Last night Content Strategy New England was lucky enough to have Kristina Halvorson of Brain Traffic come in for a great discussion on the ins and outs of content strategy. Huge thanks to Rick Allen and Mad*Pow for cosponsoring the event.

Below are my observations and take-aways:

  • Close your eyes and envision you are Kristina Halvorson for a day. You are so redonkulously passionate about content, you have inspired thousands with your book Content Strategy for the Web. Pretty sweet. Do you have an ego? No. Are you funny as hell? Yes. Even though you have dedicated your career to something you love, are you still passionate about it? Yes, yes and yes. (OK, open your eyes, you look weird). It’s inspiring to watch her in action. Made me oddly happy as I want to do the same thing.
  • Maintenance vs. Governance – Kristina made the point that maintenance implies automation (read:CMS) and governance implies individual actions. If we had more time, I would have loved to ask how do we defend the concept of governance when there is so much attrition throughout a project or content lifestyle.  I know there are room for both content strategists and CMS consultants, but so often we are pushed toward the tactic (CMS) and not the thought behind it (content strategy). Hoping I have some time in Chicago in a couple weeks to hammer this out.
  • Christ on a cracker, there is a need for content strategy consultants (or at the very least a Brain Traffic East) in Boston. What I kept hearing was the need from designers for a content strategist on their project. You’re right, we can’t do it all. We need to make sure we help put content strategists in touch with those who need us. Next meetup, I propose all content strategists just put their business cards on the front table. Kidding. Not really.
  • Great question posed concerning the role of a content strategist in client’s hierarchical structure. Peer or leader? This began a great discussion on collaboration and how important it is to be an active collaborator. As a content strategist, you are not barking orders or screaming to be heard. You are part of every part of the project life cyle. Your ability to mediate with different people is just as important as the guidance you give to your client.
  • Someone mentioned MacGyver. I immediately wanted to write a blog entry on Jack of all Trades (MacGyver) morphing into the company laughing stock (MacGruber). To be tackled at a later date.

In summary, I left wanting more. I could have used 3 more hours either asking questions or offering advice on people’s questions. I am beyond curious to know what other CS meetup groups are talking about. In fact, if anyone wants to road trip with me, I am totally driving down to New York for their next meetup.

I’m 35 and I sound like a 15 year old at their first concert. I guess it’s just because I’m inspired which tends to put a hop in one’s step.

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