Yep. Like the boy band.
But seriously, anything closely resembling a strategic plan needs direction – otherwise anything and any action will do. And when I say direction, it’s not “get more fucking people or Likes or whatever that’s the flavour of the moment.”
A direction is simply an answer to a problem. A clear, unambiguous and quite specific answer that states both the what and the how.
Compare these direction statements
No prizes for the direction that works for you.
Making it work
Your One Direction needs to have a what (will you do) and a how (will you do it) to answer the underlying problem within the current environment.
If not, find out what’s going on – and think harder on your direction.
Resources for the curious
- So What…?
- Do What…?
E.g.: What is this?
Why: Define and clarify the situation so that everyone understands the same thing. Without a shared vocabulary, it’ll be quite like the workers in the Tower of Babel, and we know what happened to it.
E.g. So What does it mean?
Why: We are looking for implications, subtext, hidden stakeholders, and consequences. No one really lays it all out — dig deeper and uncover the real problem; otherwise, this planning is an exercise in futility.
E.g. What can we do with this?
Why: Clarity and Research is great. But without action, it’s just hot air – like so much fluff. All plans must contain actions that help to fulfil it. Otherwise, it’s just a thinking exercise.
You got that social media job, and now you’ve buckled down and thought of a brilliant content idea. Then another one. And another one. And another.
Soon you’ve got a bag full of ideas, all of them great.
But then you ask: which one goes first? What’s next? How do they relate to each other? Wait, isn’t there an important launch some time in June; what do I have for it?
And horrors of horrors, what if I repeat something?
I know how painful, ugly and backbreaking it can be to keep track of what goes up when. It’s like holding back a rapidly growing tidal wave with my bare hands.
Not fun at all.
That’s when I discovered content calendars – the indispensible tool for every content guy.
Continue reading Content Calendars Keep Your Head Straight
My client asked: “Where do you store your content?”
I blinked. Once. Twice. “What do you mean?”
“You were talking about using the blog to store content. But where are the videos, photos and words stored? How do you migrate all that content over [to a new website]?”
They didn’t know how a mashup works. They didn’t know how I could pick up a YouTube video, write something (literally) around it and add a couple of photos and links to other sources – while not owning any piece of content, except for the comments – and post it onto a blog. And if I needed to migrate content. I’ll just export and viola, it’ll automatically appear elsewhere in its entirety.
To me this distributed process is quite intuitive, but not so to others. So I thought I share what I understand about mashups: what is it, why do it and how to get the most of it.
Continue reading Dude! Where’s my Content? (Or Mashups in a Nutshell)
Think for a moment.
What does content mean to you?
Got your answer?
Content means different things to people in different capacities.
It’s like being in a Tower of Babel.
To writers, content means “words, punctuation and grammar”. To artists, content is very likely “pictures or illustrations or paintings”. To web folk, content probably means “webpages, HTML, CSS, interactive flash bits”. To musicians, it’s all “frets, C-sharps and tone”. And to the kid with a glass of orange juice, content is the “sweet and sour juice that’s fast disappearing down my throat”.
It’s unavoidable but sadly narrow. It limits, chains, and renders us ineffective and inefficient.
Continue reading What Is Content?