Content strategy Making corporate web

Calling all marketing people who work with content people, and all content people who work with marketing people

Update: I wrote this post and survey with last year’s CS Forum in mind, but this year I’m bringing this talk to Confab Central in June! Between now and then I’d love as many contributions as I can get.

If you work in marketing, or with content, you can tell me all about it and help me with a cool thing I’m doing. Please?

Awesome news: I’m speakingI spoke at CS Forum in Melbourne, this October! last year! I’m I was really stoked to be in the line-up again after four years, and only slightly intimidated by the company I‘mwas in.

Even awesomer, this June I’ll be at Confab Central with the latest version of the same talk, which is called Content people and marketing people: It’s complicated. The idea came from the way I’ve worked as a content guy in three companies, each with very different ways of structuring their marketing and content/digital functions, but none of which seem ideal.1 Is this relationship destined to be painful, or are there ways to make it work? I want to ask around, find out, and tell a big roomful of people all about it.

Risk management

Risk assessment: xkcd totally gets it

If you’ve read the Content Is The Web risk management series, you’ll be familiar with this diagram:


This week, xkcd (one of my favourite webcomics) got into the idea assessing likelihood and consequences. Awesome.

Theft quadrants -
Theft quadrants –
Web writing

Don’t “click here” – 5 ways bad link text screws up your website

I quickly pulled these screenshots out of a presentation I gave a few days ago, so I apologise for the haphazard borders. Hey, I never said I’m a designer…

Using “click here”, or similar words, as link text is a bad habit for a lot of reasons. But if you want to annoy people, here are five great things this lazy link text can do for you:

1. Make it impossible for people to differentiate things, no matter how unique they really are

When The Economist publishes two articles about the same event in a single edition, you know it’s a big deal. Unfortunately, when their summary of the week’s news invites you to “see here and here”, you can’t tell which article tells you about the make-up of Nigeria’s newly-elected parliament, and which one gives the life-so-far story of the ex-dictator that the people just elected.

Web writing

A story about a heading: Put your butt somewhere awesome

The closest coffee place to my office is in the lobby of an office building. Also in the lobby of this building, for some reason, is a park bench with a piece of paper stuck to it.

A boring old park bench
A boring old park bench
Content strategy

Meetup good. Conference better?

The Auckland Content Strategy Meetup has officially survived a year! Since February 2014 we’ve met up at least once a month and talked content. And it’s been surprisingly fun. Emma, Michelle and I had no idea what to expect when we decided to give this thing a go, but there’s something great about building a group of people around an idea. As familiar faces (almost all of whom were total strangers last January) keep coming back, we know we’re onto something.

Which raises a question.

What next?

How about a New Zealand content strategy conference of some sort? Would there be enough appetite for a day or two of talks and case studies? I’d like to think so.

I keep thinking I should assemble a team and start something, just to find out.


Update, 2016: Anyone who doubts the benefits of procrastination and delay ought to be swayed by the fact that, after I sat on this idea and did nothing for the best part of a year, someone else decided to bring CS Forum to Melbourne in October 2016. Close enough for me. See you there!

Content strategy

Content Strategist: Master of Contingencies

This is a post from Blog Secret Santa
This post was written as part of Blog Secret Santa 2014. It was an anonymous gift post, published here unedited. Here’s the full blog roll, including something by me.

In his play The Cenci, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley weaves a tragic tale of villainy and disaster.

A bloodthirsty 17th-century nobleman becomes the target of a murder plot. In today’s parlance, we’d say that “no jury in the world” would convict young Giacomo and his cohorts of plotting to murder the abusive, lecherous Count Cenci.

But after concocting their scheme, Giacomo is dismayed to hear that the evil count has escaped his clutches. By chance, the count has missed his date with destiny by embarking on a journey an hour too soon.