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Live from HITMC: Words Matter

Words Matter – How ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) Quality Checks Written Content for Clarity, by Lindsay Dudbridge, Fergal McGovern

Words matter. Current content audit methods struggle with:

  • Where to focus
  • Objective measurement is hard
  • Manual processes cause a lot of people to do non-systematic spot checks
  • UX focuses on wireframes and graphics, not readability

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) runs cancer.net. One of the challenges is that content is reviewed by medical experts, and then needs to be simplified for the general public. People get easily overwhelmed, confused, distressed. So they need to be clear.

They went to VisibleThread for a solution.  Continue Reading

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Live from HITMC: Creating Customer and Employee Engagement

Creating Customer and Employee Engagement, by Gary Rhoads

“We are in the business of inspiration”

  • Engaging people is about alignment
  • When it’s done well, it’s beautiful

What do successful organizations do?

  • Talk to the engaged people first – find out WHY they’re engaged
  • Look for how to make people smarter/more capable
  • Brand champions inside the company should be able to participate in making people smarter
  • Fix the worst problems quietly
  • Always communicate with internal and external stakeholders

Some behavioral things have emotional connections – like being green. People feel strongly about it, even when they don’t do anything related to it. These things are “Goliaths.” Find a Goliath to slay, and it will connect people.

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Live from CSForum: Content Modeling

Content Modeling: Make Content Smarter, by Angus Gordon

Take a look at the Facebook fields for creating an account. There are fields, one for each content piece. This is different from if they just provided a giant field for everything. If they did that, they would still collect the information, but it would be far harder for them to then use that information to deliver content related to your users, connect you to other similar users, know when your birthday is, etc.

All those things are structured content.

  • Structured content is chunks - breaking down content into components
  • Structured content is constrained – formatted, with set allowed values, sizes, character counts, etc Continue Reading
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Live from CSForum: 10 things I learned in 10 years as a Content Strategist

10 things I learned in 10 years as a Content Strategist, by Rachel Lovinger

  1. Everything is content. It’s not just copy, it’s metadata, and medium. “The Medium is the Message” – Marshall McLuhan It’s the IA, the breakdown, etc.
  2. Content is communication. Traditional media was a broadcast communication model. You just hope the message was received. In digital media, there’s more flow. We share media, they respond. It’s multidirectional communication.
  3. Content strategy is concerned with content systems. “Content strategy is to writing as IA is to design” – that’s useful to those of us who understand it. For everyone else, content strategists build a framework for everyone to be able to work with content.
  4. Author experience is critical to content strategy. Authors are internal users, but we still need to think about them. If we don’t, the content won’t (can’t) be maintained. We need to give them intuitive tools that they will understand.
  5. Content needs to be structured. Display information needs to be separate from content types and attributes.
  6. Intelligent content needs metadata. There are 2 distinct focuses within content strategy: front end, and back end. What makes it content strategy (and not just publishing) is that content decisions are tied to bigger strategic initiatives and measurable goals.
  7. Content strategy isn’t a practice, it’s a methodology. You might work in science, but you’re a specific type of science. Similarly, there are all sorts of jobs/roles that use content strategy.
  8. We’re still young. There’s a lot of uncharted territory – we need people who can do all of the many things.
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Live from CSForum: What’s your (business) problem?

What’s your (business) problem?: Selling content strategy into your organisation​, by Rahel Anne Bailie

If you’re not doing something for profit, it’s just a hobby. This is a main goal or businesses: to make money.

Speak their language:

  • People trust people in the know
  • Show them you understand the business goals
  • Use the vocab of the organization
  • Teach them the UX/CS language too Continue Reading
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Live from CSForum: It’s not a technology problem

It’s not a technology problem, by Leisa Reichelt

Leisa works in government. It can feel like being a thousand monkeys on typewriters, but it’s for a good purpose.

“Be clear about what you’re doing. The reason is unlikely to be ‘transformation.’” -Kate Tarling

“Far too many people claim they’re doing ‘transformation’ when they’re merely doing the same things faster/cheaper.” -Dr. Jerry Fishenden

Doing the same thing faster/cheaper isn’t a bad thing. But it isn’t transformation. It’s possible that no government is doing transformation. It gets blocked, because business and IT would have to be aligned on the priorities. Transformation is way too much work for those two groups.

Real transformation is risky. Changing institutions is disruptive. It could result in people not getting paid, not being able to take care of their kids, etc. The risks when working in government are HUGE. So it’s valid that gov’t groups as: “why would we do this to ourselves?” Continue Reading