The Content Insight Newsletter - October 2013

A Tale of Two Discounts

At Content Insight, we're excited to take part in two upcoming events and hope you'll join us. Here are some discounts to help make that possible:

LavaCon in Portland, OR
October 20-24, 2013 
112 sessions and workshops dedicated to content strategy and multi-channel digital publishing. Our community manager, Misty Weaver, is presenting a case study on the value of content audits in saving content initiatives. If you register, use ref code CSS to get $100 off.

Content Strategy Applied in Richmond, UK 
November 13-15. 2013
Paula Land, our CEO, will lead a hands-on workshop on Global Content Strategy with Val Swisher. Contact us if you're interested in an additional discount above the early bird rate that's good through October 31!

ROI - Or the cost of not doing a content audit

What's the real value of having an up to date content inventory and audit? More importantly, how do we advocate for it when so many projects don't include it in the scope? Unfortunately, we can often measure content audit ROI in projects that went horribly wrong. Out of scope, over budget, creative that ultimately didn't fit the content and vice versa: Content audits can help prevent these expensive ROI killers. Paula Land talked to a group of agency and in-house content experts to get their take on content ROI and why it costs so much more to skip it. 

"A reputable doctor wouldn’t make a diagnosis without examining the patient. An architect wouldn’t design a house without understanding who the owners are and how they live. So why would we ever expect a content strategist or user experience architect to create a site without doing the necessary due diligence to create an informed strategy and design?"

Do you like your content chunky?

The summer of DITA ended, but conversation about structured content lives on. In "Deblobbing In The Real World," Jeff Eaton shared his thoughts on content modeling for reusable structured content with attendees at CS Forum Helsinki. His theme is collaboration, communication and iteration. As Eaton points out, "No model survives contact with real content." It's not a question of content first or design first, but finding your structured content fit is a matter of balancing roles and the needs of the content itself. In some cases, there may even be room for blobs. 

Cleve Gibbon continues the conversation at his blog, stating "No model survives first contact with real content." He stresses that in order to test content models, we have to work with real content from the beginning. Gibbon pushes us to find the real place where customer interaction and value is happening and build models from there. Beyond iteration and validation, we're also building a shared vocabulary about the content. And hardly anyone speaks Lorem Ipsum these days :) 

Curious about content models?

If you are and can make it to Content Strategy Applied UK, we highly recommend Ann Rockley's workshop. She's a enterprise content management veteran, expert in XML, and all-around technical content strategy leader. Her workshop,"Content Modeling for Adaptive Content," will cover content structure, management, model and writing guidelines to pull it off.

How do we build those content ready teams?

In order to accomplish any content initiative, it's important to empower our developers, designers, strategists AND the folks making the content. Our friends at GatherContent lay out an excellent plan for breeding a content-first work culture starting with communicating goals. You end up with content that's maintained and nurtured so it stays relevant and useful. 

See you next month if not at LavaCon first! 

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