Jul 17, 2012

@#$! Content Strategists Say at Meetups


We had a solid turnout for our Bay Area Content Strategy Meetup Event last Thursday night, with a steady stream of attendees from 6:30 to 10 p.m. There was wine and beer. There were cheese plates. We had music videos from YouTube projected on a screen. And, for fun, we captured attendees thoughts on content strategy with Post-its:

We held the happy hour in honor of Content Strategy Meetup Month, a new idea planted in our heads by Brain Traffic, an awesome Minneapolis-based content strategy firm who hosts the annual ConFab conference. Our event at Hot was coordinated in partnership with the existing Bay Area Content Strategy Meetup group spearheaded by Frank Marquardt, director of content strategy at The Barbarian Group, with Michael Spinella, a digital content strategist at Ogilvy, and Stacey King Gordon, a content strategist who owns an agency called Suite Seven.

For the content strategy group at Hot, it was super fun to look outside our practice, swap stories, and make new friends. The people who came didn't fit any particular mold. There were infographic specialists, content management system builders, information architects, former TV news producers, and college professors. One attendee identified himself as a competitive intelligence researcher. He reads heaps of white papers, blogs, marketing sites and data, then analyzes them to help companies define their own voice.

The diversity of people at the Meetup, and the results of the Post-its exercise, are another reminder that content strategy is still early in its development as a specialized practice. But as we talked, I think most of us discovered that how we think and what we do aren’t so different.

We all share an interest in shaping the big picture. A desire to step back from individual stories, articles, photos, menus, etc., and help play a role in designing a larger system of creating and managing content, and establish authentic connections between people, and between people and organizations.

For more stories and reactions from the event, search Twitter for #csmeetup2012. Thanks to all who attended—we hope to see you again soon!