Six Months of Meet Content

Thank you for making the past six months so awesome!

This weekend at Podcamp Boston, one presenter made the point that monitoring social media won’t give you all the answers, but it will give you some really good questions.

Six months ago today, we started Meet Content to open a discussion about improving web content in higher education, and we’ve covered a lot of topics, ranging from infographics to contextual content delivery to crisis communications to editorial style. 33 blog posts and 41 On Topic posts! Phew.

But you know what? We haven’t found all the answers. What we have found, however, are better questions. In addition to the great discussions prompted by our posts, we’ve uncovered a host of other topics worth addressing. What is the role of content in communications, web governance, digital strategy and community management? There’s so much more to talk about. And that makes us really excited.

Also, whether it’s been in the comments, on Twitter, or at events like Confab, Content Strategy Forum and the Penn State Web Conference, we’ve discovered a smart, sizable community of colleagues as hungry to dive into these topics as we are. We’ve learned so much from you, and in the months to come, we’ll be finding ways to bring your voices to the fore.

So what’s next? Help us figure it out. Tell us in the comments below—What should we tackle?

What do you want to talk about? How can we better support your higher ed web content work? We’ve got a ton of ideas, but we’re eager to hear yours.

We will randomly select four commenters who share their ideas to win one of our favorite books:

UPDATE: We are very excited to be able to sweeten the deal even further. Karine Joly of Higher Ed Experts has provided us with one free pass to give away to the Oct. 5 master class on Influential Web Content Strategy with Colleen Jones (author of “Clout,” one of our favorite books listed above). This is a $350 value! Thanks a lot, Karine.

So comment before end-of-day Friday, because that’s when we’ll pick the winners!

Thank you so much for being a part of this conversation. And thanks for being a part of what comes next!

Photo by dudup/Flickr Creative Commons

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About Rick Allen and Georgy Cohen

Rick Allen has worked in higher education for over twelve years, helping to shape web communications and content strategy. As principal of ePublish Media, a web publishing consultancy in Boston, Mass., Rick works with knowledge-centric organizations to create and sustain effective web content.

Georgy Cohen is associate creative director, content strategy, at OHO Interactive, a digital agency based in the Boston area. Previously, she worked in content roles at Tufts University, Suffolk University, and her independent consultancy to higher ed, Crosstown Digital Communications.

Comments

  1. I particularly enjoy the content creation process — especially what goes on behind the scenes. One of my recent favorite posts of yours was ‘Web Analytics for Content Planning’. I would guess there are a few people out there that don’t put enough planning into the content and analytical information should be playing a major role in that.

    So, off top of my head, you could dissect the effectiveness of different content types on social media networks. Do photos resonate more on Facebook (they do for us) than regular posts? More beneficial to post snippet news to twitter, or just link through to a full story, or both?

    Lots of other topics I could see being covered here, I’ve just been researching a lot of social content recently so it’s on my mind. Keep up the good work.

  2. I’d love you and Rick to tackle showing us real-world examples of content done right – a recurring blog post, possibly monthly, of the five best examples of content strategy you’ve seen in action for the month. Nothing lengthy, but something where you just point out the noteworthy and the inspirational.

  3. Love this blog. And I’d love to see you tackle content collection. The stories are out there, but how do you convince people their stories are worth telling? And how do you collect those stories in an efficient way that encourages submission?

    Keep up the good work!
    Patrick

  4. Bruce Floyd says:

    I’d love to see a post that discusses the balance between writing good content and keyword optimizing that content – without keyword stuffing.

  5. Congrats on reaching the half-year mark and great job on the blog content so far. I work with alot of clients in higher education and we have great tools that enable ease in creating, publishing and tracking content. However, I invariably also try to get them to understand that the CMS does not replace a good content strategy. I’m 100% behind your efforts to promote this key piece in the web marketing equation.

    Likewise, another piece and one that you’ve recently introduced is the role analytics can play in crafting and adjusting a good content strategy. Therefore, I’d propose future blog posts focused on the key areas that should be addressed first in order to provide the appropriate CONTEXT to content analytics data. These areas might include: 1) Deciding on how to create Goals, Objectives and Outcomes, 2) KPIs for analytics, 3) Choosing the right content that should be pushed across this new channel called social media.

  6. I would love to see posts about the people-oriented work involved in working with content for organizations and schools. For example, finding out that a particular section of the website is outdated and needs either rewriting, revamping or be deleted outright. Being able to do so — at least at my organization — involves getting the buy-in and cooperation of key staff and people up the organizational ladder. Once I get their blessing I can delete or do my thing. In my case, the quick and easy part was the actual web writing and uploading of content. The more complex and time-consuming part is managing the relationships with key people and staff as the organization’s web guy.

  7. I’d like to see some ideas on how to engage and motivate faculty on our campuses to provide at least ideas for content — or to provide content themselves. (We can dream, right?) There’s a lot of expertise among that group if we can help them to think with more of a communications mindset. Thanks for your work!

  8. Valerie Wahlstrom says:

    I love getting these emails each week. I’m new to my job, so I find them incredibly insightful. I’d like to see a post about steps to revamping portions of a site. Some of our department pages/sites are terribly outdated, for instance. Is there a good process for fixing it that includes analyzing what’s there and mapping out and revising current content or creating new content?

  9. Meredith Clark says:

    I’ve been working in Higher Ed for almost three months now, and Meet Content has been an instrumental part of my training. I was hired on as a Content Coordinator/Strategist and everything here relates to everything that I do. I really enjoy the readings and continuously look forward to new posts.

    I think the biggest question I end of having deals with style. How do you present web content? There seems to be a great deal of information on writing for the web, but it’s all dependent, situational. I believe that with this new movement towards effective, meaningful content, there should also be a a style to go along with it. What would that style be? How do you present content on the Study Abroad vs the Business vs the Department vs the Student Teams page? Do you go with bulleted lists that everything is scannable and easy to absorb? Should you always follow rules like seventy words per paragraph, etc? What is the style to go along with the content?

    I think you guys will have a great response to all of these!

  10. Hi, I’ve just discovered your blog via Karine Joly’s email newsletter. Lots for me to explore and learn!

    So apologies if you’ve covered this already – my initial browse/search didn’t turn anything up.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the development and management of a corporate content management system that actively supports the delivery of a content strategy. For me there is a constant tension between the system needing to provide enough flexibility, but still support non-specialist web publishers with insufficient time to do a good job within a coherent framework.

What do you think?

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