To my horror, I started sprouting silly talk in a presentation:
“We can spearhead this initiative by creating a paradigm shift to holistically evaluate results.”
I got blank looks and the rest of the presentation went down in flames.
It wasn’t because I was jittery. I sprouted silly talk because I didn’t know my topic like the back of my hand. If I didn’t know, I can’t do and I definitely can’t talk about it using simple words (tip: authoritative = simple).
Continue reading #4: If You Don’t Know…Research It!
Which would you start with?
"My mom was an old woman." or "Shush your mouth, boy!"
My bet’s on the second quote, because it grabs attention. That’s what you need to hook people onto your work, and that’s what you should remember when creating content.
It’s an old idea.
We’ve been taught in school that a killer opening makes a good story. Editors exhort writers to make their first lines strong and powerful in magazines and newspapers.
In the online world, it’s the same with much less time. You have 5 seconds to grab people’s attention and 60 seconds to tell your story.
Now every microsecond counts.
Continue reading #2: The First Line is the Most Important
Once upon a time…
We love stories.
Go on, say it ain’t so.
You can’t, can you?
You’re probably thinking about a story now. It might be The Three Little Pigs, or the creation myth where Nüwa made mankind, or Christopher Nolan’s Inception, or even this YouTube video about Smooth E beauty products.
There lived an old couple in the deepest, darkest forest. Their joy was an axe to chop with, a bucket to gather mushrooms in, and a spindle to weave the finest gowns from.
We love stories because it’s an escape from humdrum living. More importantly, they make sense of our surroundings – like creation myths that explain our origins – and let us speculate on “what if” and connect with other people.
Continue reading #1: Tell Stories, not Ads
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
I’ve never been a PR guy. Mostly, I’m on the receiving end of press releases and other PR events.
But this set of slides by Luca Penati, global managing director, Technology Practice at Ogilvy, makes a case for moving PR towards a more publishing-like role.
It’s worth a go through especially when people remember stories more than LOUD ADVERTISING.
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)
When did you last wished for enough hours to do something? When did you last have to wade through crap (and queues) to get what you want?
Chances are that it was just recently. So you’ll know how frustrating it can be. The same goes for your customers. They want help NOW – preferably before they even have to ask for it.
Part of the solution is to mindfully use and present content for your customers. While other parts would also include design elements that make it easy for the user.
Use Content Right
Let’s say you know a lot about oranges and you run an orange-selling business. How could you use that knowledge to increase your sales?
Continue reading Don’t Waste My Time
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?