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Content Strategy Insights
35 minutes | 4 days ago
Chris Savage: Video Content Marketing and Analytics – Episode 87
Chris Savage Chris Savage founded Wistia to help businesses understand how well their video content was performing. Early on they stumbled across content marketing, using their own how-to videos to grow their own business. When COVID-19 hit and customers started interacting with companies virtually, Wistia really took off. We talked about: how he founded and has grown Wistia as a video platform to help marketers understand how well their videos are working their focus at Wistia on educating their customers about how to create videos the differences between Wistia and YouTube and Vimeo and other video platforms how the global coronavirus pandemic has driven huge growth in video consumption in 2020 and the dynamics behind this trend how the virtualization of business with the pandemic has driven both entrepreneurship and new media consumption patterns some of the rules of thumb and best practices around video production how to use video viewing data to inform the evolution of your video content how structuring video content opens opportunities for serialization and similar opportunities how owned video assets are are replacing advertising and other paid media placements and the factors behind this trend an example of how much more effective a video campaign can be compared to, e.g., and outsourced e-book how brands like MailChimp use video to engage customers how engaging customers can reduce friction in a company's relationship with them how, regardless of the medium, the customer is in charge nowadays - and the ensuing importance of focusing on your customers needs and giving them the content they want Chris's bio Chris Savage is the co-founder and CEO of Wistia, a web-based software solution that helps marketers turn viewers into brand advocates to grow their businesses. After graduating from Brown University, Chris and his co-founder Brendan Schwartz, started Wistia in Brendan’s living room in 2006. They founded the company with the goal of helping businesses effectively market their products or services more creatively through video. Recently, Savage and Schwartz turned down an offer to sell Wistia and took on $17.3M in debt instead, which allowed them to buy out their investors, gain full control of Wistia, and take the path less traveled in the tech industry. Now, more than 500,000 businesses across 50 countries depend on Wistia's products to build their brands and their businesses, including HubSpot, MailChimp, Sephora, Starbucks, and Tiffany & Co. Follow Chris on social media Twitter LinkedIn Wistia's learning resource area Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/4ne6WTrWUn8 Podcast intro As we move deeper into the multimedia, omni-channel business communications world, video continues to rise as an important content medium. Add a global pandemic that makes face-to-face interactions more challenging and video becomes even more relevant. Chris Savage founded Wistia to help marketers get a better handle on how video engages their customers. In the process of democratizing video production and analytics, he stumbled into content marketing, further leveling the playing field for non-expert video producers. Interview transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 87 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Chris Savage. Chris is the CEO and the co-founder of Wistia, the video platform. Welcome Chris, tell the folks a little bit more about your background and what Wistia does. Chris: Yeah. First of all, thanks for having me, excited to be here. And so I started Wistia a year out of college, which was 14 years ago, and basically we built it into a platform for marketers to help them present, market, understand how their video is performing. And that means analytics to measure things, customization, branding control, all that stuff.
52 minutes | 19 days ago
Rahel Anne Bailie: The Content Empress – Episode 86
Rahel Anne Bailie Rahel Anne Bailie has earned the title Content Empress. One of the original cohort of content strategists, over the past couple of decades she has become a leading expert on content operations. While she focuses on content, she might better be described as a business analyst and consultant who helps companies with their digital transformation. We talked about: her title of "Content Empress" and its origins, as well as its convenient over-arching-ness for the many roles she has served the first time she was called a "content strategist" in 2002, long before it was a popular term her take on the difference between content strategy and content design the difficulty of explaining how a content strategist differs from a content creator her recent blog post on the history of content strategy how complexity drives the need for content strategy the origins in stories of old computer manuals of how she thinks about modular content the two sides of content: copy plus the technical things that give it more power the importance of content models in a flexible, agile content system structured authoring for complex environments the devolution of product user-interface content - e.g., the loss of single sourcing as UI content moved from the tech comms department to product teams single sourcing, the idea of a single source of content truth, and how it's a bit of a lost art how PayPal was able to respond quickly to their customer's needs during the pandemic because of the agility afforded by their use of single-sourcing how to sell content strategy: you have to focus on cost savings, not ROI, and the importance of accounting for all of the costs your content incurs the equation that underlies "information enablement": content + data = information the importance of understanding the fundamental nature of content, especially being able to explain it to technologists, who tend to focus on the shiny new stuff over the boring proven stuff the dearth of educational sources for learning content strategy her work with the Content Strategy Alliance on their new content strategy curriculum and their efforts to create a certification program her take on the future of content strategy: more complexity around personalization, growth, scale, and other big issues driving the need for better strategies and plans the importance of content even in systems that don't appear at first to be content-driven her big aha! moment that content strategy is useless with its operationalization Rahel's bio Founder of Content, Seriously, a London, UK based consultancy. Seasoned consultant developing content strategies for efficient and effective content operations. Instructor in FH-Joanneum's Content Strategy Master's Programme in Austria. Co-author of "Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits" and "The Language of Content Strategy"; contributor to several other books. Over 30 years of experience in content, including corporate communications, technical communication, localization management, and content strategy. Lover of gin, Scrabble, and dancing. Follow Rahel on social media Twitter SlideShare Medium LinkedIn Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/NdA8PnZacWI Podcast intro In a field that struggles with what to call itself and how to assign labels to its practitioners, Rahel Bailie has carved out a unique role for herself: Content Empress. The title started as a joke - and as a way distinguish her from a student who had already claimed the title Content Queen. But it truly fits. Rahel was one of the very first content folks to identify as a content strategist. She has pioneered many modern content practices. And she is widely regarded as the world's leading expert on content operations. Interview transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 86 of the Content Strategy...
31 minutes | a month ago
Noz Urbina: Adaptive Content for Personalization – Episode 85
Noz Urbina Noz Urbina can help you navigate the hype around personalization and create genuinely helpful customized content experiences. Noz focuses on the fundamentals that create useful, usable adaptive content. He starts with customer journey mapping and persona creation to develop an evidence-based picture of his users. Then he builds modularized content models that address those user needs. The result is a human-centered content system that serves up content tailored to answer users' questions wherever they are in their journey. Noz and I talked about: his background as a pioneer in the field of content strategy and his OmnichannelX conference the need for precision around the use of the term "personalization" how to create actionable personas and discern user needs and goals, and how to determine why any one segment might need personalized content how to figure out who your customers and users are the importance of using journey mapping to identify the questions your users need answers to how journey mapping is all-too-often done as a crafts project, not as a genuinely customer-centered exercise how his background in technical documentation helps him to this day how customer journey mapping can elicit aha! moments among stakeholders how content modeling both prompted his interest in customer journey mapping and helps him do it better the need to craft answers that can work across a number of delivery channels his Legos and Russian-doll analogies to describe componentized content new natural language processing (NLP) technologies that can help guide consistency and style and categorization the small but growing number of vendors of these tools - and his appreciation for this small tools ecosystem (a few examples: PoolParty, OntoText, StarDog,Acrolinx, UXPressia) his observation that tech is not the problem - that's never what's holding back big enterprises - the real problems are lack of internal organization, processes, content models, and content design how unlikely it is that even the biggest, smartest companies will ever create a holistic end-to-end customer experience system the upside of the incompletion of 360-degree content strategy adoption: wherever you are, you'll always have the opportunity to move forward the importance of developing good content models Noz's Bio Noz Urbina is a globally recognized leader in the field of content strategy and customer experience consultancy. He’s well known as a pioneer in customer journey mapping and adaptive content modeling for delivering personalized, contextually relevant content experiences in an omnichannel environment. He is also co-author of the book “Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits” and lecturer in the Masters Programme in content strategy at the University of Applied Sciences, Graz. In 2013 he founded his own consultancy Urbina Consulting and in 2018, co-founded the omnichannel events organisation OmnichannelX. Follow Noz LinkedIn Twitter Urbina Consulting OmnichannelX Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/tRapDqAZMlM Podcast Intro Transcript You want to feel like you've been heard and understood and that companies are giving you exactly what you want. Personalization is the business tool that can make this happen. Unfortunately, personalizing content is not as simple as installing software and hitting the "start" button. It requires lots of user research and a strong understanding of how to model and organize your content. For the past couple of decades, Noz Urbina has been listening to users and building the adaptive systems that power content personalization. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 85 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Noz Urbina. Noz is the founder of Urbina Consulting.
42 minutes | 2 months ago
Autogram: Content and Design Systems for Enterprises – Episode 84
Orchestrating the strategy, design, and software work that comes with enterprise-scale digital projects is a complex and painstaking mission. It's hard to imagine a team better equipped to take on these challenges than the founders of Autogram. Karen McGrane Ethan Marcotte Jeff Eaton Karen McGrane, Ethan Marcotte, and Jeff Eaton have each mastered huge swaths of digital business practice. Karen built the venerable UX and content practices at Razorfish and has arguably done more enterprise content strategy work than anyone else on the planet. It's hard to find a content strategist who doesn't cite her as a mentor or source of inspiration. Ethan introduced the now-ubiquitous practice of responsive web design ten years ago. He's working now to develop a holistic approach to creating design systems. Jeff is an accomplished web developer and content management systems expert who has guided the content strategy for many of the largest sites on the web. Together they help digital teams collaborate more effectively. We talked about: Karen's background as a content strategist and information architect and her pioneering work building the user experience practice at Razorfish Ethan's background as a front-end designer and developer and the creator of responsive web design Jeff's background in content management systems and web development and his work in content strategy how their identification of common concerns across content management systems and design systems led to them getting together as a team the Venn diagram that describes their overlapping skills sets: Karen in strategy and design, Ethan in design and software, and Jeff in software and strategy the challenges of getting content management systems and design systems to work for the whole organization, not just the content and design teams how to move from thinking about artifacts like websites to higher level design systems that have a broader impact on the organization how hard it can be to keep content, design, and tech teams aligned over the course a digital initiative the "tangly" challenges of implementing a decoupled content architecture the interplay between decoupled-content systems and pattern-oriented design systems the importance of focusing on the back-end authoring experience and of aligning on language and labels across different parts of the organization how to align teams on a collective shared understanding about design pattern language the tools and approaches you can use to help different teams develop a shared understanding of the concepts in a big, complex digital project the hazards of having complicated systems being led by any one discipline or team the challenges of scaling content strategy and design practices the ongoing thinking among enterprises that technology will fix their problems, when in fact it's 80% people and process work that needs to be done the ongoing work in the design world to develop a common language around building design systems the importance of shared language and grammar across the span of big complex digital initiatives Karen's Bio Karen McGrane identifies and solves problems with content management and user experience design across print, web, and mobile. She has partnered with some of the world’s largest enterprise businesses to streamline their digital operations and governance. Follow Karen on Twitter. Ethan's Bio Ethan Marcotte works at the intersection of design and front-end development, to help organizations design and build sites and services that can be accessed by everyone, everywhere. Notably, he introduced the world to responsive web design. Follow Ethan on Twitter. Jeff's Bio Jeff Eaton helps large organizations understand, model, and manage their content. Whether he’s fixing problems with CMS architecture or editorial workflow, his solutions sit in the overlap between design, communications,
35 minutes | 2 months ago
Carmen Martinez and Paulo Azevedo: Conversation Design Teamwork at Flixbus – Episode 83
Carmen Martinez and Paulo Azevedo combine her linguistics and ethnography skills with his computing and product skills to create computer interactions that feel almost human. Carmen Martinez Paulo Azevedo Carmen and Paulo collaborate to design conversation experiences for FlixBus, a company that helps millions of travelers around the world book bus travel. It's hard to create natural-feeling conversations between humans and computers, but they get better at it with every product launch. We talked about: Carmen's background as a conversational UX expert and Paulo's as a product owner, data scientist, informaticist, and developer their collaborative process in designing conversational experiences Paulo's moment of insight when he realized that his developer team would benefit from having a human-centered researcher and designer on the team how they align human and computer approaches to conversation design how complicated a seemingly simple task like providing a bus stop location is in a conversational interaction design the eye-opening challenges of helping digital conversationalists interact appropriately with humans the wide range of technologies that underlie conversation design how they use ethnographic and other research methods in their conversation design process, and how data from real human users feeds into their ongoing research the huge differences between graphical user interfaces and voice user interfaces the challenges of figuring out what you don't know when their are conversational misunderstandings the importance of having a language person on your conversational design team how conversation design is still a work in progress Carmen's Bio Dr. Carmen Martinez is a Conversation Analyst and Ethnographer of Communication working in Conversational Artificial Intelligence at FlixBus. As an expert in human-to-human conversation, she contributes to a cross-disciplinary team by automating customer service interactions, modelling both text- and voice-based human-to-machine conversations, and developing visual solutions for graphical and multimodal conversational agents. She is the author of “Conversar en español: un enfoque desde el Análisis de la Conversación” published by Peter Lang Berlin. Connect with Carmen on LinkedIn. Paulo's Bio Paulo Azevedo is an IT professional based in Germany, where he's spent the last few years working on AI and machine learning projects at different capacities. He's done data analysis, software development, developed machine learning models, and lately has been focusing on agile project management. Since March 2017 he's been working at FlixMobility, a German mobility startup with operations in 30 countries, where he was responsible for the strategy and implementation of voice platforms. Connect with Paulo on LinkedIn. Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/71phD4niFkk Podcast Intro Transcript When you talk to Siri or Alexa or interact with a support chatbot, you probably don't give a lot of thought to the work that went into creating those conversational experiences. Carmen Martinez and Paulo Azevedo do think about that work - because they do it all day. They design conversational experiences for FlixBus, a company that helps millions of people book bus travel in countries around the world. Carmen and Paulo combine their linquistic and computing skills to get closer every day to conversational experiences that feel human. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Episode Number 83 of The Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us, Carmen Martinez and Paulo Azevedo. They work at a company called FlixBus in, I guess you're all over Europe, but you're both based in Germany, I believe. Well, welcome to the show, Carmen and Paulo. Carmen, you're a Conversational UX expert there. Tell us a little bit more about what that entails and how y...
33 minutes | 2 months ago
Sara Wachter-Boettcher: Design and Content Leadership – Episode 82
Sara Wachter-Boettcher Sara Wachter-Boettcher helps design and content professionals discover and express their leadership ability. Leaders can come from anywhere. You don't have to be in a management role. With some personal work and a little courage, you can lead from wherever you are in the digital design and content world. Sara and I talked about: the difference between leadership and management her definition of leadership the importance of recognizing that you don't have to be in a management role to lead the need for leadership in our current world situation the many internal and external messages that can lead to impostor syndrome the many ways to beging developing the reflection and other inner skills that are the foundation of leadership how work culture and tech culture can suppress our humanness the importance of recognizing what you bring to the leadership game as you observe and model other leaders the very real and justified bases for having some fear around speaking up as a leader the importance of periodically taking a realistic assessment of the amount of risk you can take - identifying the times when it's OK to be bold how to recognize that you have grown and when to make choices that you might not have made a couple of years earlier her personal challenges with balancing her identity as a content strategist with her current focus on coaching (especially in 2020) the importance in challenging times of checking in with yourself and thinking about what you need to do - "Are you willing to pause and listen to your gut?" Sara's Bio Sara Wachter-Boettcher is an author, speaker, coach, and strategist dedicated to changing design and tech for good. She’s the founder of Active Voice, a coaching and training company helping organizations build radical, courageous leadership practices. Her most recent book, Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech, was named one of the best tech books of the year by Wired. She also wrote Design for Real Life (with Eric Meyer) and Content Everywhere, and has been published in The Washington Post, The Guardian, and McSweeney’s. Find her at home in Philly, on Twitter @sara_ann_marie, or at sarawb.com. Resources Mentioned in the Podcast Brené Brown's leadership website Denise Jacob's Banish Your Inner Critic book Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/gHa8rAb6lI4 Podcast Intro Transcript There's a clear distinction between management and leadership. The two practices are often conflated, but they're really quite different. Sara Wachter-Boettcher helps design and content professionals understand the differences and become effective leaders. You need to do some serious self assessment, and you'll probably need to take some risks, but the benefits of improving your leadership game can be enormous. At the very least, you'll grow as a person. At best, you can restore some humanity to a sometimes bleak digital work culture. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 82 of the Content Strategy Insights Podcast. I'm really happy to be welcoming back Sara Wachter-Boettcher. Sara was on the show, god, more than two years ago, way back in the early days. I'm really happy to have you back. Sara, for the two of you who don't know who she is, I'll just quickly talk about, Sara's a long time or a real content strategy pioneer, a UX practitioner, and she's moved on now, and that's what we're going to talk about today, into more leadership roles around content and design practice. She's really, I think, justifiably well known for the book she's done, Content Everywhere, Design for Real Life, and Technically Wrong. But anyhow, welcome to the show, Sara. Tell the folks a little bit more about what you're up to these days and welcome. Sara: Yeah, sure. Thank you, Larry, it's great to be back. So, yeah,
60 minutes | 3 months ago
Scott Abel: The Content Wrangler – Episode 81
Scott Abel Scott Abel is a content strategy original. He first took the title of "content strategist" in 1999. Since then, Scott has practiced content strategy and become a leading voice for the discipline. When he's not running his consultancy, Scott organizes content events, publishes and writes books and articles, and keynotes and speaks at industry conferences. Scott and I talked about: the serendipitous origins of his moniker, "The Content Wrangler" the gap between the popularity of the term "content strategy" and its actual adoption how he got his title at his first "content strategist" job in 1999 the pragmatic business lessons he learned early in his career managing technical content for a pharmaceutical company how streamlining content workflows can save companies literally tens of millions of dollars how learning to go beyond grammar and other writerly concerns can help you move up from content creator to content strategist how the rise of e-commerce helped move modular content engineering principles and practices out of the technical content world and into broader use on the web how increasingly atomized/modularized/componentized content has made smarter content systems necessary how to deal with the main challenge in content strategy management: people how technically complex systems can enhance and augment human creativity an "Aha!" moment he had at iFixit about how to measure the ROI of content and how that insight improved the content practice there how the pedantic lessons he learned in Mrs. White's Language Arts class ruined his ability to write SEO copy the importance of recognizing and demonstrating content as a valuable business asset the accounting challenges of getting content value accounted for on a company's balance sheet the work of Salim Ismael around "information enablement" - a business practice that enables businesses to grow exponentially the uneven distribution in enterprises of expertise around structuring and scaling content why you need to connect with a leader in your company, ideally in the C-suite, who is scared to death that their company could become the next Blockbuster how the analogy of the human body's immune response can explain the rejection of content strategy and other innovative business practices how content strategists can benefit from the neuroscience lessons in Carmen Simon's book, Impossible to Ignore the importance of expanding our skills sets in the practice of content strategy the even-more-important task of clarifying and articulating our profession, a project that looks to Scott like "a content hairball waiting to be detangled" Scott's Bio Affectionately known as "The Content Wrangler," Scott Abel is the Founder and President of The Content Wrangler, an international content strategy consultancy that specializes in helping content-heavy organizations become information-enabled. Scott helps business leaders understand the need to operationalize their content, with a focus on standardizing and improving the way they author, maintain, localize, publish, deliver, and archive their information assets. In turn, this helps them become capable of serving up the right information, in the right format and language, to the right people and machines, on-demand, for any business reason necessary. The Content Wrangler hosts content industry events including Technical Documentation Roundup, Content Strategy Applied USA and Information Development World and has produced a series of ten books (2018), The Content Wrangler Series of Content Strategy Books, the first of which is “The Language of Content Strategy.” A formal journalism education, combined with 10+ years as a technical writer, makes Scott a natural choice for content professionals and organizations who need the tools to write content once and use it often. Scott is also an internationally recognized content strategist and vibrant speake...
31 minutes | 3 months ago
David Dylan Thomas: Design for Cognitive Bias – Episode 80
David Dylan Thomas David Dylan Thomas can help you tame the unconscious biases that can undermine your design decision-making. These biases are strong. You may never conquer them all. But recognizing them and accounting for them in your content strategy and design work can mitigate the hazards they present. You need to be on your toes at every turn to account for these cognitive biases. They can affect the products and experiences you design, your collaborations with your team, and your own behavior. Dave's new book shows you how to deal with each of these challenges. Dave and I talked about: the importance of understanding how people make decisions and how much of that process is unconscious and irrational how his Cognitive Bias Podcast led to the insights that inform his book an example of using anonymized resumes to remove bias from hiring processes how to re-introduce friction into design processes to slow down your thinking so that you have chance to make less-biased decisions the importance of adopting design practices that check your biases - e.g., "Red Team, Blue Team" or speculative design the hazards of focusing on the positive outcomes of our design work and ignoring the many possible negatives outcome the story of Abraham Wald and how he brilliantly figured out where to put armor on warplanes, leading to insight about "survivorship bias" how cognitive biases manifest in general, in end-user designs, in internal design processes, and in your own personal behavior how the fear of loss is twice as powerful as the prospect of gain, illustrating the bias of "loss aversion" how the design of real-life and virtual spaces prime people for different behaviors the three key biases to consider when looking at your personal behavior: notational bias confirmation bias déformation professionnelle, the bias of seeing the world through the lens of your job Dave's Bio David Dylan Thomas, author of the book Design for Cognitive Bias from A Book Apart, serves as Content Strategy Advocate at Think Company and is the creator and host of the Cognitive Bias Podcast. He has developed digital strategies for major clients in entertainment, healthcare, publishing, finance, and retail. He has presented at TEDNYC, SXSW Interactive, Confab, LavaCon, UX Copenhagen, Artifact, IA Conference, Design and Content Conference, and the Wharton Web Conference on topics at the intersection of bias, design, and social justice. Follow Dave on the Web DavidDylanThomas.com Twitter Cognitive Bias Podcast Links Mentioned in the Podcast Design for Cognitive Bias book Design for Community, Derek Powazek Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, Ingrid Fetell Lee Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/KLEetglYvrc Podcast Intro Transcript We human beings like to think that we're rational creatures, carefully looking at an array of objective factors before we make a decision. In a professional setting like a content strategy or design practice, we may feel like we're at the pinnacle of this rationality. In fact, we're operating on auto-pilot about 95 percent of the time, making decisions based on biases that are hard-wired into our thinking. Dave Thomas can help you understand and tame these cognitive biases and make better design and business decisions. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Episode Number 80 of the Content Strategy Insights Podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Dave Thomas. Larry: David Dylan Thomas was with us two years ago, shortly after Confab 2018, where he and I talked. So welcome back, Dave, I'm excited to see your new book. It's called Design for Cognitive Bias. So tell us a little bit about the book, and what folks can expect from it. Dave: Sure. Well, first off, we're really happy to be back. I can't believe it's been two years.
31 minutes | 3 months ago
Andrea Volpini: Structuring Unstructured Content – Episode 79
Andrea Volpini Andrea Volpini creates products that help search engines and other computers find your web content. Adding semantic meaning to your content helps artificial intelligence agents and other computers understand how your information relates to other content on the web. Revealing these relationships helps both computers and the human users who rely on them find and use your content. Andrea and I talked about: WordLift's origins as an advanced SEO tool the importance of knowledge graphs for the semantic web how "triples" make up the semantic web how the semantic web is a "web of meanings" connected by links his origins in the semantic web and how they led him into SEO how knowledge graphs might eventually permit alternatives to Google to arise the shift from web pages to more atomic entities how building knowledge graphs both feeds Google the information it craves but may also be planting the seeds for Google alternatives to arise how structured data helps search engines like Google understand relationships that help link it to a user's search intent the fact that currently the main consumers of the data in knowledge graphs are the big tech companies the role of Natural Language Processing (NLP) in creating knowledge graphs the role of semantic markup in showing the value of your content schemas and the schema.org linked-data vocabulary project the importance of an underlying content model the limitations of schema.org in describing some domains a project that he's working on to infer content structure by examining collections of previously unstructured content the importance of building your own knowledge graph before Google builds it for you Andrea's Bio Andrea Volpini is an Internet Entrepreneur and CEO of WordLift and Insideout10 with 20+ years of world-class experience in online strategies, digital media, and SEO. In 2013 Andrea co-founded Redlink, a commercial spin-off focusing on semantic content enrichment, artificial intelligence, and search. Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/Ji7VuVNY2v8 Podcast Intro Transcript The World Wide Web has always been about connections. First it was simple links connecting web pages. Nowadays it's knowledge graphs connecting repositories of semantically described content entities. Yep. That's a mouthful. Andrea Voplini can help you understand these concepts. Andrea has been working with semantic web content for years. He structures content to add meaning that shows computers - including search engines like Google - what the information you publish means and how it relates to other content on the web. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 79 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us, Andrea Volpini. Andrea is the founder and the CEO of a company called WordLift. We're going to talk about the kind of activities that WordLift does, but first of all, welcome to the show, Andrea, and tell the folks a little bit about WordLift and what you do there? Andrea: Thanks, Larry. I'm really excited to be on the show today. WordLift originally started as a plugin for WordPress, and now it's evolving outside of WordPress and helps people create knowledge graph. The purpose of this knowledge graph is to improve the content visibility over search engines like Google. So in a way you can think of us as an advanced SEO tool. Larry: Got it. I think that's a common way that people come to structured data and knowledge graphs and things like that is through a concern about being found on the web. But there's a whole other aspect to it as well. Tim Berners-Lee gave this famous TED Talk in 2009, I think, about his vision for the evolution of the web and how it would be more connected than it is. So that rather than having these siloed databases and content repositories, you could share things more openly.
30 minutes | 3 months ago
Erin Golden: The Evolution of Content Strategy – Episode 78
Erin Golden Erin Golden and her colleagues have created a model that shows the evolution of the practice of content strategy. Drawing on the Kardashev scale – an astrophysics method for measuring a civilization's level of technological advancement – they rank content strategy practice along a 1-to-5 range. K1 represents the first stage, when content strategists were mostly concerned with putting words on webpages instead of in paper documents. K5 represents the science-fiction-ey AI future of the practice. This reflection on the advancement of the discipline has led Erin to bolster her own professional toolkit, adding to her content skills new practices like UX research. Erin and I talked about: her background in the government, nonprofit, and higher education world as a information architects, user experience designer, content management specialist, and copywriter her current interest in the intersection of content strategy with user and audience research and how to incorporate data of all types into her work how she and a colleague apply the Kardashev scale as a model for evolution of content strategy practice maturity the five stages along the Kardashev scale: K1: copywriting, moving words from paper to the web K2: content strategy emerges as an alternative to inserting content into designed boxes K3: content ecosystem approach, SEO and content marketing K4: product experience, structured content, moving away from page-based models, arrival of content design K5: the AI era, implications for the future how different organizations and business units can be at different points along the K scale at any one point in time her propensity to push new content practices and tools how her "content first" approach is validated by the maxim, "form follows function" how the current era might actually be better described as "research first" the crucial role of research and content strategy in the early phases of product design the evolution of editorial decision making in the digital era to better focus on user needs and to manage content across its lifecycle the occasional lack of clarity around who is leading the dance between content strategists and SEO practitioners her observation the the convergence of disciplines allied with content strategy - information architecture, SEO, UX design - points to the benefits of being a generalist her belief that structured and atomic content are key to the future of content production and delivery Erin's Bio Erin Golden is a senior content strategist and experience designer at Publicis Sapient where she helps lead the experience design capability for the company while partnering with clients to advance their digital strategies. Based in Washington, D.C., Erin has worked in content and digital strategy for more than a decade with experience in government, nonprofit, and higher education. She has held a range of titles including copywriter, content management specialist, information architect, and user experience designer. She is passionate about audience and user research and enjoys working with teams to integrate research and measurement into their process. Follow Erin on Social Media Twitter Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/y8r8IV8VId4 Podcast Intro Transcript The discipline of content strategy has been around for about 20 years now. It's evolved a lot over that time span. From its humble beginnings as a practice devoted to translating print content into web pages, content strategy has grown into a sophisticated multi-disciplinary business practice. Nowadays content strategists contribute to digital products that we could not have imagined 20 years ago. Erin Golden and her colleagues at Publicis Sapient have come up with an innovative model to illustrate this evolution. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 78 of the Content Strategy I...
30 minutes | 4 months ago
Bob Kasenchak: Taxonomy for Web Publishers – Episode 77
Bob Kasenchak Bob Kasenchak is an expert on taxonomy for web publishers. He's one of a handful of information architects who focuses on this powerful practice. A good taxonomy helps people find and navigate your content. It helps search engines index and list your content. It helps connect your content to similar content on the web. The process of building a taxonomy can help align different business units in your organization around a central knowledge model that can power a number of different information systems. People like Bob devote their careers to the practice of taxonomy. But you don't have become a professional to benefit from well-organized content. Bob and I talked about: his role at Synaptica, a company that sells taxonomy and ontology software what taxonomy is, and its origins in the worlds of science and librarianship the differences between taxonomy use in the analog and digital worlds the inferiority of simple text search and how taxonomy can help deliver better search results how the concept of social media hashtags illustrates the benefits of creating controlled taxonomies how taxonomy creation can help align stakeholders across an organization how taxonomists can use an enterprise's content to create a central knowledge model to power a number of internal information systems how to embed taxonomy practices in your organization how "a taxonomy is a living document or data structure that has to be fed and watered" to account for change - Pluto as a planet, or COVID-19 as a disease, e.g. how the differences between structured content in a format like XML versus content stored in a database affect your ability to retrieve certain kinds of content information taxonomies that show organizational structure the difference between a content tagging taxonomy and web navigation taxonomy how taxonomies often exist in many different places and formats in an organization - "taxonomies are like teapots - everyone has a couple of them lying around, even if you're not sure where they are or how you got them" some of the tools available for taxonomists how to use existing taxonomies to jump-start your taxonomy project how to enlist taxonomy fans in your organization to support ongoing taxonomy work the natural human propensity to categorize things, and how taxonomy can help Bob's Bio Bob Kasenchak is a taxonomist and Senior Manager of Client Solutions at Synaptica living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After early training in philosophy and a decade studying and teaching music, Bob spent eight years designing and developing information projects at a leading taxonomy firm before joining Synaptica in 2019. His current interests include knowledge graphs, gamelan, and soup. Connect with Bob on Social Media Twitter Links to Resources Mentioned in the Podcast The Accidental Taxonomist list of taxonomy tools TemaTres Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/x7ty-51N8jQ Podcast Intro Transcript Whether you're classifying biological organisms, organizing books in a library, or categorizing your company's website content, you need a taxonomy. A good taxonomy makes your content accessible to people, findable by search engines, and connectable to other content. People like Bob Kasenchak devote their careers to the practice of taxonomy. But you don't have become a professional like Bob to benefit from well-organized content. Keep listening to learn more about this powerful information architecture practice. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 77 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Bob Kasenchak. Bob is a taxonomist at Synaptica. He's also his actual job title there is Senior Manager of Client Solutions. So Bob, welcome. Tell the folks a little bit more about what you do there at Synaptica and what a senior manager of client solutions...
28 minutes | 4 months ago
Laurah Mwirichia: Product Writing Enthusiast – Episode 76
Laurah Mwirichia Laurah Mwirichia is a product-writing enthusiast. She loves her work and wants you to jump into this burgeoning field, too. Laurah applies her writing skills as a product writer at Square. She loves using words in her design practice there, and she enjoys her collaborations with her product and technical colleagues. She's gleaned a lot wisdom in her UX writing career and is eager to share it. Laurah and I talked about: her path to her current role as a product writer at Square a look at the ideal and real versions of her job description the difference between writing output and overall work productivity the importance of collaboration in the product work how she learned the meaning of the UX and product term "strings" their current use of spreadsheets to manage strings and their evaluation of products like Ditto and Strings to more elegantly manage them how organization is half of your job as a UX writer her product writing toolkit (which is informed by her history in the startup world, where she was constantly exposed to new SaaS apps): Figma, Notion, Trello, Monday.com, Google Drive, Canva, and a little GitHub how she evaluates new tools her desire to help other writers make the transition into UX and product writing and tech in general the scope of her role at Square - she supports six products, half of which are consumer-facing and the other half internal tools the benefits of making friends with developers, designers, and other allied professions outside of work, and of networking and reading in the profession the importance for anyone in the modern workplace to build and develop your personal brand her desire to see more writers come to the field Laurah's Bio Laurah Mwirichia is a product writer and user experience advocate who loves bringing together the ever-intersecting worlds of copy and design. After several years as a freelance and full-time writer in the NYC startup scene, she discovered her passion for UX writing and never looked back. Laurah is currently a UX writer at Square. Connect with Laurah on Social Media LinkedIn Medium Twitter Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/-gY6dqlvIMI Podcast Intro Transcript If you're a copywriter or other creative who is uncertain about whether to pursue a career as a UX writer, Laurah Mwirichia says, "Come on in." Product writing and UX writing are well-established roles now, and your writing and collaboration skills are in high demand. If you're not already technically savvy, Laurah shares some tips on how to develop good relationships with software developers and the other folks you'll work with on a digital product team. She also has some great tips on how to settle into your new UX writing role. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 76 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Laurah Mwirichia. Laurah is a product writer at Square. And I sure hope I pronounced your name correctly. Laurah: You did. Larry: But welcome, Laurah. Okay, good. Thank you. Welcome, and tell the folks a little bit more about your role at Square and how you came to be there. Laurah: Yeah. Hi everyone. I'm Laurah. I'm a product writer at Square, and my path to becoming a product writer was kind of very convoluted, as I'm sure many people's paths are to getting to where we all are today. I initially started as a social worker, and that was the first part of my career. And after doing that for several years, moved to New York City, worked in freelance writing, worked in content marketing, became a content lead. But most of the companies I worked with were startups, mostly financial tech startups, but also ended up working full-time at a nonfinancial tech startup. And that's kind of where I got a really good chance to dig deep into UX writing and what that meant to me.
33 minutes | 4 months ago
Carlos Evia: Structured Content Authoring – Episode 75
Carlos Evia Carlos Evia teaches structured content authoring using DITA and similar tools at Virginia Tech. Structured authoring offers a number of benefits, most notably easy content re-use. By carefully structuring content as it goes into a repository, it can be used later in a variety of publications and applications. Structured authoring has its roots in the technical communications field. As other fields discover the benefits of structured content, interest in the practice has grown. This led Carlos and his colleagues on the DITA Technical Committee to develop a less-technical version of the DITA standard - Lightweight DITA - that can be used by marketers and other non-technical content creators. Carlos and I talked about: his duties as a professor of communication at Virginia Tech his transition from journalism to technical writing to academia his high-level take on structured authoring and structured content some of the standards and formats that guide structured content: XML, DITA, etc. the migration of DITA from technical content to other types of communication the emergence of Lightweight DITA as a simpler alternative to full-blown DITA the three formats Lightweight DITA: XDITA (XML-based), HDITA (HTML5-based), and MDITA (Markdown-based) three core concepts of structured content: content reuse, single-sourcing, and content repositories the differences between authoring workflows and mindset between web-page-oriented CMSs like Drupal and component-oriented DITA-based systems how to address the challenges of writing creatively in a structured-authoring environment how to determine when structured authoring is the right solution for your situation the possible demoralizing effects of structured authoring and how they affect diversity and inclusion in the field Carlos's Bio Carlos Evia is a professor of Communication at Virginia Tech, where he also conducts research for the Center in Human-Computer Interaction and serves as the faculty fellow at El Centro - Hispanic and Latinx Cultural and Community Center. Carlos is a voting member of the DITA Technical Committee and co-chair (with Michael Priestley) of the Lightweight DITA subcommittee. He is lead editor of the Lightweight DITA technical specification and author of the book Creating Intelligent Content with Lightweight DITA. Connect with Carlos on Social Media Twitter Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/i1ux2s1TZnE Podcast Intro Transcript Technical communicators have worked for years with structured content. Structuring content offers many benefits, like the ability to easily re-use common content elements. But when you separate content creation and its final presentation, it can be hard for authors to visualize how their work will look when it's published. Carlos Evia helps his students at Virginia Tech deal with these issues. He's also working on new authoring formats that promise to deliver the benefits of structured content beyond the field of technical communication. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 75 of the Content Strategy Insights Podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us, Carlos Evia. Carlos is a professor at Virginia Tech. A university in kind of the middle of Virginia. And Carlos teaches... Well, tell the folks a little bit about your background, Carlos. The courses that you teach, the research you do, and all the other fun stuff that's happening at Virginia Tech. Carlos: Well, hi, Larry. I am a professor of communication here at Virginia Tech in the Department of Communications, soon to be renamed as the School of Communication, but that's a conversation for another day. And I have been here for about 17 years, in a few different capacities. I did not start in communication. I started in the Department of English, but always working with technical communication, leading into these new thing.
30 minutes | 4 months ago
Michael Andrews: Content Metadata Strategy – Episode 74
Michael Andrews Michael Andrews literally wrote the book on metadata for web content (actually two books). Metadata puts the structure in structured content. It helps both humans and computers understand what your content is about and how it relates to other content. It ensures that your content is always up to date, easy to find, and able to be tailored to your customers' unique needs. In today's hyper-connected and ever-evolving digital media landscape, every online publisher needs a content metadata strategy. Michael and I talked about: his work as a Content Strategy Evangelist at Kentico Kontent and his prior work in agency, consulting, and in-house content strategy roles his definition of metadata the range of benefits of attaching metadata to your content how metadata helps search engines find and display content the benefits of metadata standards like schema.org and Open Graph how to attach metadata to content (, which )typically happens in a content management system) the differences between internally used metadata which is used for workflow and other administrative purposes and externally facing metadata which is published along with the content the emergence of "unbundled" content and how metadata helps reconnect content components, permitting new practices like omnichannel publishing via APIs how accessing content via APIs permits modern business practices like content personalization his approach to metadata strategy: taking a holistic approach, thinking across the content lifecycle to account for all possible metadata scenarios how a metadata strategy (along with good governance practices) can help span organizational silos the role of taxonomy in metadata - it permits teams to align on a common terminology how metadata can help align content to your customer journey map how getting started with metadata can help you start thinking about modularizing your content Michael's Bio Michael Andrews is Content Strategy Evangelist at Kentico Kontent. Over the past two decades, he has advised organizations in half a dozen countries about content strategy and user experience in diverse industry sectors. His previous roles include working as a Senior Manager for Content Strategy for Publicis Sapient, one of the world’s largest digital agencies. Based in Washington DC, he’s a frequent speaker at industry conferences such as Lavacon, Taxonomy Bootcamp, and the Information Architecture Conference. Andrews has published two books on the role of metadata in content strategy. He holds an MSc, with distinction, in human-centered computing systems from Sussex University in England. Connect with Michael on Social Media Twitter LinkedIn Michael's Books No More Silos: Metadata Strategy for Online Publishers Metadata Basics for Web Content: The Unification of Structured Data and Content He has also published an e-book at Kentico Kontent, The Complete Guide to Content as a Service (CaaS). Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh1-bdbyioY Podcast Intro Transcript Digital content is evolving to guide customers through unified experiences across a variety of channels and devices. These new publishing practices require unbundling conventional publications like documents and manuals into smaller chunks of content. You then need a way to re-assemble those chunks into new content formats. Metadata provides the connective tissue that makes this possible. Michael Andrews can help you understand why and how to build a metadata strategy to revitalize your organization's content. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 74 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us, Michael Andrews. Michael is a content strategy evangelist at Kentico, which is a CMS company. Well welcome, Michael, tell us a little bit more about your background and your role the...
32 minutes | 5 months ago
Scott Kubie: Writing for Designers – Episode 73
Scott Kubie Scott Kubie believes in you. If you're a writer contributing the words on a product team, he believes in you. If you're a front-end designer or developer tasked with writing, he believes in you. In his book Writing for Designers, Scott sets out a simple path to help you get the writing done. He also has good ideas about how to organize content work for digital products. He's not a fan of prescriptive style manuals and guidelines. Instead, he shows how helpful tools can guide writing work. Nor does he like "best practices." Instead, he shares collaborative methods that make "good design work happen." Scott and I talked about: his background in communications, information architecture, UX design an early UX writing job he held at Wolfram Research and the variety of terms used there to describe his work: UI Writer, Content Strategist, Copywriter the need for both product-oriented writers and writers who work on marketing and website content the proliferation of job titles related to UX writing and content strategy the importance of thinking like a designer when you are working on a UX or product team his distinction between two common content strategy job titles: "content design is an elevated form of writing; UX writing is very app and interface specific"" the importance of tailoring content workflows and governance to the unique needs of each organization the importance of documenting your content model and of embedding it into your organization culture the almost-universal disconnect between design and content job descriptions and what people actually do the importance of collaboratively making "good design work happen" - as opposed to adopting best practices how his main inspiration comes from users, not from product goals, team structure, etc. how there's nothing wrong with being "just the writer" how he shows the bigger value of writing at a macro level - continuity, consistency, conceptual development, etc. the importance of taking in and considering the big picture, of not "staring at the button," and how he helps his collaborators in this process the superiority of helpful tools over style guides and other rules his inspirational closing message: "I believe in you. You can do good design." Scott's Bio Scott Kubie is the author of Writing for Designers and a general champion of all things UX + content. He loves to empower design teams with tools that add clarity, reduce complexity, and lead to better products. Scott publishes the UX Writing Events newsletter, a personal blog called Brutalist Bookends, and the creatively-named You Get Email from Scott Kubie, a personal newsletter. Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/-bMpBDbIccs Podcast Intro Transcript When you're a writer on a design or a product team, you need all the inspiration you can get. Scott Kubie can help you. His book Writing for Designers sets out a simple, sensible path to get writing work done. He also has plenty of pragmatic advice to help word people collaborate effectively with their design and technical colleagues. But the most significant insight you may take away from this interview is Scott's relentless focus on his source of inspiration: his users and customers. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 73 of The Content Strategy Insights Podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us, Scott Kubie. Scott is the author of Writing For Designers and well, that's how he's best known. He's known for a lot of things, but that's what I wanted to talk to him today about, is writing for designers. Tell the folks a little bit more about your background Scott. Welcome to the show and tell us how you got to the point of writing that book. Scott: Sure. Thanks, Larry. Very happy to be here today. My book is the distillation of most specifically a work experience I had at a company called Wolfram Research,
30 minutes | 5 months ago
Ilarna Nche: Creating Voice Skills, Actions, and Capsules – Episode 72
Ilarna Nche Ilarna Nche is an award-winning expert on the technical aspects of building voice applications for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung Bixby. She designs and develops voice apps for clients who want to capitalize on the branding power that voice products bring to the digital content mix. Ilarna and I talked about: her path into the voice design industry how easy it is, even for someone new to the field, to develop voice applications how her team at Matchbox works together and with their clients how voice creates new customer experience opportunities some of the uses and situations that are well-suited to voice apps: games, wellness, cooking, car travel, etc. some of the difference between voice platforms like Amazon Alexa and Samsung Bixby how less-technical development tools like Jovo and Voiceflow permit folks with voice-design skills to build apps on their own the wide range of platforms where voice apps can show up - Bixby for example in Samsung appliances - and the proliferation of devices designed for voice interaction the importance of staying on top of trends in the fast-moving world of voice the basics of the technical implementation of voice recognition, natural language understanding, and generating query responses the future of voice technologies and applications how to get started designing your own voice applications Ilarna's Bio Ilarna Nche is an award winning Alexa Champion and Bixby Premier Developer working as a Senior Software Engineer at matchbox.io. She has a huge portfolio of voice applications across Google, Bixby, and Alexa and is an expert and thought leader in the voice & conversation design field, from both a development and design perspective. Links Mentioned in the Podcast Jovo Voiceflow Question of the Day Find My Phone Music Bop Adventures echo frames echo loop Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/mMOUja0bVb4 Podcast Intro Transcript When she left university just a couple of years ago, Ilarna Nche started experimenting with voice technologies like Alexa and Bixby. She learned very quickly that her technology and design skills were a great fit for this new medium. Voice tech also plays to her preference for voice interactions over graphical interfaces. In just two years, Ilarna has already earned several industry awards for her work. But she's quick to point out that you don't have to be a technical expert like her to build engaging voice experiences. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 72 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us, Ilarna Nche. Ilarna is a senior software engineer at Matchbox.io. She's also won a number of awards for her work as a voice interaction designer. So welcome to Ilarna. Can you tell the folks a little bit more about yourself, your background? Ilarna: Hi everyone. Yes. So yeah, my name's Ilarna and as Larry says, I am a senior software engineer at Matchbox. But I started off my voice journey, building apps after university, where I just wanted to get to know the voice industry. It was completely new and I really enjoyed it, mostly because I didn't have to design anything visually because that's where I lack in my skills. So just to have this application where you could basically create an application without any visual interaction, was something that really attracted me to the voice industry. And so I've made over 50, 70 applications on Amazon Alexa, and that's where it started off for me. Ilarna: And I managed to create an app called Music Bop Adventures, which won an award for being a kids app and that helped me with the money, the prize money I won there, it made me realize, there might be a future in this. So I spent the year after university, basically building all these voice applications, and then I managed to become a Bixby partner with Samsung ...
35 minutes | 5 months ago
Rebecca Evanhoe and Diana Deibel: Voice Conversation Design – Episode 71
Designing voice conversations requires new skills and new ways of thinking about how people interact with your digital product. Rebecca Evanhoe and Diana Deibel are experts in this new approach to interaction design. Like many content strategists, they are learning on the fly. And they are constantly studying the steady stream of research in their field. They'll share their discoveries in a book, Conversations With Things, in the spring of 2021. Diana Deibel Rebecca Evanhoe We talked about: Rebbeca and Diana's backgrounds the differences between designing for voice interfaces and for graphical interfaces the higher expectations that people have for conversational voice interactions some of the challenges of designing for voice interactions: navigation, lack of standardization, lower impatience thresholds in voice interactions, etc. how conversation design fits in the UX field the principles and concepts that underlie conversation design: personas (of the voice agent), prompts, training data, etc. the implications for user trust in systems that use AI (artificial intelligence) conventions around the transition from AI-driven bots to human agents in a conversation system the ethics of conversation design practices to instill trust in voice interfaces and allay user privacy concerns racial and gender and geographical biases that can creep into conversation design the rapid evolution of the research that underlies conversation design the challenges of managing the content associated with conversation design the value of the contributions of humanities disciplines to conversation design the need for more diverse perspectives in conversational design, and the need to try harder in accomplishing this Diana and Rebecca's Bios Diana Deibel, Design Director at Grand Studio in Chicago, is a Brazilian-American award-winning writer and VUI designer with a background in fictional dialogue. She has designed multi-channel voice-first products, chatbots for healthcare, insurance and HR operations, smart speaker skills, and large IVR systems. She is a national speaker and VUI consultant who has set up voice practices for Fortune 100 companies, among others. In addition to conversational design, she has written and produced for a variety of networks and creatives including “Animal Planet” and “Blue Man Group”. She co-created two TV pilots, now in pre-development with One Bowl Productions, and has had several plays produced with the Modern-Day Griot Theatre Company in Brooklyn (under the name Diana de Souza). She loves learning, puns, and leading workshops on dialogue to help others find their voices. Rebecca Evanhoe, author and conversation designer, has been developing technology that you talk to since 2011 at companies like Amazon Web Services, Mobiquity, and Shadow Health. She has created virtual patient characters for chat-based learning games, bots for fun and service, and interactive experiences for Alexa and Google Home platforms. Along with her experience in voice and conversation, she earned an MFA in creative writing. She teaches conversation design as a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute, and she leads workshops in a variety of writing genres, from creative to technical to UX. Her fiction can be found in the O. Henry Prize Collection, Harper’s Magazine, Vice, NOON, and Gulf Coast, among others. Books Mentioned in the Podcast Conversations With Things (their new book, coming in 2021) Weapons of Math Destruction Algorithms of Oppression Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/MTd8LMejX8k Podcast Intro Transcript Most of the content and interaction designers that you encounter in the content strategy field come from design, copywriting, journalism, and similar careers. In those fields, content presentation design happens in a GUI - a graphical user interface.
32 minutes | 5 months ago
Hannah Kirk: Connecting Technical Writing and Content Strategy – Episode 70
Hannah Kirk Hannah Kirk has great ideas about how technical writing and content strategy can support each other. She's not a typical tech writer. She loves and appreciates technical documentation and enjoys practicing it. But she has always been more interested in strategy. And she has always spent a lot of time thinking about how content is organized. Hannah and I talked about: #BlackLivesMatter her background in enterprise technical writing her transition to identifying as a content strategist the history of technical writing the benefits of component-ized content, especially compared to old-fashioned documents and publications the shift in the role of tech writers form being publication formatters to folks more focused on writing topic-based authoring and DITA and Flare and Oxygen and similar tools how she's not a "typical" technical writer the four times she has been the sole technical writer/content strategist in an organization a confusing juncture in her career when she went to Silicon Valley and found that they weren't at the cutting edge of technical documentation :) tools for technical writers - from Microsoft Word, to Framemaker, XMetal, Oxygen, Markdown, DITA, DocBook, and more the benefits of Markdown in tech-savvy organizations like startups the importance for technical writers of having a few more technical skills than other content strategists how she engages engineers and other sometimes-hard-to-engage folks in conversation her message to the content strategy profession: Don't overlook technical writers as an ally in your work, and likewise her desire to learn from content strategists Hannah's Bio Hannah Kirk (a.k.a. “The Pink-haired Content Strategist”) is a content strategist in Silicon Valley, working primarily with B2B software products. Hannah started technical documentation departments and worked as a lone writer at four startups. She implemented processes, authoring tools, CMS's, and publishing flows in FrameMaker, DITA, Docbook, and Markdown and integrated small documentation departments into larger companies as a result of three acquisitions. She’s now at Inkling bringing customer content into the Inkling platform and advising customers on best practices of migrating, organizing, and optimizing content. Hannah also started the Medium publication, Content Strategy Adventures. Follow Hannah on social media HannahKirk215 on LinkedIn PinkHairedCS on Twitter PinkHairedCS on Medium Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/2fg9DEufj1Q Podcast Intro Transcript Depending on how you look at it, the profession of technical writing may be the oldest branch of the field we now call content strategy. Technical documentation pre-dates the web by at least a couple of decades. And many of the practices now being adopted by content strategists have their origins in technical communications. Hannah Kirk has been writing technical documentation for more than 15 years. She has some great insights into how content strategy and technical communications can support each other. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Episode Number 70 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us, Hannah Kirk. We'll talk a little bit more about Hannah's background in just a couple of minutes, but I want to start this episode by just acknowledging that we are in a really fraught time right now. We're recording this episode on June 3, 2020. We're just a week or so out from the horrific murder of George Floyd and the ensuing protests and other activities around that. I just want to say, we're not going to talk about that on this podcast, but I just want to acknowledge upfront that black lives matter. One of the things that Hannah and I were talking about before we went on the air is that how, I think, for people, the content strategy field is a field that's uniquely positioned or uniqu...
31 minutes | 6 months ago
Carrie Hane: Content Strategy as a System – Episode 69
Carrie Hane Carrie Hane sees content strategy as a complex information ecosystem, not a simple stream of publications. Looking at content strategy as a system helps her give her clients a more complete picture of how content works. Carrie and I talked about: her recent decision to describe herself professionally by the activities she does instead of a job title or similar label her recent insight about the benefits of looking at content strategy as a system the problem of dealing with short-term thinking when content strategy is a long-term investment how the systems theory concepts of "stocks" and "flows" can provide a fuller picture of how content fits into an organization her hope that the idea of looking at content strategy as a system catches on and starts a conversation in the discipline how thinking about content strategy as a system can improve how agencies work with clients, and maybe even provide opportunities to deliver more and better service her ongoing efforts to learn about other domains and other disciplines and apply their insights to her work some of the fields of study that she thinks can make you a more well-rounded content strategist: statistics, psychology, marketing, relational databases, HTML, coding, design theory how studying a field like systems theory can help content strategists expand their thinking her frustration with folks who don't comprehend and appreciate the scope of content strategy how content strategy is more of a practice than a discipline the differences between the domain model used in her book and other models (systems models, mental models, ontology models, etc.) how the domain model is a useful tool for capturing the language related to a project and how it helps clients see the broader impact of her work what matters to her: "making sure people see all the pieces and can connect the dots that matter" Links to publications and people mentioned in the interview: Thinking in Systems: A Primer" by Donella Meadows You're Never Going to Sell Content Strategy blog post Aaron Bradley's blog on knowledge graphs, linked data, and semantic technologies taxonomy expert Bob Kasenchak research paper on content maturity in associations with Hilary Marsh and Dina Lewis her upcoming talk at OmnichannelX Carrie's Bio Carrie Hane is a creative problem solver and connector of people, processes, and technology. For more than 20 years, she's been helping organizations transform to meet the ever-changing needs of the people they serve and take advantage of the latest technology. She is the co-author of Designing Connected Content: Plan and Model Digital Products for Today and Tomorrow (New Riders, 2018), a handbook for a pioneering approach to sustainable digital publishing. Today, Carrie helps make health communication more accessible and relevant along with her colleagues and clients at Palladian Partners. She has a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Northern Michigan University and a Master's in International Affairs from The George Washington University. By far the most enlightening education she has received is being the mother of boys for over 17 years. Follow Carrie: Twitter TanzenConsulting.com (blog) LinkedIn Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/Bn98ln5Cj84 Podcast Intro Transcript The field of content strategy has a lot of moving parts. Some folks try to explain it with simple publishing flow models. Carrie Hane sees content strategy more like an information ecosystem than a stream of publications. By looking at the practice as a complex system she's able to share with her clients a more complete picture of how content works. Carrie sees other benefits of looking at content strategy as a system, and she's hoping to start a conversation about this among her fellow content strategists. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi everyone.
29 minutes | 6 months ago
Nam-ho Park: People-First Digital Experience Design – Episode 68
Nam-ho Park Nam-ho Park is a digital strategist who always puts people first and technology last. Nam-ho first designed experiences for people as an architecture student at Columbia University. The appreciation he developed then for the importance of genuinely human-centered design practice serves him well today. In fact, he hopes that we'll someday drop the word "digital" and return to genuinely human-centered strategy and design practices. Nam-ho and I talked about: the giant spider that crawled across his desk as we began the interview his role as a teacher at the University of Washington's iSchool his work with Carina, a startup that connects Medicaid patients with home health care aides his consulting work, helping clients navigate the technology landscape the importance of resolving people issues before settling on a technical solution to a business problem his comparison of content strategy and digital strategy practices his original background as an architect - and insights he learned then about the importance of experience design how his architecture background helps him visualize design complexity, appreciate standards, and properly contextualize tech platforms how quickly the digital landscape is changing and the ensuing tension that that creates between established principles and new ways of doing things David Weinberger's book Everything Is Miscellaneous and its insights about the benefits of being able to categorize bodies of knowledge in different user-focused ways the "leakiness" of the logic around some kinds of knowledge the challenges of truly understanding user intent, especially in the era of AI and machine learning the implications for technology designers of the rapid change brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic his hope that we'll drop the word "digital" at some point, and return to genuinely human-centered practices dark design patterns that serve businesses more than their customers and users Nam-ho's Bio Nam-ho Park has been active in crafting compelling digital experiences for over 20 years. He is faculty at the University of Washington’s Information School and Senior Product Designer at Carina, a nonprofit platform that connects qualified caregivers with those seeking in-home care. He is also the principal of PLAIN Strategies, providing outcome-focused digital strategies for nonprofits and impact-driven organizations. Having lived and worked in London, Seoul, Hanoi, New York, Washington D.C. and presently in Seattle for the past 9 years, he draws his experience from a lifetime of learning and exploring how we relate to technology and harness it for good. He has worked with the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and has been a speaker at conferences including the Nonprofit Technology Conference, WebVisions and Drupalcon. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University. Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/GAzBxrnWEAU Podcast Intro Transcript When you think about digital strategy, you might picture someone orchestrating the bits of information that zip across the networks that connect computers and other technological gadgets. In fact, technology is just a small part of the story. Nam-ho Park and his fellow digital strategists actually spend most of their time focused on the human beings who plan, design, and use websites, apps, and other products. I really enjoyed talking with Nam-ho about his people-first, technology-last approach to digital experience design. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 68 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Nam-ho Park. Nam-ho is a digital strategist and a consultant in that field in Seattle, Washington. He also does a lot of other stuff, including he teaches in the I School, the Information School at the University of Wa...
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