Content without Governance is not a Strategy

The generous and sharp folks at Content Strategy Forum published my point of view article about how true content strategies require a governance component.

I wrote the piece after a recent transition from in-house content strategy over to an agency that focuses on content marketing and customer experiences. I’m not at liberty to say whether or not the content reflects my current experience, but it’s a point of view I’ve held for as long as I’ve practiced Content Strategy.

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Beware of Content Deliverable Overload

The GatherContent team gave me a neat opportunity to talk about a topic that I believe many content professionals suffer from.

The threat: content deliverable overload. Yikes.

If you’re curious and have a moment, please check out my article at the GatherContent blog. Explore symptoms of deliverable overload as well as identify some ways to prevent it from happening. Let me know what you think.

A non-confused client is a happy client, right? Right?

Big thanks to James Deer and team for letting me vent and speak up about things here and there regarding content strategy. I have another post about building a small content initiative team on their blog if you’re interested in that, too.

If anything, I hope your autumn has been a solid one.


My First Piece of Furniture: Awesome Desk

I’m always interested in how and why people make things that they’re passionate about. My things usually are written or in code. I finally got to try my hand at some woodworking to build something inspiring to me.

Over two weekends, I built a desk. It’s like I bought my work from home routine a ocean-side condo.

I’ve had lessons here and there with my father-in-law. We’ve made garage storage, tables and other rougher projects. Patching up the home and helping him with his projects have been my practice sessions during the last four years.

Finally, we got to make a piece of furniture– a new office desk for me and my wife.

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Thoughts on Content Experience Parity

If you spend your time reading some of the more popular sites out there, you might have noticed that things are all starting to look oddly similar.

Many sites and blogs utilize either the two-column, content-and-sponsors tactic. Or perhaps the single-column, alphabet-and-a-half-typography-width magazine style that’s rising in popularity.

Throw in some persistent navigation, some low-level responsiveness and a little parallax design and boom: you’ve got a “modern” web presence… for now. Everything on the web changes so quickly!

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The International from a Content Perspective

I recently went on a trip to Seattle with a few friends to watch The International 2014, an annual DOTA 2 (Defense of the Ancients ) tournament held by the game’s developer, Valve. I enjoyed the tournament as a spectator, but couldn’t help myself from checking it out from a content point of view.

DOTA is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, or MOBA. Similar games include League of Legends, Awesomenauts, and the upcoming Heroes of the Storm. The premise of all these games is simple: invade the opponent’s base and destroy their “Ancient” (or really important building). Along the way, players fight one another and destroy towers and other obstacles.

Each game has its own level of difficulty, but each of their communities and developers create plenty of content to educate players. Some content introduces “newbies” to the game, while other pieces of content help seasoned players and pros sharpen their skills. This content influences players from the day they start playing and throughout their free time, game after game.

Every day, brands continue to try and create content experiences to influence particular types of behaviors. They want their audiences to purchase something, think a certain way, or perhaps believe in a particular solution. Sometimes this branded content feels forced and disingenuous.

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No One Content Matrix to Rule Them All

Content audit and inventory methods evolve as the content strategy practice matures and changes. Our peers create new ways to audit, recommend, and improve content ecosystems across the web. They add their own flavor to the collective formula.

Considering the growth of omni-channel approaches and new device types to model and structure content for (e.g. wearables, connected homes and cars), there are countless methods and tools to capture and organize data.

As we continue to tackle new content initiatives, or make improvements to previous efforts, we go back to our tried-and-true matrices. Sometimes we borrow new elements of information capture from our peers. There are often times where we raze what we have to the ground and begin anew.

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Thoughts on a Better Browsing Experience

I’m a big fan of the web browser. It does a LOT of work that we often take for granted. If you’re building stuff for the web, it does quite a bit of heavy lifting as far as inspecting for code, bugs and other things under-the-hood.

Some people are enhancing the web browser experience by creating new ways for us to smoothly consume content. Some folks are looking past the browser towards the next interface.

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Content Strategy and Customer Experience design made in Portland, Oregon.