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Content Amid Chaos

Organizations are messy places: politics thwart progress, departmental squabbles are status quo, and decision-making often takes months. This chaos makes its way right to our websites, filling them with crap users don't want, need, or sometimes even understand. We’re practicing content strategy now, so what gives? Why are we still designing around all this clutter and corporate-speak? Because strategy documents and style rules alone won’t make people actually produce content that meets users’ needs and aligns with our designs. In this talk, you’ll hear what will: embracing (okay, tolerating) content chaos, instead of anguishing over imperfections. You'll learn strategic approaches for defining meaningful content problems in your organization—and solving them one at a time.

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Content Amid Chaos

  1. flickr.com/photos/athomson/5725428376 amid CHAOS CONTENTsara wachter-boettcher @sara_ann_marie sarawb.com
  2. flickr.com/photos/athomson/5725428376
  3. flickr.com/photos/cellphonesusie/5581322594
  4. ‘‘Why Is Philly So Filthy? — Philly Magazine headline, 2013
  5. ‘‘Litter-ally Disgusting — Philly Enquirer headline, 2011
  6. ‘‘Whose Litter Is It? — Philly Enquirer headline, 1990
  7. flickr.com/photos/quinndombrowski/5953906283
  8. ‘‘§ 10-702. Litter in Public Places. (1) No person shall place or deposit litter in or upon any street, sidewalk or other public place within the City except in public receptacles or in authorized private receptacles. — Philadelphia Municipal Code
  9. flickr.com/photos/angelina_creations/4336718492
  10. I feel like
 this about websites, too.
  11. Always late. Not mobile-ready. Too corporate. Totally irrelevant. Way too long. Redundant.
  12. What gives?
  13. ‘‘§ Content in Public Websites. (1) No person shall place or deposit content in or upon any page, module, or PDF within the website except when authorized. —Some long-lost web policy, probably
  14. flickr.com/photos/tigergirl/1236320261
  15. It’s time for a new approach.
  16. flickr.com/photos/melburnian/3652851277
  17. flickr.com/photos/24337668@N07/10335172833
  18. Litter problems.
  19. Content problems.
  20. Not-my-problem problems.
  21. Too-big-to-try problems.
  22. How can web projects fix those?
  23. turn your project for content. into a CATALYST
  24. flickr.com/photos/robandstephanielevy/4668030838 1 Make change achievable.
  25. flickr.com/photos/pewari/3609957389
  26. ‘‘I’ve always been a trash picker upper, but there are neighborhoods that are just too heavily covered for a person to pitch in while walking. — A West Philly resident
  27. ‘‘A citizen-driven effort to revitalize one Philadelphia city block. — West Rockland Street project
  28. W. Rockland Street Spring Cleanup
  29. Big problems feel…big.
  30. ‘‘Rewrite all our content for responsive design.
  31. ‘‘Cut everything in half so it’s easier to skim.
  32. ‘‘Transform all 4,567 PDFs to structured content.
  33. Avoid the overwhelm.
  34. Start with just one thing.
  35. Visible Valuable Scope-able
  36. Visible Valuable Scope-able
  37. Visible Valuable Scope-able
  38. Visible Valuable Scope-able
  39. Your skills and area of influence What’s causing problems right now The sweet spot
  40. Moving an existing site to responsive design Product spec PDFs that need constant updates Create a product content model
  41. Fix everything.
  42. Fix something.
  43. small wins build OPTIMISM
  44. flickr.com/photos/gpforeducation/11173376243 2 Aim for ownership.
  45. flickr.com/photos/gpforeducation/11173376243
  46. We need people to take charge, too.
  47. ‘‘We can have one team that’s the responsive team and this team just goes on and makes the site responsive … The organization would have learned nothing from this exercise. — Livia Labate, Marriott 
 Responsive Web Design Podcast
  48. ‘‘Because we have so many people today that are contributing to these sites, how are we going to get to a place where they feel equipped to do that? — Livia Labate, Marriott 
 Responsive Web Design Podcast
  49. Get people problem-solving together.
  50. ‘‘What would you like to be different in this content?
  51. ‘‘How do you think we could solve this problem?
  52. flickr.com/photos/e_monk/4234741849 Ask, don’t just tell.
  53. economist comms director editor designer Do, don’t just talk.
  54. flickr.com/photos/marcthiele/15079177169/ Pair up.
  55. flickr.com/photos/e_monk/4234741849 With > for.
  56. involvement creates OWNERSHIP
  57. flickr.com/photos/naema_ahmed/14213294887 3 Get commitment.
  58. ‘‘Okay, here’s the new content strategy! Go!
  59. flickr.com/photos/sjoerdlammers/15990047848 Maps give us momentum.
  60. flickr.com/photos/sjoerdlammers/15990047848
  61. declining thriving
  62. •Purchase property •Revitalize it to rent to local businesses •Use income for neighborhood cleanup •Plan long-term civic improvements
  63. Maps connect vision to operations.
  64. Define where you’re headed. flickr.com/photos/adwriter/14398549931
  65. unstructured structured
  66. overwhelming governed
  67. churned out purposeful
  68. flickr.com/photos/zeldman/16225849339/ Identify potential projects.
  69. flickr.com/photos/robandstephanielevy/4668030838 Break down the big steps.
  70. Decide who will lead each charge.
  71. Set a cadence for progress.
  72. maps keep us MOVING
  73. flickr.com/photos/socialeurope/4304137088/ Content is chaotic.
  74. flickr.com/photos/hz536n/2352731473 Too political.
  75. flickr.com/photos/oatsy40/11895417533 Never finished.
  76. flickr.com/photos/lanuiop/4420606662 So are we.
  77. flickr.com/photos/roboppy/1297032301 We’re not here for perfection.
  78. flickr.com/photos/mjkmjk/3501778140
  79. Flickr images used via Creative Commons Attribution license. sarawb.com // @sara_ann_marie content-workshops.com