Inter-city content strategy meetup love is quite possibly the world’s purest, and greatest, form of love

At CS Forum last year the three of us who organise Auckland Content Strategy Meetups met a lot of out counterparts from other cities. Briefly, we even shared a stage with them all. They were, and are, all lovely and brilliant people. And since that conference, a lot of inter-meetup activity has followed.

Meetup organisers don’t have superpowers. All we have is a group of people that we want to keep bringing together for some sort of combination of fun, community, and learning. That there’s enough content nerds around the world for dozens of cities to have meetups (Hilary Marsh keeps a list) is just a wonderful thing. And CS Forum, of course, is a globe-trotting manifestation of the same thing.

Since Melbourne’s conference, we’ve kept the cooperation between meetups going. It’s one of the most visible, ongoing things that the content community in this part of the world has gotten out of CSF16.

Michelle Anderson headed down to Wellington and presented at their reanimated meetup (which had taken a bit of a break in 2016). Sally Bagshaw, who runs Brisbane’s group, was our second-ever international guest star last November. This month Jonathon Colman, one of the CSF keynotes, took time out of his Webstock-related trip to NZ to spend a night with us in Auckland (and another with the Wellington group). And this week, thanks to Elle Geraghty working within a very tight travel schedule, I’m turning what was meant to be a work-only trip to Sydney into the chance to give a talk to her meetup over there.

I doubt that any of this crossover would have happened without CSF16. Thanks to the days all us organisers spent together there, we’ve strengthening the groups in each city by introducing new ideas, and starting some high-quality discussions amongst new audiences. For us in Auckland to have someone like Jon Colman answer our questions (and ask a few back), as well as share his take on problem solving, team building, and much else was one of those things that makes me blurt out cliches that start “if you’d told me, back when we first started this meetup…”. To bring my own talk (which I loved putting together for CSF and always hoped would live longer) back to Australia is a real thrill too.

And every time meetups connect across borders or around countries there’ll be a pile of positives that flow. Little things like new connections on Twitter or LinkedIn (I know, but admit it, you’re there too). Brain things, like a note that someone takes to work the next day and turns into action. Ideas that spark new projects, or blog posts. Maybe even bigger things, too.

These all build up in the hundreds of lives that intersect at CS meetups around the world. They make us better at what we do, and more connected as a group, and more likely to turn up again next month. Momentum like this keeps everyone motivated to keep building this thing, whatever it is. It makes meetups even more fun, and it’s got me keener than ever to keep finding my people here at home, and all around the world.

Wherever you are, meetup with your people

This is what happens when I take whiteboard notes at a content strategy meetup

Last night’s content strategy meetup was a bit of a show n’ tell session about content audits. Of course, one of the best things about meetups like these is the little hints and tips you get from each other. So I wrote a few of them down:

My handwriting is so pretty

My handwriting is so pretty

Or, if you prefer things in some sort of order…
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Content people: An Auckland content strategy meetup presentation

I’m one of three people who have brought Auckland content strategy meetups back to life. We started on Wednesday night, and it was fantastic. I gave a short talk about “content people”, which was based on my ‘Content strategy and UX are twins’ post from last year.

It’s the first thing I’ve ever added to SlideShare, too, so this is just a big ol’ week of firsts. Excitementness!

Credits

I leaned heavily on some wonderful research by the wonderful Richard Ingram. His diagram of content strategy’s well-trodden paths is from his 2011 CS Forum talk, ‘How did we all get here?’. The video is well worth a watch.

On the UX side, Neilsen Norman Group’s User Experience Career Advice is the most thorough work of its kind that I’ve seen. If you don’t already get Jakob Neilsen’s Alertbox emails, you’re missing out.

Update, Feb 11: I just saw the typo (or entirely missing word, ahem) in this slide deck, and now I hate myself.