnosis leading to content transcendance?

Twenty-two of us banded together as the first meeting of the Content Strategy Consortium at the 2009 IA Summit in Memphis to talk about it. What is content strategy, really? How do we do it? How’s it related to any of the other disciplines with which we are familiar? What′s our point of reference.

The content strategy consortium’s first meeting was fantastic, but please don’t be disappointed to learn that we didn’t come down from the mountaintop bearing stone flashdrives engraved with eternal guidelines. But neither did we get to the foundation of content strategy: We did a great big cannonball dive into the middle to see how far we could splash. (Really far, by the way.)

As a noob, though, that’s not what I need, and I’m guessing that there are other noobs out there like me, who also need a little more basic substance in which to grow. That’s why I started this blog.

Here I intend to toss out my ideas about where to begin to understand and create content strategy. I invite my fellow consorters and all content experts, but especially you other noobs, to chime in. Let’s ask questions and form positions. Let’s make suggestions for how to sort this all out together.

But be gentle. After all, I’m just a noob—an ugly cute duckling among swans.

Like the other members of the consortium, I am deeply grateful to Kristina Halverson (@halverson) and Karen McGrane (@karenmcgrane) for organizing this community, and to the IA Summit (#ias09) for sponsoring the effort.

For more coverage of the wonderful Content Strategy Consortium (#csconsortium), check out the following blog posts:

@rlovinger at Razorfish

@deliciouswords

@collettico

About: rsgracey

@rsgracey has spent his life moving from one area of interest to another, collecting knowledge, skills, and experience (and TOOLS!) for a wide range of creative and professional fields. If you need someone to help you "think through" any problem of information, communication, and the community, don't hesitate to call him in.

4 comments

  1. Shelly Bowen says:

    First, I love the word Noob. I’m so glad to know one. And I’ll be looking forward to your content strategy insights here!

  2. What? No engraved stone flashdrives? I’m a noob too, and am eagerly drinking up the presentations from the consortium. It motivated me to write my own first focused blog post on content strategy.

  3. Hey, that’s @halvorson to you, buddy. No “e”!

    Everyone does that. I should change my last name to Smith. Or Jones. Or Noob.

  4. rsgracey says:

    Fixed. Sorry!